A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Published January 17th 2015
Enjoy a flight and dinner on this classic Silver Clipper
If you love flying, you'll love this experience! It's a 70 minute flight in a Douglas DC-3 plane, which is a fixed wing, propellor driven plane that was popular in the 1930s-40s. In anyone's book, they are an elegant looking plane, finished in shiny silver metal. They are different from the planes of today in so far as they sit on the tarmac at about a 30 degree angle to the ground, with the front wheels being considerably higher than the rear wheel.
The DC-3 or 'Gooney Bird' is an elegant airliner, popular in the 1930s-40s
The Silver Clipper Dinner Flight is offered by Short Stop Jet Charter, and operates out of Melbourne's Essendon Airport. For $299 per person, you get sparkling wine and canapés on arrival, the 70 minute flight during which dinner and drinks are served, and tea, coffee, chocolates and port on your return to the lounge at Essendon Airport.
For an extra $50, you can also request to sit in the 'jump seat' with the pilots either during take off or landing. While we didn't take up this option, we were however invited up to the cockpit during the flight to get a 'pilot's eye' view.
'Pilot's eye' view from the DC-3
The plane is fitted out to take just 28 passengers and there is more legroom than you'd find in most modern day airliners.
In keeping with the era and elegance of the DC-3, passengers are encouraged to dress elegantly and get into the spirit of a more adventurous age. This adds to the feeling that the flight is truly an 'occasion'.
While it is a 'dinner flight', don't expect gourmet cuisine. It is 'dinner in a box', such as you might get on a commercial flight. We were served with a lamb salad, with bread roll (no butter), and an individual lemon meringue pie. Red and white wine, as well as non-alcoholic drinks, are served. While the food was adequate, it was not the star of the show. The night belongs to the stunning silver bird that has been taking to the sky for more than 70 years.
The dinner is adequate but not the star of the show
The Gooney Bird next flies on Valentine's Day - 14th February 2015. What a great setting to propose to your loved one!
Views across Melbourne from the Gooney Bird
Short Stop offers a range of other flights, including King Island flights and Brown Brothers Gourmet Delight. For more information about these, click here.