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Worldwide/(All) : DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

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philb
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11 May 2015
09:10:21pm

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At the finale of the Orapex show i purchased 3 Netherlands cover albums (300 covers) so the dealer would not have to lug them home. Its a mix of first days,flights and oddball stuff. This is a cover that was sent to a supporter of the 1984 London to Melbourne Memorial flight !Image Not Found

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amsd
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Editor, Seal News; contributor, JuicyHeads
12 May 2015
09:19:23am
re: DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

this is Bob's ill-fated plane, no?


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philb
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12 May 2015
01:28:31pm

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re: DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

Yes it is !!

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philb
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12 May 2015
04:29:19pm

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re: DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

The Uiver (stork) must have been a sturdy bird er DC-2 considering the distance it had to travel..this insert was in the envelope !Image Not Found

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Bujutsu
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13 May 2015
11:19:12am
re: DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

Interesting philb

Some of those old planes sure took a beating in their day.

I don't have any KLM FFC's but, do collect those of the SABENA airways of Belgium.

Chimo

Bujutsu


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philb
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13 May 2015
07:09:46pm

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re: DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

Hi Bujutsu, i don't think i own a Sabena..i do have an SAS. Cheers,phil

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 8,400+ new covers coming Sept. 19
14 May 2015
11:00:39am
re: DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

Here is a 1934 London-Sydney Air Race cover carried on the Uiver:

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Roy

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roy
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BuckaCover.com - 8,400+ new covers coming Sept. 19
14 May 2015
11:03:43am
re: DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

Here's a couple of Sabena covers for you (from my "Sold" database):

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Roy

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Bobstamp
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14 May 2015
01:44:48pm
re: DC-2 Uiver Memorial Flight

Small correction to Roy's comment about his DC-2 Uiver cover — the MacRobertson International Air Race ended at Melbourne, not Sydney. Here's a photograph from my collection, showing the Uiver arriving at Melbourne:

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There were two divisions in the race, speed and handicap. The Uiver placed second in the speed division; a purpose made DeHavilland Comet, a prototype of the famous Mosquito of the Second World War, won the speed division. Here's a photo of the Comet at Melbourne; it was little more than a very fast gas tank fitted with wings and a tail:

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But the Uiver placed first in the handicap division, beating a Boeing 247 by several hours despite the fact that the Uiver alone of all of the other aircraft had flown what was to be its regular commercial route between Amsterdam and Java, even stopping at cities that were not required reach checkpoints. Then, late in the race, the Uiver's crew became lost in a storm in the middle of the night over the Great Dividing Range of eastern Australia.

When the Uiver failed to arrive in Melbourne, news of its plight was broadcast widely; when it was heard flying over Albury, the engineer in charge of the city's lighting flashed the word "Albury" in morse code to attract the attention of the crew, and the local radio station asked its listeners to drive to the town's racetrack and line up to illuminate the track. The Uiver landed successfully on the track at 1:20 a.m., stopped within 200 yards, and sank deep into the mud left by the storm. The crew and passengers deplaned and were put up for the remainder of the night in a local hotel. The next morning, the crew removed every possible item from the Uiver to lighten it; after townspeople dragged the Uiver out of the mud, it took off with just the crew and completed the race.

A few years ago, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation sponsored a wonderful radio play about the Uiver Albury landing, Flight of the Uiver. To my mind, it's a "must hear" — it's historically accurate and very amusing, a pleasant and relaxing look back at what radio used to be.

The DC-2 has many "firsts" to its credit:

• First all-metal airliner (with the exception of the control surfaces, which were covered with cloth)

• First airliner with stressed-skin monococque construction

• First airliner with variable-pitch propellers

• First streamlined airliner (and the fastest)

• First airliner able to take off on one engine and fly, just with one engine, to 10,000 feet (3,048 metres)

• First airliner with the potential to operate at a profit carrying both passengers and cargo over transoceanic distances. It was so successful that work started almost immediately on the DC-2's immediate descendant, the DC-3, arguably the most successful and famous airliner of all time.

The Uiver was the first American airliner purchased by KLM. It crashed and burned in the Syrian Desert on its first commercial flight, killing the crew of four and the three passengers. The only investigation was carried out by KLM, but the results have never been released and KLM doesn't even acknowledge that the crash occurred. The cause was probably a result of severe thunderstorms which blanketed much of the Middle East. It might have been hit by lightning, and while lightning normally does cause serious problems in aircraft strikes, there are examples of crashes known to have been caused by lightning.

I was fortunate to be able to discuss the Uiver crash with Bill Yearwood, a Transportation Safety Board of Canada lead investigator. Bill, a former DC-3 pilot, told me that it was entirely possible that lightning downed the Uiver; aircraft engines of that time leaked considerable amounts of oil, and the ailerons, elevators, and rudder of the DC-2 were covered with fabric painted with dope, a plasticised lacquer that renders them airtight and weatherproof. One thing I learned that lends credence to the lightning-strike theory is that static wicks, which bleed electrical charges from flying surfaces, had not been invented when the DC-2 was built; when lightning strikes an aircraft, the charge tends to bleed from the thin, trailing edges of control surfaces, the most flammable parts of the DC-2. If the Uiver's fabric was burned away, it would have been uncontrollable.

Crash covers from the Uiver how much evidence of the circumstances of the crash. Here are two of them from my collection (the first one is the cover that launched my interest in the Uiver:

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Bob

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