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Douglas DC-3 ZS-BXF Klapperkop

"Klapperkop"

Douglas
DC-3
ZS-BXF
c/n 12107
Douglas DC-3 ZS-BXF Klapperkop



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Complementing the two Skymasters is another member of the Douglas Aircraft family; a DC-3 named "Klapperkop".

On 17 December 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the 1903 Wright Flyer became the first powered, heavier-than-air machine to achieve controlled, sustained flight with a pilot aboard. With Orville Wright at the controls, the aeroplane took off from a launching rail and flew for 12 seconds and a distance of 37 meters (120 feet).

Thirty-two years later, to the day, on 17 December 1935, at Santa Monica, California, an aircraft, designed by Arthur Raymond, took to the skies. That aircraft was model number three of the Douglas Commercial Transports. The aircraft construction number was 1494 and registration was X14988. It was later registered NC14988 and saw service with American Airlines and Trans World Airlines and later saw duty with the United States Army Air Force - USAAF - as 42-43619. It crashed during bad weather and was destroyed on 15 October 1942 near Knob Noster/Warrensburg - Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

The venerable DC-3 has enjoyed an illustrious career with numerous South African operators. The South African Air Force was one of the World's largest operators of the DC-3 with over 80 examples. The first delivery to the SAAF having taken place in June 1943. The SAAF "Gooney Birds" took part in the Second World War ferrying troops and supplies and much later did duty in the Angolan war and the Namibian border campaign.

The Douglas DC-3 was one of the first aeroplanes to be put into service with most of the major airlines after World War Two, including South African Airways. After the end of hostilities in the Far East a number of SAAF C-47 "Dakota" aircraft were transferred to SAA to augment the Lockheed Lodestars with which SAA had started post-war services. The Dakotas were soundproofed and fitted out with 21 seats for airline service. The Dakota served with SAA for nearly a quarter of a century, providing reliable service on all the internal and regional sectors. When retired from SAA service the "Daks" were sold to the SAAF.

After her second spell with the South African Air Force ZS-BXF was again purchased by South African Airways and added to the Historic Flight fleet. She was restored to pristine condition and her first post-restoration public outing was to the Vereeniging air show in October 1993.

Klapperkop as she is named, is painted to represent the DC-3s that began service with South African Airways during the 1940's. Her main task nowadays is a leisurely one, taking passengers on low-level nostalgia trips. Specifically safaris throughout Southern Africa to exotic places like the Victoria Falls. Her Sunday flips are extremely popular giving passengers a low-level view of Johannesburg and its environs.

Klapperkop was ferried from O.R. Tambo International Airport to Rand Airport on Friday 10 November 2006. She had been at O.R. Tambo for repairs to damage sustained during a forced landing in a grass field shortly after take-off from Lanseria Airport on 21 November 2003.

As a very warm and comfortable aeroplane, the DC-3 has always been at the forefront in the area of passenger comfort and this is evident when one steps on board “Klapperkop”. Durable, reliable, responsive, dependable – these are the traits that make the DC-3 one of the most respected and loved aircraft the world has ever known.
 

ZS BXF interesting data
Model:
C-47A-1-DK
Built in:
Oklahoma City
USAAF No:
42-92320
Delivered
29-11-1943
RAF No:
FZ 572
Accepted at Nassau
24-12-1943
SAAF No:
6821
To 5 Wing Cairo
31-01-1944
To S.A.A.
16-08-1948 ZS-BXF KLAPPERKOP
To SAAF No. 6888 08-02-1971
44 Squadron
To S.A.A. HISTORIC FLIGHT
ZS-BXF 14-05-1991
First flight after restoration:
16-10-1993

 

 
Technical details for Douglas C47/DC-3 Dakota
 

 

Wingspan
29.11 metres / 95.5 feet
Length
19.43 metres / 63.75 feet
Weight empty
7,650 kgs / 16,865 lbs
Weight loaded
11,431 kgs / 25,200 lbs
Cruise speed
333 kph / 207 mph
Ceiling
7,070 metres / 23,200 feet
Normal range
3,420 km / 2,125 miles
Engines
2 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830 S1C3G air-cooled Radials developing 894 KW / 1200 HP driving 3 blade constant speed Hamilton Standard propellers
Passengers
26
Crew
2 pilots 1 cabin attendant

