DDA Classic Airlines as of April 2023 once again offers sightseeing flights in the historical Douglas DC-3 Dakota airplane called “Prinses Amalia” at weekends. The flights will be organized for at least three months, or longer if there is enough money available. Scenic flights to the Dutch tulip fields, the Dutch coast, the Muiderslot, Dutch castles and the Zaanse Schans, Zandvoort or Amsterdam with breathtaking views depart from the Jet Center at Schiphol-East. At the end of April the Dakota will go to Rotterdam and Maastricht, in May to Lelystad, Groningen and Weeze (Germany). In June sightseeing flights include The Beaches and Band of Brothers in France. in June the airplane is visiting the Duxford Summer air show, with flights possibly available from Cambridge.

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The Dutch Dakota Association was founded in 1982 by the former Transavia pilots Anne Cor Groeneveld and Gerrit van Gelder. The goal was to create support for bringing a DC-3 Dakota airplane to the Netherlands. They bought their first Dakota in 1983, a second one in 1987. On the day that the association’s own hangar at Schiphol was opened, also the PH-PBB was presented, a 1944-built Stinson L5 Sentinel. That plane was privately owned by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands until 1956.

Between 1946 and 1961 a Douglas DC-3 airplane of the American army – bought by Bernhard for $50.000, the money coming from the state – served as the first Dutch government plane with the registration PH-PBA (Prince Bernhard Alpha). The Prince himself used this aircraft a lot. After 1975 the aircraft was on display at the Aviodrome museum. In 1996 the Prince Bernhard Alpha Foundation was established to be able to restore the airplane to its former glory. The PH-PBA finally could be added to the operational fleet in 1998, much to the delight of Prince Bernhard himself. At the festive gathering at Schiphol Airport that same year Bernhard, his son-in-law Pieter van Vollenhoven and his grandson Prince Willem-Alexander were present.

According to Bernhard’s wish it was named after his great-granddaughter Princess Amalia in 2010, when on her 7th birthday the new color scheme of the aircraft was unveiled.

Flights can be booked at https://www.dutchdakota.nl/nl/boek-een-vlucht/plan-en-boek/

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