Up and away? Plane gets her wings

BELINDA FEEK
Last updated 15:01 08/02/2013
plane
Peter Drury/Fairfax

UP AND AWAY?: Brian Frailer, left of Johnson’s House Removal and Jordan Morrison of Aviation Painting Services, lift a wing of the historic DC3 into place.

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One of the Waikato's rarest planes is slowly transforming back to her original DC3 glory, after restorers re-attached her wings.

The 67-year-old Douglas C-47B Dakota ZK-AZL, which once belonged to the late top dressing pioneer Ossie James, has been undergoing repairs for about a year.

The plane, which was the first DC3 aircraft used for aerial top-dressing in New Zealand, had sat at Mystery Creek since 1974 after being donated by Mr James.

The restoration is being co-ordinated by the the Ossie James DC3 Conservation Trust, which had ordered parts from all around the world.

Trust member Andy Higgins said the plane had since been fully repainted and the final wing was re-installed on Friday.

The next part of the restoration - installing a cockpit - is expected to be long and arduous.

Mr Higgins doesn't expect complete restoration to be finished until roughly December next year.

''The plan is to keep working on it and bring it up to an educational standard with a complete cockpit.''

Once finished, it would be ideal for not only children but adults interested in aviation.

The DC3 Trust is funded by donations.

Visit: dc3trust.co.nz

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- Waikato

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