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Madagascar Air Force Boneyard: Tragic end of Douglas C-47s, Mig-21s and Antonovs

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER BLOG, you will read and see photos of  yet another Aircraft Boneyard that existed for years in Madagascar.  In one of my previous Blogs, I wrote…

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PBY Catalina, A-26 Invaders, P-51 Mustangs: CIA Rebel Air Force attacking Indonesia, 1958.

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog, you will find the story of an almost forgotten episode in the long and fascinating history of the Civil Air Transport Corp (CAT), in 1959 converted…

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Post-WWII Surplus Harleys, cheap transports for “Willy and the poor Boys”.

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER BLOG, you will read about another lifetime passion of mine: the Harley Davidson Motorcycle. As a prelude, I describe the "íncident" how a Harley rolled into my...
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Florida Mosquito Control DC-3. How WWII Hero C-47s fly ZIKA killer missions in 2016.

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER BLOG, you will read about a WWII Veteran Douglas C-47  that ended its operational career as a Chemical Warfare Machine. Sixty years after the War came…

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Where Patton awarded McAuliffe: the 101st Airborne HQ Chateau in Bastogne revisited.

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In this Dakota Hunter Blog, you will read about an insane plan that the Germans deployed in a final effort to break the imminent Allied invasion of their homeland. This…

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Martin PBM Mariner, accident prone forerunner of the 2016 Oshkosh Star Martin Mars

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog, you will read the story and see the photos of the somewhat forgotten Martin PBM Mariner. A less successful forerunner of that legendary Martin Mars,…

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Hidden Boneyard in Greece with German Ju-52, Stuka, C-47 and Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

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In this Dakota Hunter Blog, you will read about a weird boneyard aka a Museum collection of aircraft to be restored in Tatoi, Greece. Until recently, this unique collection of…

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War on Drugs, fighting the flying Pirates of the Caribbean

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In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog you will find a series of amazing photos of Caribbean Drugs Runner aircraft that were left abandoned, crashed, seized or wrecked. From the earliest start…

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Marianas, that B-29’s fixed aircraft carrier in the Pacific was built 72 years ago.

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  In this DAKOTA HUNTER Blog, you will see photos of the USAAF Boeing B-29 Superfortress Fleet departing from the Marianas Islands for the Bombing of Japan that started on…

About the DC-3

As Douglas introduced in 1933 its novel concept of the DC series, the company had a ground breaking design in hands that would soon conquer the world.
The DC-2 was the twin engine all metal aircraft with state of the art features as retractable landing gear and variable pitch propellers in a streamlined and smooth design, as the world had not seen before.

Read more about the DC-3

An informative & entertaining online magazine about vintage aviation with a focus on the Douglas DC-3, / C-47, Dakota t.

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Dakota Cockpit Seperation Valkenburg I

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Dakota Cockpit Seperation Valkenburg II

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Dakota Cockpit Seperation Valkenburg III

24/01/2015

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Dakota in Dien Bien Phu / Vietnam I

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Dakota in Dien Bien Phu / Vietnam II

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Dakota in Dien Bien Phu / Vietnam III

24/01/2015

Want to see more from the DC-3? View DC-3 pictures

Press

Read the REVIEWS here

“When it comes to fulfilling your own dreams, you simply have to do the job yourself because no one else can ever feel as intensely as you do about those dreams.”

