Textron ends Cessna TTx production, and an update on the C-47A That’s All Brother.
On June 6, 1944, a Douglas C-47A Skytrain named That’s
All Brother led some 800 paratroop-carrying C-47s over Normandy, France, during what has been named the D-Day invasion — the beginning of the end of World War II. Like so many of the airplanes that served in the war, That’s All Brother continued its life in various civilian roles, and its name had been all but forgotten. About 10 years ago, the airplane was flown to Basler Turbo Conversions in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where it was slated for a major modification.
But before the turboprop conversion began, the history of the airplane was discovered. The Commemorative Air Force took on the project, and after considerable restoration work, most of which was done at Basler, the airplane returned to flight on January 31. CAF pilot Doug Rozendaal, who landed
That’s All Brother at Wittman Regional Airport about a decade ago, was at the controls.
Returning this C-47 to flying condition was no small feat. The CAF began with a highly successful Kickstarter campaign to bring in the funds required to complete the project. More than 3,000 individuals and organizations contributed more than $2 million to the project. Approximately 22,000 hours of work, including about 1,600 hours worth of anti-corrosion work alone, have been put in so far. Some instrumentation has been added, and the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engines have been completely overhauled. And the restoration is not yet complete. The interior work is now in progress, and the exterior, which is currently a vinyl covering with historical D-Day images, will be returned to the original paint designs. The airplane’s permanent base will be in San Marcos, Texas, where the CAF Central Texas Wing will continue to care for and maintain it.
Things are looking promising for the CAF’s ultimate goal for That’s All Brother to once again lead a flight of C-47s over Normandy on the celebration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 2019.