In 1932, Douglas Aircraft Company Inc. started the development of a twelve-seat, two-engined, all-metal mono-plane with retractable
landing-gear. The prototype of this first Douglas Commercial, the DC-1 flew first on 1 July 1933 and was delivered to Transcontinental
& Western Air. However just only one DC-1 was built, this aircraft became the start of a succesfull series of airliners.
TWA ordered twenty production aircraft, which were designated DC-2. The Douglas DC-2 had a larger engine and seated 14 passengers. The plane made
its maiden flight on 11 May 1934 and entered service with TWA on 18 May 1934. Due to its performance in airliner service a growing number of
orders were placed by airlines all over the world, including by K.L.M. Due to the succes of the DC-2, Douglas developed and built what
many consider to be one of the greatest planes ever: the DC-3. The prototype Douglas DC-3 flew first on 17 December 1935, and this transport
aircraft was built in larger numbers than any before or since. In its initial form, the Douglas DC-3 was powered by 1.000 hp Wright R-1820-G2
Cyclones and accomodated twenty-one passengers. In 1936, the DC-3 was joined in production by the DC-3A with two 1.050 hp Pratt and Whitney
R-1830-SC-G Twin Wasps, and maximum accomodation in this model being increased over the years to twenty-eight passengers. The DC-3B entered
production in 1937. This version was similar to the DC-3A apart from 1,100 hp Wright GR-1820-G102A engines. The bulk of the aircraft producted
became the Douglas C-47, a military transport version of the commercial DC-3 airliner. A 7500-lb. cargo load or twenty-eight troops may be accomodated.
With the breakout of WW II, a fast growing number of the C-47 and its variants were ordered. The C-47 entered service service with the U.S.A.A.F. in 1941
and became the world's most widely-used general-purpose military transport aircraft. When production termintated, 10,926 C-47s and its variants having
been built in the U.S.A. Licence manufacture also having been undertaken in Japan and the U.S.S.R. The Russian licensed copies of the DC-3 were built near
Moscow and in Tashkent and designated Lisunov Li-2 (4,937 built). Licensed copies of the DC-3 built in Japan were designated Showa L2D (487 built).
The Douglas DC-3 / C-47 and their variants were known under more than two dozen nicknames; wellknown nicknames were Skytrain, Gooney Bird, Dakota and Dak.
After the war ended, large numbers of C-47s and its variant entered the civil market, a number of these C-47s were remanufactured and known as Douglas DC-3C.
In 1943, Douglas C-47A-70-DL s/n 19109 was built by Douglas at Long Beach, California, USA. In 1943, the Douglas C-47A Skytrain was taken on
strength/charge with the United States Army Air Force as '42-100646'. In service with the USAAF, Douglas C-47A '42-100646' was assigned to the
47th TCS (Troop Carriier Squadron); part of the 31th TCG (Troop Carrier Group); part of the 9th Air Force and stationed at Folkingham in
Lincolnshire, UK. Douglas C-47A '42-100646''N3-E' was one of the aircraft used on D-Day, transporting paratroopers of the 2nd Battalion,
506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the United States Army, during Operation Neptune, on 6 June 1944. During this operation, the position
and the corresponding number #54 was written in chalk on the aircraft. After being withdrawn from military service, Douglas C-47A '42-100646'
was stored at Oberpfaffenhofen.
Aero Oy had operated during the War Years as a Civil Squadron under the Finnish Air Force. After WW II, Aero’s entire fleet was worn out.
The State of Finland bought eight military Douglas C-47's from the U.S. Army Depot, to be transformed into airliners. Among these
airframes was Douglas C-47A '42-100646', that was bought by the State of Finland on 12 June 1946, and on 24 June 1946 flown to Amsterdam
- Schiphol. On 26 October 1946, the aircraft was transferred to Aero Oy and in 1946-1947, the airframe was converted at the Fokker plant
at Amsterdam Airport into a DC-3C-S1C3G and on 30 April 1947 registered in Finland as OH-LCB. In October 1947, Douglas DC-3C OH-LCB was named
'Kuikka'. That same year, Aero Oy started using the name Finnish Air Lines on its fleet livery; and in 1953, the airline began branding itself
as Finnair. In August 1962, the OH-LCB was fitted with a large loading door to be used as a cargo plane. On 24 June 1963, Douglas DC-3C
OH-LCB was withdrawn from service with Finnair and on 1 July 1963 sold to the Finnish Air Force / Ilmavoimat. The Douglas DC-3C served in the
Finnish Air Force as DO-7 with Kuljetuslentolaivue - KuljLLv (Transport Squadron) at Utti. In September 1976, Douglas DC-3C DO-7 was used in
the film "A Bridge Too Far" as a C-47 Skytrain painted as USAAF '711212'+ I-D3; later F-D8. In 1981, Douglas DC-3C DO-7 was withdrawn from use
with the Finnish Air Force; stored at Utti and offered for sale. In August 1983, Douglas DC-3C DO-7 was sold via Karair to the Dutch Dakota
Association. On 29 September 1983, the aircraft was flown from Utti to Helsinki for maintenance by Karair. On 10 April 1984, the Douglas DC-3C
was registered PH-DDA in the Netherlands with Dutch Dakota Association. On 13 April 1984, the PH-DDA was flown first after it's major overhaul
at Helsinki. On 17 April, the PH-DDA left Helsinki on it's way to Amsterdam where the plane after a nightstop at Bremen arrived on 18 April 1984.
Two years after the foundation of the Stichtinfg Dutch Dakota Association with the aim of getting a flying Dakota back in the Netherlands, the
goal was reached. Douglas DC-3C PH-DDA took residence at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. Unfortunately, the PH-DDA ended dramatically: on 25 September
1996, Douglas DC-3C PH-DDA crashed into the sea near Texel and all on board perished. There were 32 fatalities. The domestic non scheduled passenger flight
departed Texel Airport for a return trip to Amsterdam. While en route, engine problems were reported before the aircraft ended in the Waddenzee at 8
km N off Den Oever. On 8 October 1996, registration PH-DDA was cancelled as written off. In March 2007, it was decided that registration PH-DDA never
will be released again.
In May 1984, Douglas DC-3C PH-DDA of the DDA - Dutch Dakota Association was seen at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with large 'HEWLET PACKARD' and 'FINNAIR'
titles as a tribute to these sponsors. This were the colors wherin the Dakota was delivered at Amsterdam Airport on 18 April 1984.