Historic Dakota Over Morecambe

Historic BBMF Dakota over Morecambe

Photographed over Morecambe in its first air show appearance since being granted Public Displays Authority the BBMF Dakota was taking part in the Morecambe Carnival 2015.

The Dakota was a military version of the DC-3 airliner, which first flew in 1935 modified with more powerful engines, the replacement of airline seating with utility seats along the walls, a stronger load-bearing floor and the addition of large loading doors. Designated C-47 ‘Skytrain’ in the United States, the first aircraft where delivered to the USAAF in October 1941 and a remarkable 10,692 DC-3/C-47 had been built by the time production ended.

This particular aircraft a Douglas C-47 Dakota Mk IV, ZA947 is painted to represent Dakota FZ692,  which was flown by 233 squadron RAF during D-Day, in September 1944, FZ692 was transferred to No 437 Squadron RCAF. It survived the war and is still flying in Canada, with Environment Canada, wearing the civilian registration C-GRSB.

ZA947, was built in February 1942 and issued to the USAAF and was then transferred to the RCAF in September 1942 being declared surplus to requirements in 1971 she was purchased by the MOD for use at RAE Farnborough, it was allocated the serial KG661 and used for a variety of tasks having found that KG661 had been used before she was allocated a new serial ZA947 The aircraft was transferred to the BBMF in 1993.

The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) was formed on July 11th 1957 and today its fleet of six Spitfires and two Hurricanes have been joined by the RAFs World War 2 Lancaster bomber and two Dakotas and is supported by a post war Chipmunk tail wheel trainers and is seen by the RAF as a “living and breathing tribute” to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

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