Corgi Aviation Archive Collector Series AA30007: Douglas DC-3 in the highly attractive livery of South African Airways. Limited edition of only 1,000 pieces, finished in polished metal.
First flown in 1943 from Santa Monica, California, ZS-BXF (c/n 12107) was one of nearly eleven thousand Douglas DC-3s built. South African Airways first put the type into service in 1946 and a total of eight were used all over South Africa until 1970, when SAA became an all-turbine fleet. This DC-3 was originally delivered to the RAF as a military C-47 in November 1943 as FZ572. It was transferred to the South African Air Force in January 1944 and was civilianised for South African Airways and joined SAA in August 1948, named “Klapperkop”. After retirement from SAA in 1970, it reverted to further service with the South African Air Force, before being refurbished for use by the South African Airways Historic Flight.
Designed to meet an American Airlines requirement for an enlarged version of the DC-2, the DC-3 was first flown on December 17th, 1935. Capable of carrying 24 passengers at a cruising speed of 180 mph, the DC-3’s speed and long range revolutionized commercial air travel in the 1930s and 40s, when it carried 90 percent of the world’s air travelers. Early DC-3s used Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines, but Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp Radials were fitted to later versions; these engines had better single engine performance and allowed the DC-3 to fly at higher altitudes.