A Polar Transient at KHOU

With only a few hundred still airworthy, it’s always a treat to see a DC-3 on the Galaxy FBO ramp. Yet alone, we got a pleasant surprise visit by this heavily retrofitted one.

This Douglas DC-3 with serial number 19227 rolled off the assembly line in California back in 1942. After a long and successful lifespan, it has gone thru the Basler BT-67 conversion back in 2007. The modifications included strengthening and fitting the airframe with two new Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R turboprop engines to increase payload and the range of the DC-3.

The aircraft got its name ‘Polar 5’ as it was retrofitted into a polar research aircraft, a program funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Polar 5, a part of The Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) fleet, carries over half-a-ton of scientific instrumentation and sophisticated research sensors to study climate over Arctic and Antarctic seas. Polar 5 also provides logistic support between different international polar research stations.

After a seven-hour flight from Costa Rica, Galaxy FBO provided transient fuel services to the Polar 5 aircraft at the Houston William P. Hobby Airport.