The Aircraft

Douglas C-53D-DO Dakota (LN-WND)

• Aircraft Type: Douglas C-53D-DO Dakota
• Operator: Foundation Dakota Norway
• Year of Manufacture: 1942
• Powered by: X2 Pratt & Whitney 1830-92’s
• Colour Scheme: Norwegian No.20 Transport Squadron.

The aircraft was built with serial number 11750 by Douglas Aircraft Corporation, Santa Monica, California, USA in 1942. The airframe is a C-53D-DO, in contrast to the C-47 it has not got the cargo door and reinforced floors in the loading area. A total of 16,079 Dakotas were built in different variations, while only 159 of the C-53D-DO’s were built. DO designation means that the tail was reinforced so that the aeroplane could tow gliders. This Dakota was delivered to the U.S 8th Air Force in England on the 8th October 1943. The foundation does not know the exact history of the aircraft but she participated in the 8th Air Force operations from October 1943 until 1945. The aircraft was acquired by the Finnish authorities in 1948 and operated by Finnair until 1969. From 1969 to 1985 the aircraft was operated by the Finnish Air Force and was used as a VIP aircraft for President Urho Kekkonen.

Images:  Grzegorz Kozak