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PH-MAG Douglas C-47A-10-DK c/n 12472 - Moormanair Holland - Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in Holland - 9 May 1970 historic aeroplanes

In 1932, Douglas Aircraft Company Inc. started the development of a twelve-seat, two-engined, all-metal mono-plane with retractable landing-gear. The prototype of this first Douglas Commercial, the DC-1 flew first on 1 July 1933 and was delivered to Transcontinental & Western Air. However just only one DC-1 was built, this aircraft became the start of a succesfull series of airliners. TWA ordered twenty production aircraft, which were designated DC-2. The Douglas DC-2 had a larger engine and seated 14 passengers. The plane made its maiden flight on 11 May 1934 and entered service with TWA on 18 May 1934. Due to its performance in airliner service a growing number of orders were placed by airlines all over the world, including by K.L.M. Due to the succes of the DC-2, Douglas developed and built what many consider to be one of the greatest planes ever: the DC-3. The prototype Douglas DC-3 flew first on 17 December 1935, and this transport aircraft was built in larger numbers than any before or since. In its initial form, the Douglas DC-3 was powered by 1.000 hp Wright R-1820-G2 Cyclones and accomodated twenty-one passengers. In 1936, the DC-3 was joined in production by the DC-3A with two 1.050 hp Pratt and Whitney R-1830-SC-G Twin Wasps, and maximum accomodation in this model being increased over the years to twenty-eight passengers. The DC-3B entered production in 1937. This version was similar to the DC-3A apart from 1,100 hp Wright GR-1820-G102A engines. The bulk of the aircraft producted became the Douglas C-47, a military transport version of the commercial DC-3 airliner. A 7500-lb. cargo load or twenty-eight troops may be accomodated. With the breakout of WW II, a fast growing number of the C-47 and its variants were ordered. The C-47 entered service service with the U.S.A.A.F. in 1941 and became the world's most widely-used general-purpose military transport aircraft. When production termintated, 10,926 C-47s and its variants having been built in the U.S.A. Licence manufacture also having been undertaken in Japan and the U.S.S.R. The Russian licensed copies of the DC-3 were built near Moscow and in Tashkent and designated Lisunov Li-2 (4,937 built). Licensed copies of the DC-3 built in Japan were designated Showa L2D (487 built). The Douglas DC-3 / C-47 and their variants were known under more than two dozen nicknames; wellknown nicknames were Skytrain, Gooney Bird, Dakota and Dak. After the war ended, large numbers of C-47s and its variant entered the civil market, a number of these C-47s were remanufactured and known as Douglas DC-3C.

Moorman Air was a subsidiary of Moorman's Vliegtuigonderhoudsbedrijf NV, Schiphol-Oost, and started in 1967 with airtaxi operations out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and sightseeing flights at Groningen Airport Eelde. On 22 June 1967, Piper PA-23-235 Apache F PH-BGA was registered with Moorman's Vliegtuigonderhoudsbedrijf NV, Schiphol-Oost. This Piper PA-23 Apache was operated by Moorman Air. Next to the Apache, Cessna 140 N5306C and Piper PA-24-250 Comanche PH-RON were available when needed. In 1968, Moorman Air expanded it's operations with the purchase of Douglas DC-3C PH-MAG. Next to the PH-MAG also Martin's Air Charter's Douglas C-47 PH-MAB was used until it was sold to Indonesia in 1969. In 1969, Piper PA-23 Apache PH-BGA was sold in Norway as LN-LJO and registration PH-BGA was cancelled on 1 August 1969. In 1970, Douglas DC-3 N3179Q of Welltrade Inc. was added to the Moormanair fleet. In December 1970, registration PH-WWW was reserved for DC-3 N3179Q and on 18 December 1970, the aircraft was registered as PH-MOA with Moorman's Vliegtuigonderhoudsbedrijf NV, Schiphol-Oost, as holder and Weltrade Inc. as owner. On 3 June 1971, this DC-3 was involved in a landing accident on a charterflight with Ajax supporters at Southend. Registration PH-MOA was cancelled on 27 June 1972 and the aircraft was scrapped. On 3 May 1972, De Havilland DH-106 Dove 6 PH-FST was registered with Moorman's Vliegtuigonderhoudsbedrijf NV. In 1973, DH-106 Dove 6 PH-FST was sold in the UK as G-BBYA and registration PH-FST was cancelled on 13 September 1973. With the sale of both Douglas C-47A PH-MAG and DH-104 Dove PH-FST, Moormanair came to an end in 1973.

On 4 February 1944, the 1944-built Douglas C-47A-10-DK c/n 12472 was delivered as USAAF Skytrain 42-92648 to the United States Army Air Force. On 14 February 1944, the aircraft was delivered to RAF at Dorval, Montreal, Canada, as lend-lease Dakota III KG437. In service with RAF 233 Squadron, Douglas C-47A Dakota III 'KG437' was one of the about 12.000 aircraft used during the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944. Douglas Dakota III KG437 was also involved in the ill-fated Operation 'Market Garden'. After being withdrawn from military service in 1946, the C-47A began a civilian career. On 15 January 1946, the C-47A was registered G-AGYX with BOAC - British Overseas Airways Corporation, London. On 19 August 1946, ownership of C-47A G-AGYX changed to BEA - British Europan Airways Corporation as 'RMA George Holt-Thomas'. On 27 April 1961, Douglas C-47A G-AGYX was registered with Autair Ltd., London. On 12 February 1962, the G-AGYX was registered with C. J. Bicknell, Libya, trading as Libyan Aviation but leased to United Libyan Airways. On 22 May 1962, B. L. R. Pocock, and on 17 January 1963, J.W. Beazley was registered as owner with the aircaft still operated by United Libyan Airways. On 10 June 1965, the aircraft was registered with the aircraft trader Shackleton Aviation Ltd.. In June 1965, the Douglas C-47A was sold to Martin's Air Charter and on 29 June 1965 as G-AGYX flown from Gatwick to Amsterdam. On 1 July 1965, registration G-AGYX was cancelled as exported to the Netherlands. On 23 July 1965, the Douglas C-47A was registered PH-MAG with Martin's Luchtvervoer Maatschappij N.V., Schiphol. On 2 October 1968, the aircraft was registered with Moorman's Vliegtuigonderhoudsbedrijf NV, Schiphol-Oost, for operations by Moormanair. On 14 May 1973, Douglas C-47A was registered with Scorpio Films BV, Amsterdam, for use in the film 'Dakota'. On 13 March 1974, registration PH-MAG was cancelled and the aircraft was registered 5N-ATA with Nigerian Trade Wings Airways. In 1978, Douglas C-47A 5N-ATA was leased by U L Drew. On 29 January 1979, the aircraft was registered N9050T with Lease Air Inc., Florida, but stored as 5N-ATA at Khartoum in 1980. The aircraft was sold to Autair Malta Ltd. and in May 1983 registered as N9050T with ATC Inc., California. In 1984, Douglas C-47A N9050T went to Malta and was stored. In August 1987, registration N9050T was cancelled and the aircraft lay derelict at Hal Safi, Malta, awaiting sale. In October 1991, the derelict aircraft was sold to John Woodhause for use in a American Bistro in Fleets in the UK. The mainparts departed Malta by sea on 29 October 1991. Today, some parts of the aircraft are present in the RAF Museum Cosford and the nose section is on display in the RAF Museum Hendon.

page last updated: 30-01-2013
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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