The village show is back in town again! 🙂 The Septemberly Lučko airshow has returned again this year, though – as is apparently the norm – in a weaker and bleaker showing than former years. Despite visitor attendance being significantly higher than last year (guesstimate using the Mk. I eyeball), the aircraft lineup had left a lot to be desired. The mix of resident Cessnas and Pipers – with the occasional gems like the Seawind 3000 and Cessna 177RG mentioned here earlier – wasn’t overly exciting, but one visitor from neighboring Slovenia saved the day for me. Yesterday, I saw my first Dornier Do-27! 🙂
The Do-27 was the first German civil aircraft to be produced after WW2, with the design first flying in 1955. Nowadays, they are very, very rare and airworthy examples number in the low dozens. Designed as a pure STOL hauler – it’s written all over the thing – the Do-27 immediately leaves a firm impression of quality, solidity and purposefulness. Renowned for being able to get in anywhere anytime, in modern times they’re mostly used for skydive flights, having been replaced in their bush and military roles by more modern aircraft such as the Cessna 206 and 208 and the PC-6 (itself, ironically, starting life in a similar piston form as the Do-27).
Our example here, D-EFSC, is an early A-4 model, manufactured in 1961 – though after a detailed inspection in and out, I was ready to believe it could have been made in 2001. The thing is beautifully maintained and works and sounds like a true Made in Germany product. Though wearing a German registration, the aircraft is permanently based at Cerklje airbase, a stone’s throw from Zagreb across the border (must visit there sometimes). Running the reg through the Airliners.net database, the last photos show it at a German airfield (forgot which) way back in 2002, so clearly some catching up was in order :).
2 thoughts on “Rare Aircraft – Dornier Do-27A-4, D-EFSC”
Hello again! I flew one of these in 1965 in Lesotho, Africa. Its best features were its extraordinary visibility, especially straight ahead even with the tail down. This is gold to a bush pilot because you can see bad things on the ground, rocks and holes, before you hit them. It had the best control feel of any STOL airplane I ever flew.
However, because of the free swiveling tail wheel and very long stroke of the main gear oleos it could be a nightmare taxiing in a strong wind. Once you got it airborne though it was about perfect.
The passenger cabin has a glass roof and I have heard that at some stage a passenger, ( un- belted, in severe turbulence) was thrown through it and died.
There were issues with the geared Lycoming engine in South Africa and the Do 27 fleet there was grounded for some years.
Unfortunately, I’ve never been in one in flight, but from a ground walkaround, it sure does seem to be a fine machine. There are still quite a few operating in Germany (one part of the EADS historic flight), Spain and even one on Iceland – but here they’re very rare. Last I heard, this example was sold, but don’t know to who. Despite the German reg, it had been based in Slovenia (just a couple of dozen miles from where I live).
Former Yugoslavia does however have a history with the later Do-28. The Serbian AF for example still used one for aerial photography and cartography; and one (9A-ISC) was donated to Croatia by the diaspora during the 90s civil war. Unfortunately, it is in long-term storage near Zagreb and I believe it hasn’t flown for 20 years (though from the outside it looks rather good).