Classic Dakota joins vintage fleet at Newquay Airport
The latest – and largest – addition to the Classic Air Force fleet has flown into its new home at Newquay Cornwall Airport.
The Second World War-era Douglas DC-3 Dakota was flown down from Coventry Airport by pilots John Dodd and Ben Cox.
It will now be operated by Classic Air Force and supported by the Classic Aircraft Trust, which was formed in 2012 to keep historic aircraft flying over Britain.
The aircraft has a 29-metre (95ft) wingspan and is the largest to be operated by the group. It is now safely undercover in the former Nimrod servicing hangar at RAF St Mawgan, which will eventually house upwards of 30 vintage aircraft.
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"The Dakota formed the basis of many post-war airlines and was a familiar sight in the South West during the 1940s and 50s," said retired Group Captain Davie Paton, chief executive of Classic Air Force.
"To have such an iconic and impressive aeroplane as part of our visitor attraction will be a massive draw when we open the doors to the public on Good Friday."
Designed by Donald Douglas in 1935, the DC-3 was created as a modern, fast and comfortable airliner, though the aircraft was to find another niche with the military and saw distinguished service over the D-Day beaches in 1944.
"The DC-3 was a world-beater in the 1930s, a world-saver in the 1940s and continues to fly freight and passengers 70 years after it first flew," said Classic Aircraft Trust chairman Tim Skeet. "Even today nothing can offer the same performance at a comparable price. Donald Douglas certainly got his sums right back in 1935."