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DC-3 Maintenance Operation

Posted: Tue Sep 10, 2019 8:27 pm
by rayork938
I'm looking at starting a DC-3 charter service in the African bush. Kit the planes out with luxury interiors for executive travel to the dirt airstrips at remote safari lodges. Long term goal would be to have 3-5 of these flying around several countries, as well as a mixture of smaller aircraft, like Beech 18s.

Turbines are way more reliable, but also a couple million $$ to acquire. Wondering if it's feasible to set up a maintenance apparatus that would allow us to operate the old radials.

I've never had the chance to work on the old P&Ws but I hear it's constant and not cheap. Forgetting the logistics of Africa for a moment, I'd like to know what an ideal maintenance setup would look like to keep a plane flying at least a couple hours a day during the busy season. Any insight on cost, diversity of spare parts, personnel, repair times, etc is valuable.

Thanks!

Re: DC-3 Maintenance Operation

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:12 am
by tu204
I know it's not what you are asking, but unless you llan to market these flight for aviation buffs like us, Let-410's and Cessna Caravans would be much more feasible, cheaper and easier to maintain for such an operation.

Re: DC-3 Maintenance Operation

Posted: Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:18 am
by extender
I'd rather change a PT6 in the bush than a PW 1820.

Re: DC-3 Maintenance Operation

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:01 pm
by rayork938
extender wrote:
I'd rather change a PT6 in the bush than a PW 1820.


Curious why that is?

Re: DC-3 Maintenance Operation

Posted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:08 pm
by extender
extender wrote:
I'd rather change a PT6 in the bush than a PW 1820.


500 pounds for a PT6, as opposed to 1200 pounds for a PW. Cumbersome. Don't get me wrong, it gets done, but one is easier than the other.

Re: DC-3 Maintenance Operation

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:13 am
by tu204
extender wrote:
I'd rather change a PT6 in the bush than a PW 1820.


From personal experience it is much easier to find Jet fuel than Avgas in Africa. Jet fuel can be found pretty much at any regional airport even when there ia a civil war going on.

I assume PW 1820's want to drink AvGas and are not rated for automobile fuel?

Re: DC-3 Maintenance Operation

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:20 am
by rlwynn
I could easily imagine a plane being grounded for weeks while searching and delivering a part to the depths of Africa. And of course the 1820 uses AvGas.

Re: DC-3 Maintenance Operation

Posted: Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:32 am
by tu204
rlwynn wrote:
I could easily imagine a plane being grounded for weeks while searching and delivering a part to the depths of Africa. And of course the 1820 uses AvGas.


Exactly.

If the TS is really serious about this, PM me. I had the pleasure of flying in Africa recently for two years and besides the piloting I was also logistics for everyrhibg from fuel to parts. I can give some free advice.

P.S. The avgas issue is no joke unless you are in yhe more developed parts (Kenya, RSA, Namibia, Bots, Tanzania). [b]IF[/] you can find it, it will be x2(or more) the price of JetA. No joke.

Hell I was stuck in Juba not long ago because of that...