VH-AEP. Douglas C-47-DL. c/n 6023.
It was also registered as: VH-SBK.
Construction of this aircraft was completed at the Douglas Long Beach, California - November 06, 1942
It was built as a Douglas C-47-DL
Allocated the U. S. serial number '41-18662'
Allocated to the 5th Air Force and delivered to Brisbane (Archerfield) - January 15, 1943
Issued to 41st Troop Carrier Squadron with the radio callsign 'VHCGF'
The aircraft was named 'Morano'
Allocated to the 22nd Troop Carrier Squadron and renamed 'Johnny Reb II' - ?
Sold to the Department of Civil Aviation having flown 1,800 hours - July 10, 1944
Converted to civilian standards with 24 seats by Australian National Airways at Melbourne (Essendon) Airport
This was the first Douglas C-47 to be 'civilianised' in Australia
Entered onto the Australian Aircraft Register as VH-AEP - October 03, 1944
Registered to Commonwealth of Australia / Department of Civil Aviation, Melbourne
Leased to Australian National Airways Pty Ltd - October 1944
Transferred to Trans Australia Airlines - September 12, 1946
Registered to Australian National Airlines Commission, Melbourne - September 17, 1946
When this aircraft was taken over by T.A.A. it had amassed some 5,987 hours
Aircraft was named 'Sturt' and later 'Murray'
Entered service with Trans Australia Airlines - September 19, 1946
Ferried to Fairey Clyde Aviation at Sydney (Bankstown) Airport - February 1961
Converted to passenger / freighter configuration
Reregistered as VH-SBK - April 13, 1961
Ferried Sydney (Bankstown) - Melbourne (Laverton) for tests using 'JATO' rockets fitted under rear fuselage - ?
Test flying conducted by Captains J. A. Boyd and R. Slater with each rocket conversion costing $A 6,000
Operated services in Papua New Guinea from June 21, 1961
Mainly used as a freighter with 'sidesaddle' seating down the side of the cabin
Withdrawn from T.A.A. service and placed in open storage at Brisbane (Archerfield) - October 02, 1967
Sold to Australian Aircraft Sales (A.A.S.) - April 22, 1968
Sold to Seulewah Air Services - July 1968
Departed Brisbane on the ferry flight to Indonesia (Jakarta) - September 22, 1968
Cancelled from the Australian Aircraft Register - September 28, 1968
Entered onto the Indonesian Aircraft Register as PK-RDC - October 1968
Aircraft was named 'Dharma Putra'
Withdrawn from service and stored - ?
No longer registered in Indonesia - final fate uncertain at this point
VH-SBK. TAA Sunbird Services - in the standard livery at Lae Airport, date unknown.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-334.)
VH-SBK. TAA Sunbird Services - in the standard livery at Lae Airport, July 30, 1966.
(G. Bennett Collection Copyright Image 0250-980.)
VH-SBK. TAA Sunbird Services - in the standard livery at an unknown airport, August 1966.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0251-018.)
VH-SBK. TAA Sunbird Services - in the standard livery at Port Moresby Airport, September 1967.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0251-718.)
VH-SBK. TAA Sunbird Services - in the standard livery at Brisbane Archerfield Airport, October 1967.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-342.)
VH-SBK. TAA Sunbird Services - in the standard livery at Brisbane Archerfield Airport, date unknown.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0251-345.)
VH-SBK. TAA - in the all-white livery at Brisbane Archerfield Airport, May 1968.
(R. N. Smith Collection Copyright Image 0250-734.)