The Dakota Hunter: In Search of the Legendary DC-3 on the Last Frontiers by Hans Wiesman is an amazing retelling of one man’s quest to pursue his dreams and passions. A must read for anyone interested in aviation, travel, history, and of course the DC-3 aka Dakota. From the very start Wiesman’s engaging autobiography takes you to another world not experienced by most. From his childhood in the wilds of post-war Borneo in the early nineteen-fifties to the far reaches of the final frontiers in the new millennium. You follow his quest and passion to find and obtain scarce Dakota wingtips. Traveling around the world he brings to life his experience. With a fantastic sense of humor, true passion for adventure, travel and the world around him you feel as if you are right there with Wiesman. You can feel his elation at seeing a Dakota no matter its condition derelict or still flying his passion comes through. The Dakota Hunter is filled with hundreds of photos documenting the hunt and bringing even more life to the book. He ensures the reader understands the historical and often unstable political situations as he travels to destinations like Bolivia, Colombia, and Madagascar. Throughout the book you learn that for Wiesman his quest for wingtips, is his quest and passion for the Dakota. In whatever state of disrepair, the Dakota is a beautiful airplane with an amazing history that deserves to be respected and honored for its service both during peace time and war. A testament to this is the following excerpt from his trip to Thailand: “As they say, “Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away.” And that is exactly what happened with the derelict Dakotas of the Phuket Reef Squadron. They are gone forever, somewhere in the eerie depths of the Indian Ocean. Probably the best grave they could have wished for. They slipped quietly away into the abyss where no human claim nor quarrel can ever touch them again. I could not have dreamt up a better ending for these brave warriors.” Dreams, passions, history, travel, adventure, and respect for an amazing piece of aviation history come to life in Wiesman’s, The Dakota Hunter: In Search of the Legendary DC-3 on the Last Frontiers. We should all have the same courage to follow our dreams and take the road less traveled. As an aviation enthusiast I was quickly captivated by this page turning read and highly recommend it to anyone and everyone with a passion for aviation, travel, and following your dreams.
− Eileen. M. Owsiany, owner- editor of the Facebook Group Fans of the C-47 Skytrain

"The Dakota Hunter selected by Air Classics as `Book of the Month, August 2015"

For those of us that have been involved in aviation for several decades, it seems that the Douglas DC-3/C-47 Skytrain/Gooney Bird/Dakota series of twin-engine transports is something that has been with us forever. However, take a moment - how long has it been since you have seen an example of this iconic aircraft in the air or parked at your local airport? The sad fact is that time takes its toll and as the historic transport approaches its 80th anniversary (17 December 2015), one group of enthusiasts that tracks such things states that in its 80th year only about 120 Gooney Birds are "turn key" ready to fly at a given moment. A dozen years ago, over a thousand were still flying. America's aircraft that changed the world are fast disappearing.
The Dakota Hunter by Hans Wiesman ($38 and available through the Aviation Book Club ad in this issue) is the saga of one man's quest for the Gooney Bird. The author is of Dutch heritage and grew up in Borneo during the 1950s where, of course, DC-3s were operating on a daily basis - connecting remote outposts in a reliable manner. During this time, the wreckage of WWII still littered the area and the author played in war's residue as he watched the Gooney's distinctive shape wing its way overhead.
The authro's family moved back to The Netherlands where he attended college and went on to establish a corporate career. However, the grip of the DC-3 never left his imagination and, combined with an interest in WWII history, he decided to begin a world-wide quest to track down wrecked, derelict, and flyable DC-3s/C-47s in some of the world's most remote -and hostile- locations. What follows is a daring adventure story as he explores for these survivors and tells of their histories. It is almost like an adventure novel, except it is true and makes for a very exciting story as the author goes "in search of the legendary DC-3 on the last frontiers"
. − DH Air Classics, George Hulett

"Will interest both aviation buffs and travel readers"

I enjoyed Wiesman's even tones; he sounds like a man who is fully capable of rolling with the punches. His factual presentation is never dry, and he never gives the feeling that he's improving on the narrative.
- C. Nelson, Goodreads

"His passion is beyond doubt"

The book finds a fitting conclusion with our man Hans helping to save the DC-3 now on display at the Merville Battery in Normandy. He gets the chance to mix Dakotas with his passion for Harleys and you cannot help but come away with the idea that this is pretty cool. In fact, if I needed to find the briefest of reviews for this book, then “pretty cool” would do it. I suspect the author would be satisfied with that if he ever finds time to slow down. It’s a big if!
− Mark Barnes, War History Online

About

the author

Born in Holland in 1946, he was from start destined to travel the globe: his parents took him at the age of only three months overseas to Curacao and Trinidad. In 1950, the family sailed out again, this time to the East Indies, to the Borneo jungle, where he grew up as a “free Willy” for 7 years in  most adventurous circumstances of a post war

More about Hans Wiesman