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Air France (Dakota et Compagnie) Douglas C-47A Skytrain (DC-3)

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Codename: RuiSantos
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Published on: Sep 29, 2011 Category: Airline Videos,   Website: http://www.aviation-videos.webs.com

F-AZTE/F-BBBE (cn 9172) 65th anniversary of the Paris-Lisbon route operated by Air France. This is my 3500th video on Youtube and i wanted to be special so... "The story on the F-AZTE begins on March 5, 1943, when C-47A with c/n 9172 rolls of the production lines at Long Beach, California, with United States Army Air Force serial 42-23310. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, towing a glider, she crossed the English Channel towards France. In the glider are paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division that would land around Sainte Mère-Église. During this mission she was hit by German fire (the impacts are still visible today). Throughout the Battle of Normandy, she provides numerous logistic flights from improvised airstrips and returned to the United Kingdom with wounded troops. In late July 1944, she joined the Allied Forces North of Rome via Gibraltar, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Sardinia. On 15 August 1944, she supports the allied landing in the Provence. Again she is trailing a glider that lands near Draguignan. The following day she re-supplies the airborne troops behind the enemy lines when she makes parachute droppings of arms and ammunition. Back in Britain she is deployed in Operation Market Garden on September 17, 1944, where she droppes elements of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division. The next day she brings in a glider and on September 20, she performs airdrops to supply the troops on the ground. After the War she was sold to Scottish Airlines specialized in the conversion of C-47s to civilian DC-3's. She gets classified as public transport with the registration G-AGZF. Requisitioned by the British government, she carries out more than 50 missions during the Berlin airlift to the besieged people by the Soviet blockade of Berli. In the late 40s, she was chartered by the Royal Air Force for transporting troops to the Middle East. On October 15, 1952 she was bought by the French Air Force (AdlA) and was used to transport passengers. Becuase of her interior she was often assigned to VIP units. She serves the AdlA until 1972 and in 1974 she was donated to the Central African Republic. She will become the personal plane of the "Emperor" Jean Bedel Bokassa and will be registered TL-JBB. After removal of Bokassa, the aircraft joined the Inter-RCA and serves the domestic network of Central Africa, with registration TL-AAX. Back in France in the early 80s, she was bought by Transvalair in 1983, registered F-GDPP and transports freight every night between Paris Charles De Gaulle and Brussels for four years. In 1989 she was saved from being demolished on the ground and bought by her present owner Dakota et Compagnie." In Touchdown Aviation

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Air France Dakota et Compagnie Douglas C-47A Skytrain DC-3 F-AZTE/F-BBBE cn 9172

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