Flying Bulls DC-6 flying through Mach Loop ahead of Red Bull Hardline 2024

Filmed by our friend Dafydd Phillips on May 31, 2024, the cool video in this post shows Flying Bulls DC-6 flying through Mach Loop.

‘A Douglas DC-6 is rare just to see but to see one fly low through the Mach Loop is a unicorn. A heads up from one of the locals at Llanbedr airfield the night before to say it had landed could only mean one thing, it’s going to fly The Mach Loop. With the Red Bull Hardline down hill mountain biking event taking place in the Mach Loop the odds looked good,’ said Phillips.

Red Bull Hardline is an invitational MTB downhill competition that has been held annually in the UK since 2014. It is streamed live on Red Bull TV.

Each year riders from across the world are invited to tackle what is largely considered, the toughest downhill MTB course ever conceived. It takes place in the Dyfi Valley in North Wales.

The courses couple danger and intensity while requiring extreme focus and skill to tackle some parts, let alone the entire thing.

Without a doubt, the DC-6B is the crown jewel of the Flying Bulls.

Manufactured in Douglas, Santa Monica, in 1958, the plane was sold to the stateowned Yugoslavian airline JAT. Premier Marshall Josip Broz Tito ordered a luxury model for himself and his celebrity guests. In 1975, Tito sold the plane to Zambia’s head of state Kenneth Kaunda who also used the DC-6B as a luxury airliner – until he left her abandoned outside Lusaka airport.

The first Austrian DC-6B

This is where Chris Schutte, the manager of a small aviation company in Windhoek, Namibia, found her, and by chance discovered a sister plane! In fact, Schutte bought the last two remaining DC-6Bs and began restoring them. However, as troubles along the Angolan border intensified, Schutte was forced to sell one of the DC-6B planes, and that’s exactly when the Flying Bulls appeared on the scene.

In March 2000, Sigi Angerer, chief Flying Bulls pilot, spotted the DC-6B for sale in Africa in an airline magazine and quickly made his move. On July 7th 2000, the plane took off from Windhoek and headed for Salzburg. The flight took 28 hours, with 4 stops, causing no problems. In 2001, restoration began and following thousands of hours of labour, the DC-6B left the workshop in all her glory three years later.

Once registered as “Fish Eagle” under the registration number V5-NCF in Namibia, the plane received the American aircraft register N996DM shortly after its transfer to Austria. Thirteen years later, the DC-6B was finally given Austrian citizenship and now operates under the Austrian registration OE-LDM, making it the first DC-6B to ever receive an Austrian code.

The first DC-6B to receive an Austrian code has fascinated people ever since its arrival, boasting a brand-new interior, four new engines and the latest technology. Everyone agrees the DC-6B is in better shape today than when she left her Douglas birthplace in 1958.

Photo credit: Dafydd Phillips