Monday, 13 May 2013


Another photo from Caribou as taken at Omaka during the Easter weekend.
An under view of the Douglas DC-3C S1C3G ZK-DAK c/n 26480/15035 very cunningly disguised as NZ3546. This aircraft actually has no real Royal New Zealand Air Force connections at all.
It began life as a C47B-10-DK with the USAAF serial of 43-49219 from 30th October of 1944. After its ten years of service its tail number was changed to O-49219 (as is the custom). After service at various bases in the USA and Bermuda it went to Japan in July of 1950 and served with the 21st Troop Carrying Squadron based at Ashiya, covering the Korean War period.
It next popped up with Philippine Airlines at Manila registered as RP-C486 and did their Manila to Hong Kong service. Its next move was to Papuan Air Transport at Port Moresby as VH-PNM. On 27-07-1970 this changed to Ansett Airlines of Papua New Guines Pty Ltd at Lae and then a name change to Ansett (PNG) Pty Ltd on 02-08-1972. It moved down to Cairns, Queensland on lease to Bush Pilots later in 1972 and was registered to them in March of 74, followed by a name change to Air Queensland Ltd in January 1982. Two years later - 27-01-1984 - it was re-registered as VH-SBT with Mackay Air Museum, at Mackay, Queensland.
Enter the Warbirds DC-3 Syndicate who had the aircraft ferried into Auckland on 27-03-1987.
Below. It was noted at Christchurch the following day.
Its Australian registration was cancelled on 30-04-1987 and it became ZK-DAK2 on 16-10-1987 with the Syndicate. It underwent some heavy maintenance and was repainted in a 1944 Royal Air Force 48 Squadron colour scheme of  Squadron Leader Rex Daniel.
A couple of ownership changes followed. On 04-04-1990 to Flightline Aviation and then to Flightline Aeronautical College Ltd on 30-03-1992. Pionair Adventures Ltd of Christchurch feature from 14-09-1998 and then Leslie Aviation Ltd of Rotorua from 01-03-1999.
Pic below was taken at Ardmore on 19-03-2000
Future Flight Ltd feature from 24-11-1999 which became Flight 2000 Ltd on 24-06-2002.
In October of 2006 it was flown down to Palmerston North for a repaint and was rolled out in the RNZAF VIP livery of NZ3546 of 42 Squadron.
 NZ3546 at Taupo on  03-11-2003 as seen by Henry McIntyre.
The following five pics were taken at Westport on 27-03-2007 during its NZ tour celebrating 60 years of NZNAC.

A couple of views in the front office.
As a matter of historical interest the real NZ3546 was a C47B-35-DK with the c/n 16565/33313 and was delivered to the USAAF as 44-76981 for onward delivery to the RNZAF as NZ3546. It was struck off charge on 02-07-1952 and went to NZNAC as ZK-AWQ on 10-07-1952. In mid April of 1961 ZK-AWQ was returned to the RNZAF to take up its old serial of NZ3546. Along with NZ3551 it was the last of the RNZAF DC3's, being withdrawn from service in November 1977. On 6th December 1978 it was sold by Government tender to K Neely on 20-12-1978.
Pic below. ZK-AWQ as seen at Christchurch on 21-09-1979. 
It was parked out at Christchurch along with three others until being cancelled on 10-12-1980 and was listed as D6-CAG to Island Associates in the Comoros Republic. It left Auckland on 31-01-1981 and turned up some time later with the South African Air Force as serial number 6863 and was one of several to be re-engined with Pratt and Whitney PT6 turbine engine. An ownership change to Dobson Aviation of Kansas, USA took effect on 14-07-1998 along with registration as N81907. It returned to the South African register as ZS-OJL to Dobson International Parts South Africa Pty Ltd on 15-02-2001.
 And a view of her in 2010 can be seen at :-

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