Warbirds News has covered the RAF Transport Command Memorial several times over the past year or so. They are going through the arduous process of returning a Douglas Dakota to flying condition, as well as burrowing through the enormous mountain of red tape required to allow the aircraft to take passengers on pleasure flights. The Transport Command Memorial’s goal is to keep the history and sacrifice of those who served alive and relevant to those living today. They feel that having members of the public see, feel, smell and almost taste this history by flying aboard a living monument to those times is the most effective way of reaching out to the present generation. Warbirds News agrees. The ultimate aim is to have two or three Dakotas in the fleet. However, as with every bold move in the world of vintage aviation, it requires a first step, and a healthy hand of encouragement from loyal supporters to make it happen. This is where our readers come in. We hope some of you feel able to offer a further push to this worthy venture (see the link at the bottom).
Dakotair Ltd. has acquired an ex-RAF Douglas Dakota, serial KG651, and is heavily invested in returning her to flying condition. The biggest hurdle will be in certifying it to carry paying passengers, which is no mean feat in Europe following the maelstrom of post-9/11 regulations. The company’s highly experienced engineers are working hand-in-hand with the British Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and other European agencies to satisfy these requirements. KG651 is in excellent condition, having been an active airframe for much of its life. Other than some minor rectifications and a little TLC, she just needs a pair of zero-timed Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engines to get flying again.
The organization has a positive relationship with the CAA, and expect to have the aircraft certified for passenger flights before too long. Once the post restoration flight occurs, the RAF Transport Command Memorial will file the appropriate paperwork for an Air Operators Certificate. Passenger flights will take place as soon as practical after these approvals are in place. As mentioned in previous articles, depending upon their contribution level, some supporters will qualify to fly aboard KG651 when she makes that first commercial flight. So be sure to check out the RAF Transport Command Memorial supporters page (see bottom) to see how you can be a part of history!
Please help Dakotair return KG651 back to the skies. Click HERE to visit the donation page.
Visit the RAF Transport Command Memorial : www.raftransportcommandmemorial.com