Connect with us

Aerospace

WWII 77 years old plane lands in Nagpur, to circle the globe in 6 months.

Seventy-seven years after its first flight, a legendary Breitling DC-3 aircraft, the plane made famous by D-Day during WWII in June 1944 and nicknamed the ‘Normandy landings plane’, has embarked upon yet another historic journey.

WWII

According to Mumbai mirror Seventy-seven years after its first flight, a legendary Breitling DC-3 aircraft, the plane made famous by D-Day during WWII in June 1944 and nicknamed the ‘Normandy landings plane’, has embarked upon yet another historic journey.

The DC-3’s crew includes chief pilot Francisco Agullo (48) from Switzerland (he owns the plane), co-pilot Paul Bazeley and researcher Daniel Meyer.

Advertisement

The DC-3 was manufactured by Douglas and was at one time the largest manufactured aircraft in the world, with over 16,000 planes. At present, just 100 remain in air-worthy condition, including the one that touched down in Nagpur. After taking off from Switzerland on March 9, the crew flew to Greece, most of the Middle East, Pakistan and then on to India.

The DC-3 has the ability to take off on short runways. “We require an 800-meter runway for take-off, but for safety, we need approximately 1,100 metres. This aircraft can even land on fields and grassland,” Agullo said.

Advertisement

The plane, which carries most of its own spares, flies at low altitudes. And since it doesn’t have a pressurized cabin, doesn’t have air-conditioning. “On Saturday, we halted at Karachi for refueling and they told us to take an altitude of 5,000 feet, and Nagpur was scorching at 41 degrees. It was really torturous,” Agullo said.

The DC-30 had 30 seats, of which 14 have been removed to carry extra fuel tanks inside. The plane usually carries enough fuel to fly about eight to 10 hours, but with additional tanks, this can go up to an endurance of about 11 hours.
The first DC-3 was built in 1935. The one currently touring the world was manufactured on March 9, 1940. “This is why we chose to start on the 77th birthday of the aircraft,” Agullo said.

Advertisement

They chose Nagpur only because Agullo had visited it on another aircraft on a world tour a few years ago. “Besides, we need a special type of a fuel called AV Gas (also used in small planes like Cessnas), which is available in major cities, and Nagpur is also located in central India,” he said.
After India, the DC-3 will move on to South East Asia, China and Japan, where it has been invited to participate in the Iwakuni ‘Friendship Day Air Show’. It will then begin a grand tour of the United States, prior to returning to Europe via Greenland and Iceland and completing its journey in September, at the Breitling Sion Airshow 2017 in Switzerland.
Agullo and his team will spend nearly a month in Japan, giving joy rides to children. The DC-3 was used extensively during the Second World War, and Japan does not have many left as most of them were destroyed
The DC-3 will undertake a few flights around Nagpur on Monday and Tuesday, and then head to Chittagong in Bangladesh on Wednesday.

Advertisement

He is an aviation journalist and the founder of Jetline Marvel. Dawal gained a comprehensive understanding of the commercial aviation industry.  He has worked in a range of roles for more than 9 years in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has written more than 1700 articles in the aerospace industry. When he was 19 years old, he received a national award for his general innovations and holds the patent. He completed two postgraduate degrees simultaneously, one in Aerospace and the other in Management. Additionally, he authored nearly six textbooks on aviation and aerospace tailored for students in various educational institutions. jetlinem4(at)gmail.com

Advertisement