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© France DC3
© France DC3

The first flight of the DC3 took place on 17 December 1935. It went into service with American Airlines on 25 June 1936. Successor to the DC2, this aircraft revolutionised air transport. It was one generation ahead of its time and is still in service today as a commercial transport aircraft in some countries of the world, such as Bolivia and Canada. 
This aircraft was so exceptional that the US Army made a military transport version of it at the beginning of the Second World War: the C-47, nicknamed Dakota by the British. More than 10,000 were built in the USA, plus 300 in Japan which had acquired the licence and between 3,000 and 5,000 in the USSR. 
It took part in all the battles on all the allied fronts as a cargo plane, paratroopers transport, glider tug, medical evacuation plane, passenger transport plane etc. 
After the war, many examples were sent to all the armies of the world and others, even more numerous, were transformed into civilian DC3 and equipped all the airlines of the world and were the major tool of the re-start of air transport. 
Several hundred have flown in France, both military and civilian, Air France owned 76 of them, the last of which was operated until 1969. 
More than 150 still fly as private or collector aircraft, in the United States around 100 and about 15 in Europe and a few others in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa… 

The F-AZTE began its career in the US Army. It took part in the Normandy landings, and also in the Provence landings, as well as in the “Market Garden” operation!
It flew for several private owners, was requisitioned for the Berlin Airlift, then used for ten years by the French Air Force. The aircraft was donated to the Central African Republic in 1974.
It became the personal aircraft of Emperor Jean Bedel Bokassa and was registered TL- JBB, after his initials. It was then used for other purposes and by other owners, before being abandoned at Caen airport.
The France DC3 association was created in 1991 and with the support of the airline Air Inter restored it to flying condition.

Operator: France DC-3
Pilot: Gaby Eveque
Manufacturing date: 1943
Serial number: s/n 9172
Livery: Air France