Douglas DC-3 VH-BAB (ex VH-CAO)

With the acquisition of two new higher-performance Fokker F.27 Friendships in 1959, DCA no longer needed so many DC-3s. Accordingly, VH-CAO was sold to Brain & Brown Air Freighters at Melbourne/Essendon on 10 March 1962 and re-registered out of the 'Departmental block' as VH-BAB. The aircraft was converted to a freighter and operated by Brain & Brown from 1962 to 1974. In October 1974 the aircraft was cancelled from the Register while it underwent a major overhaul, but it was returned as VH-BAB in February the following year.

The photo above shows VH-BAB being loaded at Brain & Brown's Melbourne/Essendon base, probably during the 1970s. The earlier photo below shows the aircraft landing at a wet Essendon Airport.


DCA Flying Unit badge - click here for moreDCA Flying Unit badge - click here for more VH-BAB

VH-BAB was sold to Air Express Holdings in November 1976 and flew until withdrawn in 1979. In July 1979 it was delivered to the Chewing Gum Field museum, Tallebudgera, Qld. When that museum closed it went to Drage's Air World at Wangaratta, Victoria, and when the latter folded it was sold at auction and moved to Mareeba, QLD.

On 17 December 2014 VH-BAB arrived at Caboolture, QLD, by road from Mareeba for restoration to airworthy condition. Coincidentally, this date was the anniversary of the first flight of the DC-3 (DST) in 1935. The aircraft is owned by David Kingshott of Pacific Dakota Restorations.

(Photos: CAHS Collection)

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