DUBLIN Airport went back in time today as the Douglas DC-3 took to the skies again.
The aircraft was flown by Aer Lingus during the 1940s and 1950s but was back on display again today to promote the Bray Air Show this weekend. As per tradition, the aircraft named after a saint – St Gall in this case – took flight over the capital and Dublin Bay.
— Paul Buckley (@paulbuckl) July 20, 2017
Margaret McLoone from Rush, north Dublin, who was a former Aer Lingus air hostess from 1952-1955, was the passenger of honour. Then known as Margaret Bergin, she flew her first flight on a DC-3 and met her late husband Dinny on board. He was a Second Officer on the flight. Michael Hickey, Chairman of The Irish Historic Flight Foundation, said: “The venerable queen of the skies is in Ireland once again and on behalf of the IHFF I would like to thank the contributions and efforts of everyone who helped make this happen. Particular thanks to Hugh Flynn of ASL Aviation Holdings who was responsible for bringing the aircraft to Ireland and to Aer Lingus for their generous support.”
Stephen Kavanagh, Aer Lingus Chief Executive, said: “This event gives us the opportunity to reflect Ireland’s proud aviation heritage, the tradition of service at Aer Lingus and to remember all those who have contributed to the success story that is Aer Lingus today.” Eamonn Brennan, Chief Executive of the Irish Aviation Authority, added: “We are delighted to see this wonderful aircraft in all its glory. Aviation is a hugely important economic driver for our country and we see these air shows are a great way of raising the profile of our deep aviation heritage and to generate an interest in our industry.”
— IAC (@IAC_Ltd) July 21, 2017
In January 1940, a new airport opened in the Dublin suburb of Collinstown and Aer Lingus moved its operations there. It purchased a new DC-3 and inaugurated new services to Liverpool and an internal service to Shannon. The airline’s services were curtailed during World War II with the sole route being to Liverpool or Barton Aerodrome Manchester depending on the fluctuating security situation. A total of 19 DC-3s were in use by Aer Lingus until 1964, flying from Dublin to UK destinations such as London, Manchester and Birmingham. The aircraft type operated its first Aer Lingus European service to Paris in 1946, with Amsterdam following in 1947.
Compared to previous aircraft the DC-3 was fast, had a good range and could operate from short runways. Its construction was all-metal. It was reliable and easy to maintain and carried passengers in greater comfort. With its limited passenger capacity of 32 passengers the DC-3 was soon made redundant on main routes by more advanced types such as the Vickers Viscount, Douglas DC-6 and Lockheed Constellation, the design continued to prove exceptionally adaptable and useful. Large numbers continue to see service in a wide variety of niche roles well into the 21st century. In 2013 it was estimated that approximately 2,000 DC-3s and military derivatives were still flying, a testament to the durability of the design.
The last time a DC-3 flew in Aer Lingus green was in 1964. Look out for it this weekend at Foynes Air Show and Bray Air Display but meanwhile check out this thrilling video from Aer Lingus on their very own Douglas Commercial 3, the plane which changed aviation.
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