I am not going to start another thread for aeroplanes converted to campervans, and they had to be placed on truck chassis anyhow. This is one of two in Australia.
It was built on a 1940 Chevrolet bus chassis, and was active in the Sydney (NSW) area. it was sold in 2002 to a Mildura (Vic.) buyer, and has since been in various bush-bash charity runs.
020427Sa Mildura (Vic.): DC3 campervan RNS071 at an air show. (Roderick Smith)
What a pearler.
Neat tidy and well constructed (by the looks of it).
Restored in 1995 and by gosh, even that's near enough 20 years ago.
I hope and trust it's still around somewhere.
Something different, interesting, fun to look at and probably ubercool to own too.
(Instant conversation starter, make ya lotssa friends.)
Given current ADR compliance requirements, you probably couldn't even begin to imagine building such a contrivance today.
In the early 1950's, DC3's (and their like) were happily reduced to scrap, literally by the acre.
Thousand of them, surplus to any aviation requirement and of no secondary commercial value.
My point being?
The aviation aficionados of today probably look at the most recognisable bit of a DC3 hull, jammed on top of a truck chassis and weep.
We look and laugh, not knowing what we see.
The DC3, from design, to build and in service versatility was an aviation game changer, the effects of which we are still benefiting from today.
Hang on, truck guy's. . . airplane guys. . .
Is this a familiar sounding line of thinking?
A slight diversion from campervan conversions, into the related aviation hobby: different equipment, the same passions. I could overload a single post with a DC3 history. I think that any aviation enthusiast would rate it as the single most important design in aviation history: prolific, a game changer, now down to preservation operation rather than scheduled route service. In most surveys, I refuse to nominate a top ten of anything: top for what? With the prompt: iconic game changer, I come up with two or three, and a few also rans:
* The Tiger Moth Biplane. Prolific, the classic trainer, preserved in great numbers, joyflights (including ones with aerobatics) still available, annual rallies. Think of those who push modern Macks along highways all week, then take a lovingly-polished 1920s with no synchromesh to rallies at weekends. A lot of 'jet jockeys' maintain grass-roots skills in Tiger Moths.
* The DC3, which morphed rapidly from the DC2. The type was designed to carry an economic payload, free of subsidy. The 1934 Macrobertson centenary air race was designed to popularise international air travel between Australia and UK. It was won by a 'Boys own' racer type, but the second place DC2 was arguably the most important placegetter, and the winner of the publicity stakes. See <
; Countless postwar airlines started with the DC3; the type was active in Australian regional service until the 1970s (I flew in one with Bush Pilots Airways), and several are available for tourist flights today. Think of them as the Bedford SB bus in the aviation world.
* A half counter: the Spitfire. Iconic, prolific, with lots preserved.
* A half counter: The B707. It was not a pioneer, but eclipsed the pioneering DH Comet, and rivals DC8 and Convair Coronado. This popularised international air travel: speed, comfort, and the extra capacity resulted in excursion fares.
* The B747 'Jumbo', second only to the DC3. Iconic, prolific, a game changer, and bringing international travel to the masses. Plonking one into Longreach was a tribute to planning and skill.
Today's photo is a total indulgence before resuming serious posting.
040229 Point Cook (Vic.). 'Biggles' Smith in a Tiger Moth. Now for an invitation into the cab of a 1920s truck for a Hume run.