Air Ceylon



Douglas DC-3 Dakota Nord Aviation N262
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 Four Engine Propeller Aircraft
Air Ceylon Turbojet Aircraft Air Ceylon Home Page

Douglas DC-3 Dakota



No greater accolade for the DC-3 exists than the fact that over six decades after its first flight more than 400 remain in commercial service worldwide. Durability, longevity and profitability are but three of this outstanding aircraft's virtues.

Development of the DC-3 traces back to the earlier one off Douglas Commercial 1 (DC1) and subsequent DC2 which made their first flights in 1933 and 1934 respectively. In 1934 American Airlines requested that Douglas develop a larger more capable version of the DC2 for transcontinental US sleeper flights. The resulting DC-3 (or DST - Douglas Sleeper Transport as it then was) flew for the first time on December 17 1935.

An almost instant sales success, the DC-3 became the mainstay of the US domestic airline network in the years prior to World War 2. Aside from passenger comfort and appeal, the DC-3 offered that most important of virtues, profitability, with the result that over 400 had been sold to airlines prior to late 1941.

The entry of the United States into WW2 in December 1941 had a profound effect on the fortunes of the already successful DC-3. The US Army Air Force's requirements for transport aircraft were admirably met by the in production DC-3, with the result that as the C47 Skytrain it became the standard USAAF transport during the war. More than 10,000 were built for service with US and allied air arms.

After the war many of these aircraft became surplus to requirements and were sold off at bargain prices. The result was that demilitarised C47s became the standard postwar aircraft of almost all the world's airlines and the backbone of the world airline industry well into the 1950s. Its availability and reliability meant it proved extremely popular. Even today hundreds remain in service.

A postwar update of the DC-3, the Super DC-3, involving a stretched airframe and more powerful engines, was commercially unsuccessful. This aircraft first flew in June 1949. A small number were built for the US Navy as the R4D8 and for a US domestic airline, and a few remain in service.


Air Ceylon Aircraft

VP-CAR Douglas C-47B-DK c/n 25475 1947-1967
1951 re-reg. CY-ACF, 1953 re-reg. 4R-ACF
VP-CAS Douglas C-47A-DK c/n 25464 1947-1978 1951 re-reg. CY-ACG, 1953 re-reg. 4R-ACG
VP-CAT Douglas C-47A-DK c/n 11927 1947-1949 w/o 21.12.49 Trichinopoli
VP-CBA Douglas C-47A-DK c/n 13452 1948-1951 1951 re-reg. CY-ACE
4R-ACI Douglas C-47B-DK c/n 33556 1959-1978  

DC-3 plan

DC-3 cutaway

DC-3 cockpit



DC-3 at Male



CR821 (cn 25464) In 1948, the war surplus RAF serial # KG787 was purchased by the Gov. of Ceylon to start Air Ceylon (along with # FL566, # KG798) and received civilian registration CY-ACG before becoming VP-CAS "Viharamaha Devi". She eventually received the new country code 4R-ACG and operated till 1978 when she was transferred to the Sri Lanka Air Force as Air Ceylon became Air Lanka. New route structure was an all jet operation. In SLAF service, she became CR821. After 60+ years of service, she rests!



Nord Aviation N262


Nord 262


The Aérospatiale N 262 was a French twin-prop high-wing airliner built first by Nord Aviation (merged into Aérospatiale in 1970).Originally designed to replace the Douglas DC-3/C-47 Skytrain, the prototype utility transport aircraft was designated by Max Holste and designated the Max Holste MH.250 Super Broussard it first flew on 20 May 1959. The initial design had the aircraft rather square in shape, and fitted Pratt & Whitney Wasp radial engines to the aircraft. The second prototype, known as the MH.260, was equipped with Turbomeca Bastan turboprop engines and eventually took its flight just over a year later on 29 July 1960.

Eventually, wholly state-owned Nord Aviation (later renamed Aérospatiale) took over the further development of the aircraft. The new changes that Nord brought to the aircraft were a rounded, pressurized cabin and the new name Nord 262. The new cabin design enabled the aircraft to carry between 24-26 passengers.

The first prototype since the changes by Nord took to the skies for the first time on 24 December 1962. The aircraft received its certificate on 16 July 1964 and entered its initial commercial service with Air Inter of France.

