Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The other Cal Flight DC-3 ZK-AXS.

I also remember the other DC-3 used by the Calibration Flight.
 
Douglas C47B-25-DK (c/n 32743/15995) was built for the USAAF as 44-76411.
It was passed to the Royal Air Force, serialed as KN373, and based with the South East Asia Command Head Quarters and used by Lord Louis Mountbatten.
 
Link here for pic of KN373 (VM-YCL).

 I believe it also carried the name "Mercury" for Lord Mountbatten.
 
It was withdrawn from RAF service at Seletar and sat idle from 1948 to 1950 until taken over and used by 41 Squadron RNZAF from May until November 1950.
I believe it arrived in NZ on 04-12-1950 and registered on 21-12-1950 as ZK-AXS.
 It then underwent some major modifications and was ready to use by the Civil Aviation Administration from 11-03-1952.
 
These first two photographs come from the Ed Coates Collection.
Above ZK-AXS among a row of RNZAF C-47's
Below. A bit later wearing "Civilair" titles and I think at Christchurch outside the NAC hangar.
Over the years the CAA became the Department of Civil Aviation and then part of the Ministry of Transport and the aircraft marking reflect this.
 
 Below a very similar view from Marcus Bridle and the Peter Lewis Collection
 
Photo below shows ZK-AXS at Christchurch on 20-06-1964.
 
Two more shots show of her. Above at Wellington.
Below at unknown site and date.
 
Two internal views. Cockpit above and Calibration panel below.
 The starboard undercarriage collapsed at Paraparaumu during a downwind aborted take off training exercise on 06-11-1970 and it was withdrawn and cancelled from the NZ register on 15-02-1971.
 Below we see the wings and tail surfaces about to be trucked away from Paraparaumu on 26-02-1971 to Airland for spare parts.
 
 
The gutted fuselage remained at Paraparaumu and was seen on 08-04-1971
 
The cockpit section was then utilised at Wellington Airport as part of the crash fire training kit and was attached to a tubular steel fuselage mock up, as seen below on 08-1-1973.

1 comment:

  1. Great to find some pictures of this Dakota cheers.
    My Grandfather Sqn/Ldr James Murray delivered her to NZ from Singapore in 1950.
    July 17 1950 Seletar-Changi .20hrs
    July 20 1950 Air Test 1.30hrs
    July 24 1950 Changi-Butterworth 2.15 hrs
    July 24 1950 Search for crashed Tempest 3.00hrs
    July 24 Butterworth Kuala Lumpur, engine failure.1.20 hrs.
    Nov 26 1950 Changi-Sourabaya 7.05hrs
    Nov 26 Sourabaya-Darwin 4.05hrs
    Nov 27 Darwin-Cloncurry 5.25hrs
    Nov 28 Cloncurry-Brisbane 4.50hrs
    Nov 30 Brisbane-Whenuapai (Direct) 7.55hrs
    Dec 4 1950 Whenuapai-P.P(Paraparaumu?) 2.20hrs.
    Hope this is of interest.

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