Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota
The once ubiquitous Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota is more than seventy years in service, and still going strong. The Dakota - other names are Skytrain, Troopship and Gooney Bird - is a beautiful aircraft to see and was a tremendous success. In the 1930s it revolutionised air travel, in the 1940s it was one of the aircraft that won World War II. In the 1950s the 'Dak' helped lots of new airlines in the air. Compared to earlier airliners the DC-3 offered more comfort and appeal to the passenger. For the airlines it was profitable aircraft to operate. It is a very reliable aircraft and it has a very good safety record.
The DC-3 is also a versatile aircraft. Apart from transporting troops and cargo it was and is used as glider tug, air ambulance and fishery and pollution control aircraft. It was also used for dropping paratroops and many more tasks. A number of the Dakotas still in service fly with organisations that keep the aircraft in flying condition as flying museum aircraft. The history of aviaton would have looked much different if the Dakota wouldn't have been there. The picture above is taken at Opa Locka Airport in Florida in 1998, when this aircraft, built in 1942, flew with Florida Air Cargo.