I had the pleasure of photographing this lovely lady some time ago . This DC-3 was manufactured in September 1943 . It served with the Royal Air Force until transfed to the South African Air Force in 1945. There it remained until retired in 1995. It was sold and registered ZS-NTE and after a period of 7 years in storage was restored to flying condition in 2009 and modified from a C47 cargo version to a DC3 passenger configuration.
Aer Lingus introduced the DC3 in April 1940 but World War 2 interfered with operations and the type became more relevant when nine former USAAF C-47s were purchased in 1945, seven of which were converted to DC-3 airliner standard and two were parted out. In addition, two new DC-3s were delivered off the Douglas production line in February 1946. These became core to the fleet in expanding services to cities including London, Amsterdam and Paris. The replacement aircraft was the Fokker F27 Friendship, but these did not replace all of the DC-3s, and five aircraft remained in service until 1963-1964.
The DC-3 is fitted with 28 seats in a 2-2 configuration. There is a crew jump seat beside the rear passenger door. The aircraft is fitted with a radio operators station behind the cockpit and has a cargo space too.The DC3 can fly as a high as 20,800 feet, has a range of almost 1500 miles and a top speed of 192mph. Aer Lingus DC3s were powered by Pratt and Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp engines.
Today, more than six decades after the last one was delivered, hundreds of DC-3s are still flying and still earning their keep by carrying passengers or cargo.