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Convair CV-440 Metropolitan

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Douglas C-47A / DC-3
RSwedAF 79007 USAAF 0-30665
PH-PBA Douglas DC-3C-S1C3G c/n 19434 - Dutch Dakota Association - Groningen Airport in Holland - 27 August 2005 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

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.
The ICAO Aircraft Type Designator for the Douglas DC-3C is DC3.

Douglas DC-3C-S1C3G s/n 19434 PH-PBA started its carrier as a Douglas C-47A-75-DL and served as 42-100971 with the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) in 1944. C-47A '42-100971' was one of the about 12.000 aircraft used during the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944. After being withdrawn from military service 1946, the C-47A was stored untill it went to the Netherlands. On 25 February 1947, the C-47A was registered PH-PBA with Ministerie van Verkeer en Waterstaat (Rijksluchtvaartdienst), Scheveningen. The PH-PBA was commissioned as government aircraft but was often seen as the personal aircraft of Prince Bernhard. When used by the Dutch Royal family,the PH-PBA (Prins Bernhard Alpha) was mostly flown by Prince Bernhard, husband of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. On 19 May 1960, Douglas C-47A PH-PBA was replaced by Fokker F-27-100 PH-PBF "Gerben Sonderman" as Government aircraft used by the Dutch Royal family. Douglas C-47A PH-PBA was transferred to the Department of Air Traffic of the Dutch-CAA: registration PH-RLD was requested but not allocated. In service with the Dutch-CAA the PH-PBA was operated as a calibration aircraft and registered as a DC-3C with Staat der Nederlanden/Rijksluchtvaartdienst, Afd. Luchtverkeersbeveiliging, Schiphol, on 21 September 1970. In 1975, Douglas DC-3C PH-PBA was withdrawn from use and replaced in service as calibration aircraft with the Dutch-CAA by Hamburger Flugzeugbau HFB-320 Hansa PH-HFC. Registration PH-PBA was cancelled on 31 July 1975. The airframe went to the aviation museum Aviodome at Schiphol and was painted as PH-TCB in 1986. After over twenty years on exhibition, restoration to airworthiness started by Air Atlantique in Coventry. Parts of DC-3 G-BVOL (s/n 9836) were used to restore PH-PBA and the aircraft was restored to the register as PH-PBA with Stichting Prins Bernhard Alpha, Schiphol, on 31 July 1995. Dutch Dakota Association BV, Schiphol-Oost, was registered as holder of the PH-PBA on 16 September 1997 and the type was changed to DC-3C-S1C3G on 24 March 1999. Since 25 April 2006, the PH-PBA is registered with AllPlanes B.V., as holder and Stichting Prins Bernhard Alpha, Schiphol, as owner. In 2010, DDA Classic Airlines' Douglas DC-3C PH-PBA was repainted in the 1960s KLM livery. On 26 March 2015, Stichting DDA Flight Support, Schiphol, was registered as owner of the PH-PBA, with DDA as holder. On 15 March 2016, KLM ends its collaboration with DDA. As a result, the KLM logo and name were removed from the aircraft and replaced by ‘DDA Classic Airlines' and the DDA logo. On 5 January 5, 2018, the roll-out of Dakota PH-PBA took place at Lelystad in the style in which it has flown for most years of its existence, namely in the colors of the government aircraft with the coat of arms of the Inspector General of the Armed Forces. Only the the tail logo divers as the stars were replaced by the DDA Classic Airlines logo. The aircraft is still called “Prinses Amalia”.
On 27 August 2005, Douglas DC-3C PH-PBA of the Dutch Dakota Association was seen at Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ/EHGG) during Airshow Eelde 2005. At that time, the PH-PBA was painted in the fifties colors of the government aircraft with the coat of arms of the Inspector General of the Armed Forces and four general stars at the tail.

page last updated: 09-11-2023
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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