Kanana: Douglas DC-3


Kanana was constructed in Santa Monica, California in 1938 as a Douglas DC-3-232A. It was transported to Australia and registered to Australian National Airways, call sign VH-ABR. It was given the name Kanana, meaning ‘quiet’ and was the third DC-3 ever to be imported to Australia.

The aircraft was charted by the Australian Government for use by the R.A.A.F. in 1939, at the start of World War II. It was returned to Australian National Airlines in 1940 and endured a number of mishaps in its ensuing years of commercial operation, including a mid-flight engine fire in 1948. No passengers or crew were harmed.

Kanana was registered to Ansett-A.N.A. in 1961, and shortly thereafter to Airlines of South Australia. In 1972, it operated its final scheduled revenue service, but still remained active in the years afterward, used for charter flights and air shows.

Kanana now resides at Melbourne Jet Base. A few years ago, in an effort instigated by Paul Little’s Melbourne Jet Base and the R.M. Ansett Historical Aircraft Society, an extensive restoration program was launched to restore an iconic Douglas DC-3 aircraft its former glory.

On 22 August 2017, Kanana took to the skies once again. A historic moment for Kanana and for Australian aviation history.  It was 9 years between flights and nearly 80 years since the aircraft was orginally built. Now meeting modern aviation standards, it’s expected that Kanana will be used for private and charity events and air shows.

You can read all the latest updates about the DC-3 on our dedicated Kanana website.