Home DC-3 Individual Aircraft History C/N 4363
C/N 4363

History of c/n 4363 received from Brendan Odell, 18 December 2013.

* Delivered to the US Navy as an R4D1 on 06 May 1942 as BU no 4703.


* To (NATS squadron) VR-1 May 09, 1942 (this is thought to be one of the original four (or five, sources differ) aircraft that the Naval Air Transport Service was formed with), VR1 was based at NAS Norfolk VA. for service across the Atlantic).


* To VR-7 Apr 03, 1943 (VR-7 was originally established in April 1943 under command of the Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) at NAS Miami Florida to engage in the airlift of priority cargo and personnel between the U.S. and South America)


* NATS Nov 01, 1943 - Roanoke Jan 1945 - Miami Mar 1945 - Jacksonville Apr 1945 - Miami Sep 1945


* Glenview Jun 30, 1946 It was phased out (Struck Off Charge) on 30 Nov 1946 and it led a corporate life;


* Jarosair of Miami, FL (1948) (C-900)


* N1699M for Dow Chemical Co. (1951), at some time in the mid 1950s it was converted by the Remmert Werner Corporation to the same standard as Dow's other DC-3s, with "Viewmaster" windows, Pratt & Whitney R1830-75 engines (later to R1830-94), landing gear doors etc.


* To N69D Draper Chemical Co.,


* N234Z for Airflite Inc of Freeland, MI (June 1963),


* Pennzoil Co, Oil City, PA (1964), Pennzoil United Co, Houston, TX (1971)


* Jerry Foster Enterprises (03May78)


* Next it became HZ-TA3 carrying the name "Sara" for Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, upon its delivery on 05Sep79, via Manchester in the UK. It was in overhaul at Miaco for almost 1 year, from July 1980 to June 1981 in Luqa, Malta. The Prince used the aircraft, as his father had used his DC-3s, for hunting trips into rough desert strips in Saudi Arabia. It was returned to N234Z of Jerry Foster Enterprises Inc, Nashville, TN, in March 1987. But HZ-TA3 was seen still stored at Nairobi, Kenya in March 1988.


* It was briefly registered to Newcal Aviation Inc. of Little Ferry, New Jersey, (January 1989) and Acer Corp. of New York, NY (bought 19 June 1989). N234Z was cancelled in Sept 1990.


* It was purchased and registered as ZS-MRU by Gert de Klerk in September 1990 and to his company Wonderair on 8 October 1990. By 1992 it was with Avia Air Charter, at Wonderboom Airport, Pretoria (company owned by Gert de Klerk which still has DC-3s in its fleet as of 2012).

At some point it was registered to Speed Services Couriers also at Wonderboom during March 1998 and December 2000. It was used on overnight courier parcel flights all over South Africa.


* During December 2001 it had Naturelink "Spirit of Adventure" titles applied (ownership to Naturelink) and by October 2002 acquired a luxurious interior with leather seats, operating on safari type passenger charter work (to destinations such Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, Vilanculos, Mozambique and Maun in the Okavango Swamps, Botswana) for Naturelink.


* Sold to Iceland in 2005, reportedly as a retirement gift for a high standing person in Air Atlanta Icelandic, registration TF-AVN was reserved around September 2005 but not applied. Aircraft was flown via Windhoek, Namibia and Libreville, Gabon to Shannon, Ireland by Capt Erns Conradie, arriving on 12 September 2005. Aircraft spent several months in Windhoek from April 2005 having carburettor problems attended to at Namibia Commercial Aviation (who themselves operated a DC-3 ZS-CRV for some time on lease). In January 2006, the aircraft was moved to Dunsfold, UK, where it starred in the film "Casino Royale" in 2006 and the 2007 TV series "Primeval".


* Ferried to Cergy-Pontoise near Paris and prepared for Ferry Flight to New Zealand, 2012.
* Flown to Te Anau, New Zealand arriving 17 November 2012.
* Registered N451ZS
* Registered in New Zealand as ZK-JGB on the 16th of February 2015

4363 ZS-MRU Wonderboom 25 July 2003 Thomas Posch

C/N 4363


www.naturelink.co.za on the tail

Wonderboom Airport 25 July 2003

The aircraft is named Spirit of Adventure

Photograph: Thomas Posch

C/N 4363

ZS-MRU www.naturelink.co.za on the tail

At Shannon, Limerick, in Ireland 12 September 2005

The aircraft is named Spirit of Adventure

Photograph: Gerry Barron

4363 ZS-MRU Dunsfold aerodrome UK Tom Singfield800

C/N 4363

ZS-MRU www.naturelink.co.za on the tail

Still parked at Dunsfold Aerodrome in the UK

24 September 2008.



The aircraft is named Spirit of Adventure

Photograph: Tom Singfield




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