Cel­e­brat­ing 75 years of avi­a­tion his­tory

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - Young At Heart Holidays -

DE­CEM­BER 17, 2010 marked the 75th an­niver­sary of the first flight of the Dou­glas DC-3 and the 107th an­niver­sary of the Wright Broth­ers’ flight at Kitty Hawk in North Carolina.

The DC-3, cater­ing for up to 32 pas­sen­gers, rev­o­lu­tionised in­ter­na­tional and do­mes­tic air travel in the 1930s and 1940s and is still re­garded as one of the most sig­nif­i­cant air­craft in avi­a­tion his­tory.

Dur­ing World War II many civil­ian DC-3s were drafted for the war ef­fort and more than 10,000 US mil­i­tary ver­sions of the DC-3 were built, un­der the des­ig­na­tions C-47, C-53, R4D and Dakota. In Aus­tralia they were known as Gooney Birds.

It is of­ten said the only re­place­ment for a DC-3 is an­other DC-3, partly at­trib­ut­able to its safety record, dura­bil­ity and its abil­ity to take off and land on grass or dirt run­ways.

Fly­ing in a DC-3 is an ex­cit­ing way to ac­tu­ally ‘‘ see’’ where you are fly­ing. These fly­ing birds from an era long gone can cruise as low as 500ft above the ter­rain.

This, com­bined with a crawl of about 3km a minute, makes for fan­tas­tic view­ing of the sights be­low – a com­fort­able hol­i­day ex­plo­ration rather than a high­speed dash be­tween cities.

Aus­tralian Air Hol­i­days pro­vide the rare op­por­tu­nity to fly in a com­pletely re­fur­bished Air Nostal­gia DC-3 VH-TMQ. The air­craft fea­tures mod­ern, com­fort­able seat­ing and a nose cam­era to cap­ture im­ages that are trans­ferred to tele­vi­sion screens for pas­sen­gers to share the same views as those seen by the pi­lots.

One of the ex­cit­ing trips of­fered by Aus­tralian Air Hol­i­days is the three-day Tas­ma­nian Wilder­ness Hol­i­day. De­part­ing from Essendon Air­port, you’ll fly to the Tas­ma­nian coastal town of Wyn­yard. Lunch fol­lows a short tour of Ta­ble Cape.

You’ll con­tinue your flight – tak­ing in great views of Cra­dle Moun­tain and Dove Lake – to Stra­han, a pic­turesque vil­lage on the shores of Macquarie

SOAR­ING: Take a nostal­gic flight in a DC-3 over pic­turesque Stra­han (left) and Tas­ma­nia’s wilder­ness ar­eas.

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