Air Force auctions Dakotas

The Air Force of Zimbabwe has put on sale its fleet of seven DC-3 Dakota aircraft - six paratroop carriers and one VIP carrier. A local company has been commissioned by the Ministry of Defence to handle the sale of the aircraft, together with an assortment of spares, on behalf of the Air Force.

One of the Dakotas that have been put on sale, seen here at Manyame Air Base recently.
One of the Dakotas that have been put on sale, seen here at Manyame Air Base recently.

All the Dakotas were once flown by the Number 3 Squadron in the Rhodesian Air Force and AFZ for para trooping, search and rescue, re-supply and sky shouting.

They have been out of service for quite some time now and have been parked on the hard surface apron at Manyame Air Base in Harare since the arrival of the Casa 212 ‘Aviocars’.

Although the aircraft have been parked for a while and the paintwork needs some attention, the critical systems of the aircraft are still intact and functional. Some Dakotas were deployed in Mozambique during the campaign against RENAMO bandits in the early 1980s. Arrangements have been made to enable potential buyers to view the aircraft prior to making any offers and payment will be required before disassembling and transportation of aircraft from where they stand.

Also available for sale are a couple of moth-balled Canberras, six Hunter jets which can still fly and four Alloutte II helicopters, which can be viewed and purchased as well at the same time as the DC-3s. All sales will take place by auction on site and have been advertised in both the local and international media. Flying enthusiasts say they want one Dakota to be donated to and put on display at the Aviation Museum in Gweru for the sake of preserving Zimbabwe’s aviation heritage.

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