 

 

 

 
ZS-BXF arrives back at her home base Rand Airport after another successful ten-day charter to Southern Africa’s exotic tourist destinations. Photo Bruce Perkins
 
 
 

Engine specifications
 
Pratt & Whitney
Twin Wasp. model SIC3G (R1830-92) geared 16:9 with one 3.5N damper.
Type:
2-row, radial, air-cooled
Number of cylinders:
14
Bore:
5.5 inches
Stroke:
5.5 inches
Piston displacement:
1830 cubic inches
Compression ratio:
6.70 : 1
Impeller ratio:
7.15 : 1
Impeller diameter:
11 inches
Crankshaft rotation:
Clockwise
Propeller rotation:
Clockwise
Propeller reduction gear ratio:
0.5625 : 1
Propeller shaft spline size:
SAE No. 50
Average engine dry weight:
1467 lbs
Carburettor type:
PS-12H4 (-92 engine)
Fuel grade spec:
MIL F-5572A, grade 100/130
Oil grade spec:
MIL L-6082 (Castrol AD120)
Take-off (one minute only)
1200 BHP at 2700 RPM and 48 in.Hg., or 1200 BHP at 2750 RPM and 47 in.Hg.
 

Weights
 

Maximum take off weight
26900 LB
Maximum landing weight
26200 LB
Aircraft empty weight
18838 LB
Dry operating weight (24 seats)
19608 LB
Maximum fuel weight (804 USG)
4824 LB


Fuel (AVGAS)

 
US GALL
IMP GALL
LITRES
Each main tank
202
168
762
Each aux tank
200
167
759
Total fuel
804
670
3044



Propellers
 
Type:              Hamilton Standard; Hub 23E50, Blades 6477A-0
Diameter:        11 foot 6 3/8 inches maximum
11 foot 3 3/8 inches minimum
 
Limitations


Prohibited rpm ranges
BELOW 1700  (TAILPLANE)
 
1850 – 1950    (PROPELLER)
 
2100 – 2300   (CRANKCASE)
Maximum ias
180 KTS
Gear down limit
140 KTS
1/4 flap limit
130 KTS
More flap limit
100 KTS
Turbulence speed
115 KTS
Critical speed Vmca
76 KTS
Engine-out climb V2
84 KTS
Climb best rate
110 KTS
Base leg speed
90 KTS
Finals speed
80 KTS
Threshold speed
75 KTS
Max X-wind
23 KTS (TAKEOFF)
 
18 KTS (LANDING)



 
Photo: John Austin-Williams
Photo: Bruce Perkins

Photo: John Austin-Williams

Photo: John Austin-Williams
Photo: John Austin-Williams
Photo: Bruce Perkins





Douglas DC-3 ZS-BXF celebrated her 65th Birthday on 29 November 2008. Just when she thought it would be nice to park off in front of the Texan Room at the Harvard Cafe and relax for the day her operator had better ideas, in the form of a 30-minute Corporate Sunset Flight for Skynet Worldwide Express. The photographs below depict the aircraft kitted out with the corporate branding of Skynet in the form of decals to the exterior and branded headrest covers on the seats. The passengers boarded from a gate that leads from Harvard Cafe onto the airport apron.

Photos: John Austin-Williams
 

 
 
12107 ZS-BXF_14-04-2012-Zebula Air Show Andre Vermeulen-01
C/N 12107
ZS-BXF Klapperkop
Zebula Air Show
14 April 2012
Photograph: Andre Vermeulen

12107 ZS-BXF_14-04-2012-Zebula Air Show Andre Vermeulen-02
C/N 12107
ZS-BXF Klapperkop
Zebula Air Show
14 April 2012
Photograph: Andre Vermeulen

12107 ZS-BXF_14-04-2012-Zebula Air Show Andre Vermeulen-03
C/N 12107
ZS-BXF Klapperkop
Zebula Air Show
14 April 2012
Photograph: Andre Vermeulen

12107 ZS-BXF_14-04-2012-Zebula Air Show Andre Vermeulen-04
C/N 12107
ZS-BXF Klapperkop
Zebula Air Show
14 April 2012
Photograph: Andre Vermeulen
 
 

 

 
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