Celebrating 75 years of aviation history
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.