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#2643 Air France (DDA Classic Airlines) - Douglas DC-3 Dakota (PH-PBA)

20080712-252 Air France (DDA Classic Airlines) - Douglas DC-3 Dakota (PH-PBA) Amsterdam Schiphol NL.jpg Thumbnails

Douglas DC-3 Dakota (PH-PBA) from DDA Classic Airlines (also known as Dutch Dakota Association)
in Air France livery flies over Schiphol-Centre, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Holland)

The Douglas Aircraft Company delivered DC-3 PH-PBA on 11 January 1944 to the 8th Air Force based in the United Kingdom. She was assigned factory number 19434. During the Second World War her missions brought her to amongst other places the Netherlands. The aircraft participated for instance in operation Market Garden. In 1946 His Royal Highness Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands buys the aircraft from his good friend
General Eisenhouwer. The aircraft with the military markings 42-100971 is registered in the Dutch aviation register as PH-PBA on 6 January 1946. PH-PBA stands for "PH" being code for the Netherlands, "PBA" short for "Prince Bernhard Alpha". And thus she became the first Dutch government airplane. Up until the introduction of the Fokker F27 in 1961 the DC-3 served as the government transport. There after the Dutch CAA used the DC-3 for calibration flights. PH-PBA was not retired before 1975. At that moment the CAA donated the aircraft to the Aviodome museum at Schiphol Airport. For the first years she maintained her Government colours and was standing outside the museum. In 1983 KLM aids the Aviodome with painting the DC-3 in an old KLM colour scheme with a fake registration and she is put on display inside the museum. For long Prince Bernhard kept a strong will to restore the airplane to flying conditions. Finally after a year of preparation in 1994 and a presentation at the Soestdijk Palace restoration works begin. With help of the Royal Dutch Air Force the airframe was transported to the UK for heavy maintenance. The work continued well into 1998 when the aircraft was presented to the Prince for inspection at Schiphol Airport. In November 1998 the Dutch Dakota Association was granted the right to operate and maintain PH-PBA. KLM is the most important sponsor of the Dutch Dakota Association and adopted DC-3 PH-PBA.
In 2006 she was repainted in a half KLM, half Air France livery. She got her latest colours in the winter of 2010-2011 when she was
baptized "Princess Amalia", after the oldest daughter of King Willem-Alexander, in a classic KLM livery.


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