CANDY BOMBER LANDS IN BERLIN!
Once upon a time, she saved Berliners. Today hundreds of Berliners cheered the Candy Bomber as she landed at 1:52 p.m. in Schönefeld. Parts from this plane will be used to create the new Berlin Candy Bomber.
During the blockade of 1948/9, the Candy Bombers, with military precision, transported coal, potatoes, and other foodstuffs and sweets to the trapped citizens of Berlin. In remembrance of the greatest airlift in world history, the Berlin company Air Service Berlin brought one of these old Candy Bombers back to the capital. She was a symbol, a monument, and a flying legend all at once. For nine years, thousands of Berlins and their guests experienced being inside history as the DC-3 would lift off . . . until the emergency landing in 2010. The aircraft was badly damaged. Since then, many Berliners in and around the Friends of the Candy Bomber Assoc. has fought for a restoration of the airplane, and donations came from all over the world over the course of three years. And now: success!
Finally, for $210,000, a second aircraft has been brought over from England. Says Frank Hellberg, President of the Association,“We are thrilled to have won round one. Thank you to all the donors who made this possible – and now we need the continued support of all of our sponsors, to complete the project, to marry the two machines and to let Berlin’s new, old Candy Bomber take to the skies again.“
Another 300,000 Euros will ne needed to meet this goal. The new machine brought over from Coventry is just a freight plane. In order to transform it into a passenger-licensed craft, it will require the marrying of both Candy Bombers.
In a little over 4 hours, the crew from Coventry flew the plane the 1178 kilometers over the English Channel, Amsterdam, and Hannover to Berlin. With tears in their eyes, the English pilots bid adieu to the old lady.
Andrew Noble (Chargé d’Affairs, British Embassy) said at the scene, „This reminder of the greatest humanitarian airlift in history remains a symbol of our enduring friendship from our people to the people of Berlin.“
It is hoped that the restored Candy Bomber will fly again in the 65th anniversary year of the airlft (2014).
Honza Klein / Lutz Schönfel