Legendary “Dakota” Has New Home: The Ramon International Airport [PHOTOS]

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The spokesperson for the Israel Airports Authority reports the “Dakota” which has become one of the symbols of the city of Eilat, is receiving a new home, moving from the Eilat Airport to its new residence at the Ramon International Airport, which is named after Ilan and Assaf Ramon.

The legendary Dakota plane stationed in Eilat, the DC3 aircraft, served as an important traffic artery to Eilat both in its service in the Air Force and Arkia Airlines.

Ze’ev Sarig, a former manager of the Eilat and Ben-Gurion Airports: “The Dakota represents most of all the air link between civil and military aviation between the city of Eilat and the center of the country.”

On Monday, 18 Menachem Av, and starting from 11:00PM, the plane will be in its new location.

The ATS-X4 was used in secret service by the State of Israel and the Air Force (created in 1942) and removed from active service in 1999. The aircraft was placed in the air space at the airport in Eilat in recognition of its activities between 1942 and 1999.

The mythical Dakota plane of the city of Eilat moves to its new residence at the international airport at “Ramon”. The legendary “Dakota” is the “brother” of two Dakotas that have done most of their service together.

The 42nd Dakota is stationed at the Air Force Museum and was flown there as the last plane for the Dakota Squadron and Dakota 44 is located in the air museum in Palm Springs, California.

Lt. Col. (reserves) Yossi Shomroni of the Dakota Veterans Association: “The first plane was manufactured at the Douglas plant in Long Beach and was attached to the United States Air Force. The plane, of course, participated in World War II and then joined the Israel Air Force in 1950, when it served for a long time in the Israel Air Force and participated in a parachute landing in Mitlah.

The plane was transported with the 40 and 42 aircraft on loan to Uganda, during the good relations with that country. The planes were returned to Israel in 1973 and served as a nucleus for Netivei Oil, which used them to transport workers and equipment to the oil fields in Abu Rudeis, Sinai.

With the agreements with Egypt and the giving away of Sinai and the oilfields, the need for oil pipelines was improved, the planes were fully renovated by IAI, returned to service in the air force in the early 1980s and were used in all missions of the squadron, transport flights, operational missions and training.

The flight is carried out after a week ago at Ramon, the flight to Ramon was completed with the landing of the Arkia aircraft and the unveiling of the sign of Ramon International Airport in the presence of Rona Ramon and her family. The training exercise at the “Ramon” opened the continuum of the new international airport of Israel in preparation for the opening and certification of the airport.

As noted, with the progress towards the opening of the new airport, the transfer of the Dakota from the Eilat airport to Ramon began. On Sunday, July 17 Menachem Av, teams arrived for the transfer of the Dakota to Eilat Airport. A special crane began unloading and loading the aircraft, and during the second day, on 18 Menachem Av, that operation was completed.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem / Photo Credit: Israel Ports Authority via Media Resource Group)