VH-SBL  Douglas DC-3CS1C3G                     (c/n  12056)


Well, even as VH-TAE this aircraft had always been a freighter with TAA.    However, when
                                     converted in 1960 (by Hawker de Havilland) for use in Papua/New Guinea it was given a mix-
                                     ed freighter/passenger interior.    When Greg Banfield saw it at Mascot (above) in December
                                     1963 it was still looking pretty much like a dedicated freighter..   It was sold to Air Nuigini in
                                     1973 becoming P2-SBL, and then re-registered P2-ANR a couple of years later.  It re-entered
                                     the Australian register in 1976 still as VH-SBL for Forrestair Stephen Pty Ltd of Melbourne and
                                     used on freighter services across the on Bass Straight.  
Photo # 2 is an interesting shot from the
                                     Ben Dannecker collection showing -SBL in formation with VH-BAB during an airshow at RAAF
                                     Point Cook in December 1976.   After a period of open storage from 1978-1981 it reappeared
                                     in the markings of  General Cargo Airways as
as seen in the photo # 3 below from the Barry
                                     Maclean collection.   It was then refurbished with plush seats and flew around entitled "DC-3
                                     Australia" as seen in another (albeit somewhat washed out) image from Barry's collection (# 4).
                                     Finally, Phil Vabre took the shot on the foot of the page (# 5) at the Narromine Airshow in 2005.
                                     The old lady is now used on ad hoc commemorative flights.