Dakota Blues or “Celebrating 80 years of the DC-3 Maiden flight”? by Hans Wiesman

The C-47 Fuselage was displayed in the Ardennes forest for a war movie.

In the past years, we have seen a larger number of DC-3’s /C-47’s forever gone down the drain. Derelicts standing for years parked on an airport and one day, the decision was taken to clean it all up. Owners long gone, parking fees not paid for decades and the cutting torch comes closer every day.
The restoration budgets for such Dakota’s in Decay can peak to such amounts that there is no party ever to be found for funding such project, no matter how hard we try and how sad this is.
Some C-47’s have a bit more luck than ending in the smelting oven. Take a look at this one on the photo’s. It escaped the axe with some incredible luck. It was trashed in a weird road accident (see details in my previous post on War History Online Guest Blog “Ghosts of the Gooney Bird Vol.3”)

The Movie seemed to be the final featuring of the complete aircraft, but there was a lucky escape that came our way for saving the cockpit.

After that accident, the aircraft was total loss, i.e. the costs of restoration were prohibitive for any party. But first there came a Film Company that hired the derelict for a war movie in the Ardennes. It was displayed in a forest, simulating a wartime aircraft crash. As you can see on this photo, the film crew scattered parts around the fuselage, being badly cracked and fissured all over, due to that Sept 2010 road accident.

The Cockpit saved from hell, on its way to a new career as a DC-3 Flight Simulator

This Aircraft c.q. movie-star was in bad shape, but the cockpit was requested for a novel project. As a professional DC-3 Flight Sim (see my previous posts), this role will give this 1944 Oklahoma built C-47 B a new lease for hopefully another 30 years or more to go.
Its inauguration will take place on 16 July 2015. I will keep you informed of this most interesting development, another way to keep the Dakota alive and flying, with a less costly training for new pilots.

Farewell Party attended by the contemporary transports GMC’s , Dodges and Jeeps to salute this C-47 , that was to be disassembled the next day with the Cockpit separation.

Where we could save the Cockpit, Wings and Tail section of this C-47 B, the fuselage was a mess, full of cracks and corrosion from 30+ years display in the open air with low protection.
But we kept most of the intact aluminium panels that were left after the accident and instead of smelting that precious metal in the hell of a recycling oven, we will make some very fine Commemorative Placards from that authentic WW II built aluminium/ riveted skin.

You can own a genuine piece of this War Bird in the elegant shape a riveted and polished skin panel/ placard that wears the logo: “Celebrating 80 years of the DC-3 Maiden flight”.
Along with an intriguing photo/ poster of this C-47 on the same size (16 x 11 inches/ 40 x 28 cm), you can order as from next week the Placard & Poster for framing and proud display in your living room, study, office or hangar. Separate framing or both in one big frame, that choice is yours.
A true Collector’s Item available in Limited Series, certified and signed by the Dakota Hunter for authenticity.
Stay tuned, more news to come about this rare offer via my blog..

Review Air Classics

My book The Dakota Hunter has been selected by the leading vintage Aviation Magazine AIR CLASSICS as “Book of the Month”. You can order my book directly at Amazon USA/ UK via my website www.dc3dakotahunter.com or order it in autographed version

Hans Wiesman

Hans Wiesman is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE