Aer Lingus (Dublin) unveiled a 1956 livery on this Douglas DC-3 at Dublin Airport on the afternoon of July 20, 2017. The event was titled “Aer Lingus celebrates Irish Aviation History”. The airliner arrived at Dublin from Shannon (above, by Michael Kelly).
The C-47A-DK (DC-3) is currently registered as ZS-NTE (msn 11926) and is based in Germany. The propliner also carries the historic EI-ACD Irish registration.
Historically the EI-ACD registration was previously used on an actual Aer Lingus DC-3.
Copyright Photo Above: Springbok Classic Air Douglas C-47A-DK (DC-3) ZS-NTE (msn 11926) QRA (Keith Burton). Image: 938726.
The aircraft arrived at Shannon from Zweibrucken on June 13, 2017 in the Springbok Classic Air livery (above) and it was painted by IAC at Shannon.
At the publicity event at Dublin, it was announced that the aircraft, named “St. Gall”, would remain in the Aer Lingus historic livery. This beautiful aircraft will participate in air shows across Europe over the next five years according to the airline.
The DC-3 above and below (copyright photos by Michael Kelly) is fitted with 28 seats in a 2-2 configuration. There is a crew jump seat beside the rear passenger door.
Oddly the seats previously were fitted in a South African Airways Boeing 747SP.
“St. Gall” will take part in the 70th Anniversary of the Berlin Airlift in 2018 and the “Daks over Normandy Anniversary” event in June 2019.
Aer Lingus took delivery of its first Douglas DC-3 in April 1940. The first DC-3 revenue flight was from Dublin to Liverpool on May 7, 1940.
Aer Lingus operated a total of 19 Douglas DC-3s from 1940 until April 1964 when the type was retired.
The Irish Historic Flight issued this statement:
“The IHFF is delighted to be associated with the appearance of a flying Douglas DC-3 in Ireland during the summer of 2017. This project was initiated by IHFF board member Hugh Flynn and made possible by the support of Aer Lingus, which originally operated the DC-3 between 1940 and April 1964.
The DC-3 appearing in Ireland was manufactured in September 1943 and is currently registered ZS-NTE. It served with the Royal Air Force until transfer 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.
The pilots who will be flying ZS-NTE while in Ireland are Flippie Vermeulen and Noel Flynn. Flippie is a retired Captain from South African Airways and the previous owner and current operator of the aircraft in his company, Springbok Safaris. Noel is a training Captain with Cargolux Airlines in Luxembourg and flies B747-8 and -400 series cargo aircraft.
Aer Lingus introduced the DC-3 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 F.27 Friendship, but these did not replace all of the DC-3s, and five aircraft remained in service until 1963-1964.
Aer Lingus has funded and supported the arrival of the DC-3 to Ireland in summer 2017. This includes the accurate painting of the DC-3 in the livery deployed in 1956. Aer Lingus will showcase the aircraft at a number of events including the Bray Air Display on Sunday, July 23, 2017.”
Copyright Photos: Michael Kelly. Aer Lingus (Springbok Classic Air) Douglas C-47A-DK (DC-3) ZS-NTE (EI-ACD) (msn 11926) DUB (Michael Kelly). Image: 938723.