AVIODROME 2016
~Douglas C-47A PH-DDZ on barge transport~

Copyright Ruud Leeuw Photos © R.Leeuw

Recently the Aviodrome/Libéma Group bought C-47A (military variant of the Douglas DC-3) from the Dutch Dakota Association / DDA Airlines. PH-DDZ has not flown for a number of years and will be restored to flying condition in Lelystad where the Aviodrome is located.
It will take time and effort to restore this vintage airliner, so a flight from Schiphol to Lelystad was out of the question. Hence propliner fans and people passing by gathered for this unique transport by barge, passing through Amsterdam and over the IJselmeer on 27Sep2016, to arrive a day later in Lelystad.
I hope you will enjoy my pictorial report of the start of this admirable journey!

 

PH-DDZ has been stored for a number of years, as the DDA could not raise enough funding to operate it next to its DC-3 PH-PDA
Today the day has come that PH-DDZ will make the journey to its new home with the Aviodrome at Lelystad airport (EHLE)
PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Martin's Air Charter was the name that started Martinair; these days the operator is part AirFrance-KLM and operates freight only.

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
The DDA sticker is still in place.
In 2005 I had the pleasure of a scenic flight with DDA in PH-DDZ: www.ruudleeuw.com/dda-jul05.htm

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
The transport has a little trouble with its length; see how it bends over the road accessing the dyke (Schiphol is below sea level)


 

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
"Doornroosje' can still draw a crowd!

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
The wings are loaded first on the barge

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Moving into position


 

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Both me and my colleague Bonnie had cut our sleep from the nightshift short to be here. We both have our roots with
Martinair; for her the ties are even stronger as she, her sister as well as her father all have flown professionally with Martinair.

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Straps are attached for lifting

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

In June 2012 PH-DDZ became grounded due to an engine failure; the costs for repair or replacement were prohibitive for the DDA and PH-DDZ remained grounded over the years.
With little to fall back on, the DDA received another blow when KLM announced in 2014 they would stop sponsoring the DDA's DC-3 in vintage KLM colours, PH-PBA, and expected to see DDA's two DC-3 move out of the KLM hangar #10 at Schiphol.
The KLM had sponsored the DDA in many ways for 33 years.
The coöperation / merger with the Aviodrome at Lelystad, which brought a move from Amsterdam's Schiphol IAP to Lelystad, had collapsed when KLM gave up on it; after each had gone their seperate ways (and DDA moved back to SPL) the Aviodrome went into bankruptcy proceedings during 2011 (in 2012 the Dutch Libéma Groep acquired the Aviodrome museum).
So in 2014 DDA realized that investing in repairs for PH-DDZ and support both their airworthiness them would be too much for the small enterprise, (almost?) entirely run by volunteers.

My morningpaper on 22Apr16 brought some good news (DDA's Chairman Feije Jaski was quoted and seems to confirm some of the rumours that had been going around).
The DDA was reported as actively engaged in investigating the possible merger with another aviation preservation group, the Dutch Catalina Group (PH-PBY) at Lelystad. It would facilitate another move to Lelystad.
KLM had approved the clearing out of Hangar 10 to be delayed from July 1st this year to October 1st.
DC-3 PH-DDZ will be sold.
Some of the unconfirmed rumors remained persistent: parties interested in buying PH-DDZ originate in the US, but the Libéma Group has also been mentioned. 'DDZ was in need to have both engines replaced, to get it back in the air.

Good to see this propliner has found a new owner, has 2 'zero-timed' engines waiting in Lelystad and we may hope to see PH-DDZ fly again!


 

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
The crew is removing all tie-dowm material; we are nearing the actual lifting on the barge!

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Lift off !

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
A little push

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Hovering over the barge; things seem to go smooth..?


 

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Some 6.000 kgs dangling in the air here..

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Things get a little tense as the smaller lifter cannot reach far enough out to get the tail properly on the barge

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
A second attempt is in the works and the tail is being connected to the lifter again, Erling Brom, Aviodrome volunteer, taking the honours.

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Aiming to get the tailwheel exactly in the middle of the barge; the width is essential for a proper thoroughfare in the canals

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
There is still a problem getting the tailwheel to the center of the barge

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
The tugboat brings the barge a bit tighter to the shore and this quickly solves the problem.

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Raymond Oostergo, Aviodrome's project manager, talks to the press.
Raymond was part of the crew who accomplished a similar feat with Boeing 747 a few years ago; no wonder he is 'cool & collected' here!

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Meanwhile 'DDZ is firmly in place and tying it down to the barge is in process

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
Cast off!


 

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
On its way, through the Ringvaart (a ring canal dug for drainage of reclaimed land of which Schiphol is a part) and heading for Amsterdam

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
In June 2012 PH-DDZ was grounded due to an engine failure; the costs of replacement were probitive for the DDA and PH-DDZ
remained grounded over the years. Its future looked grim! With little to fall back on, the DDA received another blow when KLM
announced in 2014 they would stop sponsoring the DDA's DC-3 in vintage KLM colours, PH-PBA, and expected to see DDA's
two DC-3 move out of the KLM hangar #10 at Schiphol, by 01Oct2016.
The KLM had sponsored the DDA in many ways for 33 years.
Hopefully PH-DDZ's sale will safeguard DDA's operation through the lean years.

PH-DDZ transport Schiphol to Lelystad
The first of many bridges open for PH-DDZ. Still quite a long way to go before the vintage propliner arrives at Lelystad.
But it is off on an excellent start!


