Classic Airforce logo

Newsletter Sign up

From the Blog Header

G-AMSV Returns to Coventry

An old friend returned to Coventry yesterday when G-AMSV, in her striking Indian Air force livery, landed here for extensive maintenance by our engineers. Sierra Victor was part of the Air Altantique fleet here for many years. She'll...

Read more>>

Baginton Air Pageant

The initial details for the Baginton Air Pageant are up on the website! As we don't have the space for a full-on air show attracting 20,000 or so people, we're aiming for low-key, themed days like this. A couple of thousand people,...

Read more>>

Newquay Pleasure flights

We promised we'd be back to fly in Cornwall, and here we are. We'll be heading south with a Rapide and Chipmunk to spend a week at Newquay from 25th July, with a further visit planned in August. The flights are bookable in the normal...

Read more>>

New Dakota Book

Geoff Jones just told me that his new book on the DC-3, released to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the Dak's appearance, is now available. The cover sports a lovely shot of G-ANAF, shot by Simon Westwood before her radome goiter was...

Read more>>

Nimrod Engine Run

We've just confirmed plans by NPT to run all four of the Nimrod's Rolls-Royce Speys on Saturday 9th May. We expect the thunder to start just after lunchtime. Come along and enjoy some audio power - and please dip into your pockets...

Read more>>

From the Blog Header
Become a member of the Classic Air Force
Dakota DC-3 'G-AMPY'

<< Back to the Dakotas Page


One of the first things you notice on climbing aboard G-AMPY is the static parachute line running the length of the cabin. Then look back at the door and you'll notice the red and green jump lights. For a moment you're back in June 1944 and feeling that chill as you imagine standing in the door, waiting for the "go" signal.

Having seen operational service in Burma during World War Two and having played a vital part in the Berlin Airlift in the immediate post-war year Douglas DC-3 G-AMPY is one of the most historically important aeroplanes operated by Air Atlantique.

She was built in 1943 at Douglas Aircraft’s subsidiary plant at Oklahoma City. Allocated the USAAF serial 43-49308 the aeroplane didn’t actually serve with the Americans and was eventually taken on charge by the Royal Air Force on November 10, 1944. Given the RAF serial KK116 the aircraft was despatched to Burma where she flew as aircraft ‘T’ in South East Asia Command’s 435Sqn.

In late 1945 425Sqn returned home to Britain and KK116 made the long journey to its new home at RAF Down Ampney in Gloucestershire. Here, the aircraft was coded 'OFM-T' and it served with the squadron for a number of years. During its time with 435Sqn it took part in the legendary Berlin Airlift carrying much-needed food and supplies to the besieged population of the German capital.

When her useful days were deemed to be over KK116 was ferried to 1 MU at Kirkbride, Cumbria for storage and awaited an uncertain future. Saved from obscurity in March 1952 she was placed on the UK civil register as G-AMPY by Jerome Anthony Wilson of Liverpool. Operated by Starways Ltd it flew from Liverpool’s Speke Airport until December 1957 when it was ostensibly sold in Jordan and transferred to the Jordanian register as JY-ABE. However the sale to Jordan was never completed and in May 1958 the aircraft returned to the British register and to Starways at Liverpool, in whose name it was registered. Starways eventually operated G-AMPY until late 1963, and in early 1964 the ownership of the aircraft changed to Aviation Overhauls Ltd.

The aircraft was reportedly sold in Iceland in June 1964 and registered as TF-FIO, but the aircraft was back on the UK register again in August 1965, still registered to Aviation Overhauls Ltd. It is not known if it ever flew north to Iceland.

Between February and November 1966, G-AMPY was leased to Irefly, but in January 1968 it was on sale in the USA, registered to Aviation Enterprises Inc of Cedarburg, Wisconsin as N15751. It remained undelivered, however, and in November 1970 G-AMPY was back on the British register owned by The New Guarantee Trust of Jersey Ltd. Under that ownership, it was operated by Intra Airways (which was renamed Jersey European) until the end of 1980 when it was registered to Field Aviation Ltd of London-Heathrow.

A proposed sale in 1981, this time to Clyden Airways of Dublin, saw the aircraft registered as EI-BKJ, but yet again the sale fell through and the aircraft returned to the British register.

Air Atlantique Ltd purchased the aircraft in February 1982, initially using it for cargo work, then equipping it as a tanker for spraying detergent on oil spills at sea and latterly in a 36-seat passenger configuration.

In July 2007 G-AMPY performed the airline’s final passenger flying DC-3 flight (to date) and has since been relegated to airshow and film appearances. Over the winter of 2009/2010 it was re-equipped as a spray aircraft and remained on standby all winter.

The aircraft currently wears the RAF markings she carried when taking part in the Berlin Airlift. Special dispensation has been issued by the Civil Aviation Authority for her to carry her original RAF serial.