A rare 1945 Douglas DC3, owned by Air Chathams, has touched down at Whanganui Airport.

It was originally owned by the King of Tonga, but fell into a state of disrepair.

Air Chathams owner Craig Emeny spotted the plane and decided to restore it as a labour of love - a project that took around a year.

The 230 horsepower piston radial engine is very loud - but can reach speeds of around 350 kilometres per hour.

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The model was most famously used in World War Two for the Normandy landings as a troop carrier.

One of the last surviving World War Two icons - the DC has outlasted over iconic planes like the Concord.

Pilots say while it may be slow and it may leak water from time to time, it is a joy to fly.

The Douglas DC3 is in Whanganui for a vintage weekend.