During the golden age of aviation, world war II, and the post-war years, there is probably no other airplane that made such an impact as the DC-3. It wasn’t only a revolution in commercial aviation, but it’s military variant played a crucial role in the Second World War. Even after the war it had its share in important events around the world. The Berlin airlift being only one of them. It was the type that made commercial aviation profitable and an icon of its time.
Being so popular means there are still a lot of them flying around. Some are even used commercially after all these years. One of the better looking DC-3 is certainly the one we photographed at Oulu last summer. A plane in bare metal is always cool, and when applied to a DC-3 it makes for a very nice result. This one is actually a C-53, the military variant, and was used by America in the Second World War.
After the war the plane was sold to Finnair where it was used till 1967, after which it was sold again. After a military and civil career the plane started its second military life with the Finnish air force. This military career lasted till 1985 when the Finnish Air Force retired its DC-3 fleet. Once again the plane was sold and is now flown by Airveteran.
I came to admire this machine which could lift virtually any load strapped to its back and carry it anywhere in any weather, safely and dependably. The C-47 groaned, it protested, it rattled, it leaked oil, it ran hot, it ran cold, it ran rough, it staggered along on hot days and scared you half to death, its wings flexed and twisted in a horrifying manner, it sank back to earth with a great sigh of relief – but it flew and it flew and it flew.
— Len Morgan
The photoflight was the last of a fantastic week in the north. Flying the Skyvan back from Oulu to Malmi we were joined by a Saab Safir, a Hurricane, T-6 and this great looking DC-3. The light was just right when the plane joined up on us and the background couldn’t have been better. We were flying over lakes with just enough green to make the picture interesting. It’s almost impossible to have bad shots from this flight.
Below some more pictures. The third one is made at Oulu airport after a thunderstorm hit the airfield. I kinda like the dark clouds gathering over such a shiny plane. The last two are from Malmi airport where we could photograph the plane in a stunning sunset. The orange sky reflects to beautifully on the plane.
More from this DC-3 can be seen in the related blogposts.