Latest from our member Ben Major
We went down to collect the C-47 on Sunday, and here a few quick shots of it as it is at present. As soon as I have some more to report, I will do!
Close up of the fuselage section on the flatbed prepared for transport and stropping down.
Hooked up to the Land Rover ready for the journey home.
Rudder and Stabliser Control Room section.
Looking up towards the rear of the fuselage. Note the original markings and stencils on the rear bulkhead.
Jump Signal mounting brace. Also at the right of the bracket are the four Lift The Dot fasteners for the Aeronautic First-Aid Kit.
Looking in the jump door. The horizontal ribs are remnants from the plane's time with civil airlines.
Rudder and aileron pulley mechanisms made from fibreboard.
Original ceiling light with control switch in Rudder & Aileron Control Room.
This is probably the first time a C-47 has been reversed down the M23!
Here's how the entire aircraft looked when she flew with the Belgian Air Force:
Here's the brief history that I have been able to research (and the parts which are pertinent). I am in the process of writing to McDonald Douglas in the hope that they'll have an archive, since I now have its original USAAF Serial Number (43-49240):
- Built in 1943 and delivered to USAAF on 11 January 1944
- Transferred to Belgian Air Force 11 October 1946
- December 1952: Temporarily put to disposal of Avimil/Force Publique and based at Ndolo, Congo.
- 10 July 1960: hit in the tail by bullets fired by rebels during landing at Kamina: Pilot Lt.Col. Kreps
- Sold as scrap in April 1979
- Until it was bought in 1986 by a restaurateur in Gitz, the plane's fuselage was used as a pig shed by then owner in Vladslo, West Flanders (Belgium).
- In 2000, it was used for filming a crash scene for Channel 4 series 'Sword of Honour' as FL586/AI (filming at Pinewood)
Total registered flight time: 8395.07 hours
The guy from whom I purchased the fuselage section has the original jump doors that were taken off the plane, so I might be getting them too! If I don't get it restored back to troop carrying condition, it'd make a nice mobile cinema!