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Thread: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

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    Default RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    Gents
    RAF operated a certain number of Dakotas in VIP transport roles during the war. Serial numbers suggest typical C-47As and Bs.
    The questions are:
    - what were differences between RAF Dakotas and contemporary USAAF ones, if any;
    - were there any modifications to passenger cabin, normal seats instead of jump seats, toilet, etc?
    TIA
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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    Mountbatten had one as his personal (VIP) aircraft in India, KN372 from memory, very swished up. Later came to NZ (when RAF no longer wanted it), via RNZAF's 41 Sqdn from Singapore, served with our Civil Aviation people as ZK-AXS till early 1970s when written off in landing accident at Paraparaumu. I have seen a description of the interior modifications, pretty much what you would expect, obviously had been retained on departure of Mountbatten who went on to greater things, had big comfy chairs, tables, full cabin lining (and probably sound proofing), etc., also provision for eating and drinks, probably executed in India, but maybe not.
    David D

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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    Ah, this must have been a pretty special aircraft! I guess there were few such flying cabinets. Nonetheless I am thinking of aircraft in more regular service, and not personal ones. I cannot think of Generals making long trips on jump seats.
    Thanks!
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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    There would have been quite a few VIP fit Dakotas (possibly 6-10 ?) + a couple of VVIP Daks which would be the plush a/c for the Top Brass/Royals etc.

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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    I agree, I think that there should be few VVIP aircraft like the Mountbatten's one, with all the luxuries fitted. Then there should be a number of aircraft, more than a dozen, no doubt, used for passenger duties, and used for transport of high ranked military personnel, politicians or diplomats, sometimes traveling with their families. I cannot imagine a such people making long trips on a jump seats and with Elsan in the corner. I do not think of any luxuries, just normal seats, separate toilet and perhaps a cupboard for drinks and sandwiches. The problem is, that the photos usually show passengers outside of the aircraft, and not inside.
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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    Not very much on interiors, but this link to the archive of the Danish National Museum's photo archive
    https://samlinger.natmus.dk/assetbro...gomery,kastrup

    gives a number of photos from Field Marshal Montgomery's visit to Copenhagen on 12 May 1945 in 43-48804. On a few of them a glimpse of sone on the interior can be seen, but it's not much I am afraid.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    Thanks, very nice photos.
    I shall try RAF Museum, they have a VVIP Dakota, so perhaps they have some information.
    It is quite ironic, the most popular transport aircraft, and no information on arrangement of aircraft carrying so important people. :)
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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    Just out of interest....

    Dakota KN632 was used for the film The Night My Number Came Up (1955),it was actually quite an enjoyable film with a well known cast and with some good quality footage inside a VIP fitted Dak,I of course cannot say whether it is identical to the wartime VIP a/c - but there might have been variations between a/c anyway.
    Other than the usual dodgy external flight scenes,the rest of the film was pretty good.

    Official Trailer...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k90Z9wenGvc

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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    Very nice, many thanks! I wonder if this Dak was converted for personal use, or was it a more less standard passenger aircraft.
    Unfortunately, there is no information, which aircraft were converted to luxurious VVIP standard or ordinary VIP/passenger status. Unfortunately, aircraft interiors were dark, and photographers usually took photos outside.
    Here I have found a set of photos of a rather luxurious Dakota. Not sure of the serial.
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203737
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203739
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203740
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203741
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203742
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203743
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203744
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203745
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C203746
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    Default Re: RAF VIP Dakotas - technicalities

    Franek,
    The only Dakota I ever flew in was one used in the making of the film “A Bridge Too Far” based at Deelen! I have to admit I have some difficulty in connecting the words “Dakota” and “luxury”!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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