Whenever I travel, although I love the excitement of new sights and tastes of exotic food, I sometimes use McDonalds as a comforting place of familiarity, a place where I don’t have to worry about what the food may taste like, a place where it is affordable – even in Sweden where a McHappy meal was around the equivalent of AUD$20, a place to use free wi-fi or get local directions and even sometimes a place to experiment with local ‘Macca’s’ ideas such as McPizza in Banff, Canada or a McBeer in Munich, Germany 😉
As a plane spotter, imagine my sheer excitement about McDonald’s in Lake Taupo, New Zealand where a part of the restaurant is inside a DC-3 aircraft! The DC-3 – one of the most revolutionary aircraft ever made with over 15,000 built!
This particular aircraft built by the Douglas Corporation in 1943, arrived in Australia later that year, to serve for the US Army Air Force, and later the Royal Australian Air Force, in the Pacific theatre of World War II.
From 1947 until 1961 the aircraft flew with Australian National Airways, Airlines of Queensland and Ansett-ANA (as Airlines of New South Wales) before being leased to South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand and being based in Auckland.
After serving time with South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand, New Zealand National Airways Corporation and a brief stint with Fiji Airways it was sold and used as a crop duster in 1971 until 1984 when it was withdrawn from service. It finally moved into its last role in 1990 when McDonald’s took it over as an extension of their restaurant.
So I cant help but wonder, how many other generations, veterans and backpackers of many years before the term was first coined, find this particular McDonald’s with its well travelled DC-3 a place of comforting familiarity 🙂
With thanks to freakyflier Snr for these photo’s