Four of the first aircraft 262A, 262B, 262C, and 262D were built, the first two fitted with Bastan IVC engines, while the C and D models were fitted with the higher powered Bastan VIIC. Of these four aircraft, the latter two saw their first air time in July 1968. Most sales of the initial aircraft were not in the passenger field, but rather the military field. The 262D was the most popular and known as Frégate to the Armée de I'Air.

As for the American designation, the "Mohawk 298" airplanes were modified Nord 262s and first flew on 7 January 1975, equipped with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-45 turboprops

Air Ceylon Aircraft

4R-ACL Aerospatiale N.262A-22 c/n 29 1967-1969


Nord 262 plan

Nord 262 cockpit


Nord 262

Nord 262



Hawker Siddeley HS 748




Avro designed the 748 in a bid to re-enter the civil market in the 1950s in anticipation of a decline in its military aircraft business (following Britain's famous 1957 Defense White paper).

Surfacing as the Avro 748 in 1958, the project became part of the Hawker Siddeley group when it formed in 1959 with the merger of several British aviation companies, including Armstrong Whitworth, Avro, Blackburn, De Havilland, Folland, Gloster, and Hawker. From July 1 1963 the separate identities disappeared.

The new aircraft made a successful maiden flight on June 24 1960, and four prototype aircraft (two for static testing) were built. The first production Series 1 flew on August 30 1961.

Series 1 production aircraft were powered by two 1400kW (1880ehp) Dart RDa.6 Mk 514 turboprops, and the first entered service in December 1961 with Skyways Airways. Only 20 (+4 in India) Series 1 were built however, as by that time the improved Series 2 was already flying.

The Series 2, in its 2, 2A and 2B variants, was the most successful of the line, the first flying on November 6 1961. The Series 2 differed from the 1 in having higher weights and more powerful engines. The Series 2B appeared in 1977, offering a range of aerodynamic and other improvements, including an increased wing span. Many Series 2A and 2B were equipped with a large forward fuselage freight door.

The most advanced 748 variant, the Super 748, was an improved version of the 2B and made its first flight in July 1984. Incorporating the improvements of the 2B, it also featured a modernised flight deck, improved efficiency and hush kitted Dart engines, and new galley and internal fittings.

Hawker Siddeley, where the 748 was known as the HS-748, was merged into British Aerospace and from January 1 1978 the Hawker Siddeley name disappeared. Production of the aircraft type, now the BAe-748, ended in 1988 with the last flying that December (with delivery the following month).

The Indian Ministry of Defence had expressed an early interest in the 748 which resulted in an agreement to assemble and build the aircraft under licence. The first four aircraft, Series 1, were built by Kanpur (Indian Air Force Manufacturing Depot), with the first flight made on November 1 1961. Due to a poor production rate, the production was taken over from the fifth aircraft by Hindustan as the HAL-748, who first produced the Series 2 and later the Series 2M with the front fuselage freight door. The last one was delivered in September 1984, to the Indian Air Force.

A special military variant with a rear loading ramp and a "kneeling" undercarriage was the HS-780 (HS-748MF) which was known in British military service as the Andover C1. The standard HS-748 was named the Andover CC2. Later some C1s were converted for photo duties as the C1(PR) and radar calibration duties as the E3 and E3A. A few ex British and New Zealand military C1s entered commercial service.

The HS-748 proved to be a quite successful turboprop airliner and remains popular both as an airliner and freighter in civil and military use.


Air Ceylon Aircraft

4R-ACJ Hawker Siddeley HS.748-212 c/n 1571 1964-1978 w/o 7.9.78
4R-ACR Hawker Siddeley HS.748-222 c/n 1587 1975-1978  


HS748 plan

HS748 cutaway

HS748 cockpit




HS748 schedule



Douglas DC-3 Dakota Nord Aviation N262
Hawker Siddeley HS 748 Four Engine Propeller Aircraft
Air Ceylon Turbojet Aircraft Air Ceylon Home Page


I came to admire this machine which could lift virtually any load strapped to its back and carry it anywhere in any weather, safely and dependably. The C-47 groaned, it protested, it rattled, it leaked oil, it ran hot, it ran cold, it ran rough, it staggered along on hot days and scared you half to death, its wings flexed and twisted in a horrifying manner, it sank back to earth with a great sigh of relief - but it flew and it flew and it flew.

- Len Morgan. The C-47 was the U.S. military designation for the DC-3 -










©alkva 2011