Luxury airliner for marshals and presidents

2 minutes to read

The Flying Bulls is a unique company gathered around a group of aviation enthusiasts with an enormous passion for rare historical aeroplanes. This private owned company based in Salzburg is a godchild of the Austrian billionaire and founder of the Red Bull company. They are in possession of some of the most interesting aircraft in the history of aviation.

This article will be dedicated to the crown jewel of their collection Douglas DC-6B. This aeroplane with an incredible history was produced in 1958 in Santa Monica, USA and it was sold to the Yugoslav airline JAT. The plane was then adapted to serve as the luxury transport for Yugoslav president Marshall Josip Broz Tito and his distinguished guests. After 10 years in service and 55 flights with the president Tito on-board it was sold to Zambia’s head of state Kenneth Kaunda who also used it as a VIP airliner.

©Unknown
©Unknown

Salvage

After that Douglas DC-6B was left abandoned outside Lusaka airport to rot, until it was salvaged and restored by the manager of the small African aviation company, who has learned about it by chance. In fact, he intended to buy that aircraft to take out the replacement parts for the DC-4, that they have owned, but when he saw two identical DC-6 planes, he immediately bought both and first restored the one who had the most famous history. In addition these two planes were the two last aircraft of that type, produced by Douglas. After the restoration DC-6 has been used for tourist panoramic flights above Victoria's waterfall. However, the growing turmoil along the Angolan border in 1999 had driven tourists away and the owner had to sell DC-6.

The Flying Bull team, precisely its veteran pilot Sigi Angerer has learned about it and they have decided to buy the aircraft in 1999. A whole team of mechanics, a flight engineer, two experienced captains from South African Airways, and a crew headed for Namibia. They brought with them all possible replacement parts, tons of lubricating oil and a fuel tank. The glorious plane finally arrived to Salzburg with four stops after 28 hours of flight, without any problems. After four years of restoration and millions of dollars she flies again and she is the only "DC-6" that is currently flying. The plane got a completely new interior, but kept the historical look. Because of her size and impeccable retro design Flying Bulls are very proud of her and they affectionately call her 'Diva'.

There is even a documentary which followed transfer of this beauty to Salzburg and its restoration.

DC-6 aeroplane is today used for promotional flights and sometimes it can be seen free of charge at display in Hangar‑7. Hangar-7 is privately owned showroom of Flying Bull Company at the Salzburg Airport.

If you are more interested in stories about Marshal Tito you can read about the Cafe Central in Vienna where Tito used to drink coffee, or about his secret bunker in Bosnia revealed to the public, just few years ago.


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The author

Ogi Savic

Ogi Savic

I am Ogi. A journalist and economist, I live in Vienna and I am passionate about skiing, traveling, good food and drinks. I write about all these aspects (and more) of beautiful Austria.

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