 

This C-47A 'Skytrain' was delivered to the USAAF as 45-15288 (cn19754) in March 1944; but its log went missing and the rest of its WWII history is lost.
In 1961 it was declared surplus with the USAF and stored in the desert of Arizona with the MASDC (later AMARC) near Tucson.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) used it for a while as N161 afterwards. But in 1964 it was bought by Somali Arlines and this started a career in East-Africa and the Middle East, which would last some 20 years ! It carried Somalian tailnumbers 6OS-AAA, later 6O-AAA.
In 1980 it entered the US Register again as N920 for ATC Inc (Reno,NV). But the aircraft never got there, it got as far as Malta. After some maintenance there, it went back to Egypt for Pyramid Airlines in Cairo (1982). This time it carried the tailnumber SU-BFY and named "Khephren". In 1985 it went back to Malta Int'l Aviation Company (MIACO).

The DDA was looking at that time for a DC-3, to buy it and store it for future restoration (2010, 75th jubilee of the DC-3). On Feb.13th 1987 the deal was made and PH-DDZ entered the Dutch Aviation Register. It arrived at Schiphol on May 10th 1987. Later that year "Sleeping Beauty", as she was now nicknamed, was prepared for longtime storage.
But the tragic events around PH-DDA hastened the restoration of PH-DDZ and this was started in 1990.
It was shown on the 12,5 years jubilee of the DDA on Sep.10th 1994 and she was rolled out in the original Martin's Air Charter (founded in 1958 and presently known as Martinair) colors. But it wasn't until August 01st 1999 that it flew passengers again, with a restoration much complicated by the new rules (Nota Historische Luchtvaart) of the Dutch CAA following the crash of PH-DDA.

See also www.ruudleeuw.com/dda.htm 
Martinair is featured in my 'Changed Airline Liveries' gallery www.ruudleeuw.com/xcs-martinair.htm

01OCT2016

I visited the Aviodrome on this day for the '100 year anniversary of NV Luchthaven Schiphol / Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: 1916 - 2016'. I was invited to come along for this celebration for retired staff NVLS / AAS and engaged in some pleasant conversation, but also walked around on a glorious sunny day and took a few snaps.
Of course I first started with DC-3 PH-DDZ, see how it had settled in.

Aviodrome 2016
DC-2 'Uiver' and MAC's DC-3 PH-DDZ

Aviodrome 2016

Aviodrome 2016
Noorduyn Norseman

In april 2017 someone emailed me for details of that F.27 fuselage stored behind the Norseman. I made inquiries and
was subsequently provided with a text in Dutch. I hope this translation is of use: Fokker 'F-1' (c/n 10101): "short length fuselage 22,30 m, cabin 28 pax; Dart 6 Mk-507 engs & props (3,0 m diameter). Reg'd PH-NIV, blue/white colourscheme. Acft was found tailheavy, so it was extended. It was equipped w/ double slotted flaps, but found to be very little effective. Experiments were done with a flap moving accoring to the stabilizer, but again of little effective. Replaced by single flaps
on the F.27 production tyes. PH-NIV flew from march 1956 until 1958 fitted with a Dart Mk-511 engine and from 1958 - june 1961 with a Dart Mk-528 engine. After 08Juni1961 it was stored, parts were later 'shared' with TU Delft. The Aviodrome has the fuselage part and centersection of c/n 10101.

Aviodrome 2016

Aviodrome 2016
The Fouga Magister seems to undergo maintenance too.

Aviodrome 2016

Aviodrome 2016
In recent years, since the take over by the Libèma Groep, much has been added to entertain the youngest of visitors.

Aviodrome 2016

Aviodrome 2016

Aviodrome 2016

Aviodrome 2016
Martinair was founded in 1958, as Martin's Air Charter (MAC) by Martin Schröder. In 2011 Martinair ceased its passenger operations and continued as a cargo airline (by phasing out its last MD-11F's in 2016, continued with only
4 Boeing 747s - only one in Martinair livery and 3 in KLM Cargo livery. A place in a museum seems justified.

Aviodrome 2016

Aviodrome 2016

Aviodrome 2016
The Lockheed Constellation, from Queen of the Sky to Hangar Queen; but preservation offers hope for better days.

Eduard Douwes Dekker

Our guest of honour: Eduard 'Eddy' Douwes Dekker.
Ada had worked as a secretary during most of the 1980s, until his retirement. He flew propliners (DC-4, DC-6) and early jets, like the Fokker S-14 here preserved at the Aviodrome.
From the Nederlands Lucht- en Ruimtevaartcentrum (NLR, Netherlands Aerospace Center) he went to work for NV Luchthaven Schiphol (NVLS). Ada worked for him when he was Director Onderzoek & Ontwikkeling (Research & Development) which later changed to Luchthaven Technology & Industrial Engineering (LTI).
After his retirement Eddy and his wife went to live in Florida and later in France (his wife's country of birthwife).
Ada kept in close communication by fax for developments at Schiphol and reunions. We visited them in Florida and often met when they came over to the Netherlands (often by Martinair flights from/to Tampa or Orlando).
To live closer to their grandchild during their advanced age they returned to Badhoevedorp, also a mere a stone throw away from Schiphol. And to this day, close to his 93rd birthday, his mind is keen and always asks me how Martinair and KLM is doing.
When we passed along the landing lights of runway 27 at Schiphol ('Buitenveldertbaan'), driving home, Eddy remarked how they tested those runway lights for use and purchase at Schiphol with a Lufthansa-leased DC-6, flying approaches at Köln (or Dusseldorf, it is my memory that failes me here! -Webmaster).
A man much admired for his mind and his kind soft-spokenness.

Eddy is a direct descendant of Eduard Douwes Dekker (b.02Mar1820 d.19Feb1887), better known by his pen name Multatuli ; he was a Dutch writer famous for his satirical novel 'Max Havelaar' (1860), which denounced the abuses of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies (today's Indonesia). See WIKIPEDIA

 

 


LINKS
My visits to the Aviodrome

AVIODROME.COM


 

 

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