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Douglas C-47 TA-05 "El montañés"


by Mario Covalski


The Argentine Air Force C-47 TA-05, here shown, belonged to the FATA (Antarctic Tasks Air Force), with operational base in Tandil, Buenos Aires, Argentina.  

This airplane was prepared in 1964 with the operating target of reaching the South Pole for the first time. 

In that epoch it became the only aircraft around the world because of its technology and preparation. Besides its P&W R-1830 motors its power was increased with JATO rocket units, and with a Marboré III C turbine, of 300 Kgs. thrust, placed inside the tail under the rudder.  

This was a creative solution to add additional thrust, just in case of motor failures or as help to take off in hazardous flight conditions or on icy runways.

Among the most remarkable characteristics we can list: Additional fuel tanks on the fuselage for the three motors, gear train reinforced with skies, double flight instrument, meteorological radar ( a novelty from that time).

This airplane arrived to the South Pole on November 1965, besides accomplishing two trans polar flights, 12 crossings of the "Estrecho de Drake", totalizing more than 200 flight hours over the Antarctic territory.

These pictures were taken at the National Aeronautic Museum in Buenos Aires City, between 2000 and 2001.

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