A few years ago, in an effort instigated by Paul Little’s Melbourne Aviation Precinct (MAP) and the R.M. Ansett Historical Aircraft Society, an extensive restoration program was launched to restore an iconic Douglas DC-3 aircraft its former glory.
This aircraft, with a long and eventful history, is called Kanana. Built in 1938 in California, Kanana spent many active years flying and served many purposes – but it was never expected to still be taking to the sky nearly 80 years later.
Nonetheless, with its engines sparking to life and propellers slowly turning, Kanana seemed to come back to life on a Melbourne Airport runway on 22 August 2017. With a loud hum, the Douglas DC-3 began to slowly crawl along the ground – gearing up to soar for the first time in 9 years.
It was only a matter of moments before the twin-engine metal monoplane raced down the runway and took to the sky in front of a small and astounded crowd – an impressive achievement for a 79-year-old aircraft.
But Kanana didn’t accomplish this on its own. A tremendous effort was required over many years to make this flight possible.
Now meeting modern aviation standards, it’s expected that the Douglas DC-3 will be used for private and charity events and air shows.
It seems that the ambitious goal of returning Kanana to its former glory has now been achieved – with flying colours.