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Klapperkop: Still alive and well at 73

AT THE age of 73, Klapperkop is still going strong and as graceful as ever!


On a recent visit to Virginia Airport, Durban, Douglas DC-3 ZS-BXF Klapperkop, performed a low level pass before landing (shown above).

She was built in Oklahoma City and delivered to the USAAF on November 29, 1943, designated CN 12107. A month later, in December that year, she was given to the South African Air Force. She survived the war years and, in August, 1948, was transferred to South African Airways, designated ZS-BXF, and named Klapperkop.


For the following 23 years until most of the airline’s piston-engined aircraft were withdrawn from service, she plied the skies of South Africa and the then South- West Africa flying passengers at a sedate pace to their various destinations.

Upon retirement, Klapperkop was transferred back to the SAAF in February, 1971, and, in 1991, became a member of SAA’s Historic Flight.


After a slight mishap in November 2003 (above) when she executed a forced wheels-up landing in a field some two kilometres from Lanseria International Airport, she was repaired and fully restored to an airworthiness condition............................. For the FULL ARTICLE please subscribe to our digital edition.

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