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A gem amongst past glories.

Since I've been planning for a long time to build my own home cockpit, I began looking after specific information regarding a DC3-cockpit. Finding such information is like an harassing trip. I first searched for it in public libraries.  Unfortunately, the only books you can find there provide only a historical background but nothing useable as far as the technical fabrication of planes is concerned and therefore no to say, about cockpit building.

I thereafter visited flight shops and asked the lady behind the counter whether she possibly got some more information about DC3 cockpits. She answered me that I would even better ask for gold. The only thing she could sell me was a poster of the DC3 instrument panel. I came home with an empty bag and began to lose courage. Somewhat later I remembered I visited some years ago the Royal Army and Military History Museum at the Jubilee Park in Brussels.  I knew they had a DC3 in the museum and I wondered whether they knew about some people or clubs that were busy with the old DC3's doing up. This would help me to gather some technical information. I took the train to Brussels the day after and proceeded immediately to the aviation department of the museum. This is a huge hall with a plenty of various planes as from the begin of Belgian aviation history. You can look at beautiful specimens : from a Spitfire to a Boeing 727. There also exists a technical department with engines and also beautiful airplane models.

And at the bottom of the hall a marvellous DC3. While I was admiring it, a guardian came near me. This gave me the opportunity to ask him whether he knew about someone who could provide me with more technical information about this plane. "No problem" he said. "Just proceed to the bottom of the hall, besides the woodworks : there is the documentation room where you can find all the information you are looking for". I couldn't believe my ears. It is quite unusual to have a documentation room just besides old plane parts and wood boards. I asked the archive keeper if he had some more technical information over the DC3. "No problem" he said. He sat in front of his computer and printed out nothing but two sheets with relevant references to the DC3 information. From maintenance manuals to Illustrated parts catalogue and Flight manual, even the original blueprints. It is hard to believe but they have all about it. And open for everyone. This was for me my real "Dream comes true". I'm pretty convinced that some of you have already been there. It's a real treasure island. Thanks to this documentation, I'm now proceeding with the build of my own legendary Dakota cockpit.






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