Earthbound Skytrains

If you’d like to experience something out of the ordinary and don’t mind roughing it a bit you could visit the picturesque wreckages of two Douglas C-47 aircrafts forever stuck in Iceland.

Iceland Travel

The Douglas C-47 (Dakota RAF) was developed from the Douglas DC-3 airliner for military use. The Douglas was used extensively by the Allies during WW II for the transport of troops, cargo as well as the wounded.

There are at least two wreckages of Douglas C-47 (R4D) aircrafts in Iceland out in the open and if you want to visit the both be prepared to travel.

The Douglas R4D at Sólheimsandur

On the 24th of november 1973 the navy plane Douglas R4D-8 17171 on route to Höfn í Hornafirði was forced to make an emergency landing at Sólheimasandur due to bad weather conditions at Höfn and low fuel. The landing was successful and the plane suffered no major damages. At the time the US navy was discontinuing it’s use of the Douglas C-47 and instead of repearing it the plane was stripped of all valuables and abandoned in the black volcanic sand. Since then it’s been a favourite of photographers and adventure seeking tourists.

How to get there

Drive east on road nr 1 until you reach the turn to Sólheimajökull on your left side. Drive on a few hundred meters you’ll have a fenced field on your right. There is an opening in the field you can drive thru (sometimes it’s closed so you’ll have to open it yourselve). This is the track to the plane wreck and you can follow the trail in the sand. The wreck is also clearly visible in Google Maps.

The Douglas R4D-6 150187 at Þórshöfn airstrip

In July 1969, the Douglas R4D-6 41-50187 of the US Air Force was damaged beyond economic repair during takeoff at the old Þórshöfn Airport in the north east of Iceland. It was written of by the Navy and left to it’s own devices in a grass closure not far from the airstrip at Sauðanes north of Þórshöfn. For years the farmer at Sauðanes used to wreck as a shelter for his sheep and in 1996 it’s wings were removed. Supposedly the plane was to be restored but something must have upset those plans. Unlike the Douglas at Sólheimasandur it still has some color but otherwise in no better condition.


Earthbound Skytrains

time to read: 2 min