SOVIET ERA RUSSIA 1976
david taylor images
closely observed planes - Singapore early 1960's
40 Sqdn’s VIP transport | DC-6B NZ3631 | RAF Changi September 1962
DC-6B NZ3631 being refuelled. Looking like it’s had a good polish, of the three DC-6B’s of 40 Sqdn RNZAF, it was the one that was kept fitted out as a VIP transport and was later to carry the Queen Mother on a tour of New Zealand in 1966 and also American President Lyndon Johnson the same year. The RNZAF had still not settled on a final version of their roundel marking and this DC-6 has a green fern frond on the centre red circle on the fuselage roundel. It was never very easy to discern and so eventually a white Kiwi was used in the centre. The three 40 Sqdn DC-6B’s had started out with Australian airline British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines and were originally configured as a ‘sleepers’ as BCPA were the “only trans-Pacific Airline providing a free sleeper to every passenger”, taking 29 hours to fly Auckland or Sydney to San Francisco. With the failure of that airline, they went to the New Zealand airline TEAL before joining 40 Squadron RNZAF and NZ3631’s first flight with them was on 29 June 1961 and its final trooping flight to Singapore and back was in June 1968. It then served with Lao
United Airlines in Laos and Royal Air Lao before finally in 1971 it joined PENAS, Indonesia. Sadly the aircraft crashed into swamp near Tegal, Java on 1st Feb ‘72 after running out of fuel on flight from Singapore to Djakarta with the loss of 6 lives.