Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Catching Up


It's been a while since posting anything about being in Afghanistan, so a little catching up is in order. What does Godzilla have to do with that? Absolutely nothing; I just like the picture, and I'm still fighting jet lag.

Recently seen above the post, something I wouldn't have thought I would see outside a museum:


First noticed this guy when I heard the relatively soft and sedate sound of the engines and propellers, when what we usually have is jets going by all day. Looking up, I noticed an aircraft that looked like it was hardly moving. Looking a little closer at the wings, and then noticing it actually had a tail wheel, I started thinking that it looked familiar, almost like something I'd seen recently.....



It looked a lot like this one I photographed at the National World War Two Museum in New Orleans while on a four-day pass.

Per Wikipedia, the DC-3 was engineered by a team led by chief engineer Arthur E. Raymond and first flew on December 17, 1935. Total production of the DC-3 was 16,079, with more than 400 remained in commercial service in 1998. 10,655 DC-3s were built at Santa Monica, California, Long Beach, California, and Oklahoma City in both civil DC-3 (607) and military C-47 (10,048) versions, with an additional 4,937 built under license in Russia as the Lisunov Li-2. American production stopped in 1945.

A total of 4,937 Li-2 versions between 1940 and 1954, seeing extensive use in Eastern Europe until the 1960s, the last survivors in use in China and Vietnam during the 1980s.

Apparently there's only one Li-2 restored to airworthy condition, so it would seems this would probably be an old American one that's still delivering something into Kabul.

3 comments:

Brigid said...

Not too many of the old birds left. Good to see them flying, no matter what the circumstances.

Stay safe.
B.

MauserMedic said...

Brigid,

it must have been a hell of a rugged airframe to last through all this time. Wish I could see it up close, the places this one must have been......

RobC said...

Here in south africa our airforce still uses them, upgraded to turboprop no less!