Some things make my heart skip a beat. The beautiful laugh of my wife, thoughts of Concorde being brought back into service, and now something new — a DC-3 that is still flying around the world.
Swiss watchmaker Breitling maintains both a Douglas DC-3 and Lockheed Constellation in its fleet. These vintage aircraft are meticulously maintained and still make regular appearances at air shows around the world.
In celebration of 77 years of service, Breitling is taking the DC-3 on an incredible tour around the world. The tour actually began in the March, but has now reached the USA.
Today the plane will fly from Van Nuys Airport (VNY) in Los Angeles to Santa Ana (SNA). In the coming days it will continue to Phoenix (Scottsdale), Houston, Dallas, and St. Louis before arriving in Wisconsin for the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
Honestly, I feel like a fool for only reading about this today–as Brietling says–
Certain privileged passengers will be welcomed aboard for certain stretches.
I think this would be one opportunity to pull the blogger card, though I suspect even that would not have worked…
Breitling’s DC-3 was originally delivered to American Airlines in 1940 but used by the military during WWII. After the war, it returned to commercial service for many years. After decades of rusting away, Brietling acquired it and painstakingly restored it.
Have you ever seen or flown on the Breitling DC-3? While I’ll miss today’s flight, I’ve added it to the bucket list!
image courtesy: Alan Wilson / Flickr
Never flown one but when I was younger got to set in the copilot seat of a DC-3 at Chino Airports. Beautiful aircraft!
great plane ( dakota) for low level jumps into a combat zone
Redbull has a old restored DC-6 that they fly and typically keep at their hanger in Salzburg. I bet they’d at least let you on-board.
They keep it on the service hanger side so you can’t always get up close if just visiting the tourist hanger side but I bet if you contacted them ahead of time they’d show it off to you. Getting a trip on it might be harder though.
I flew a Trans Texas DC3 from lake Charles, La to Houston, Tx in 1959 or 1960. It was my first commercial flight. The plane is a tail dragger so you enter from the rear of the fuselage on the co-pilot side. The inside of the door dropped down and was equipped with built in stairs and the climb into the plane was pretty steep. The hand rails were the chains that were used to pull the door back into the fuselage. It was strange because I was pulling myself upstairs with the chains and leaning sideways to my left at the same time. Again, this was because it was a tail dragger. After we took off, the stewardess hit me on the shoulder and said “The coffee is cold, do you want a hot coke?” I declined both…:) We landed at Love Field with no problems. I was a kid at the time and this was a real thrill for me.
Correction, We landed at Hobby, in Houston.
Correction, Not Love Field, Hobby in Houston
Matthew-come/stay with me in Green Lake. 45 minute drive to Oshkosh.
Go to Buffalo Airways in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories operates these and older planes in the Artic. There are dozens of DC-3’s still flying – nothing special. Coulson Airways in Port Alberni B.C. still flies a MARTIN Mars flying boat as a water bomber.
Got to fly one from Tampa to Ft. Meyers prior to Ft. Meyers becoming a landing spot for real airlines. Very cool. Also bumpy, didn’t fly very high.
EAA offers flights on a 1929 Ford Trimotor. I believe that is older than the DC-e
Was in Saltsburg airport a year ago for lunch and they had the DC-6(B) on the ramp and than departed. Took a ride in the EAA Ford Trimotor 5 years a go in LGB, paid to sit in the copilot seat. My part was to advise that the chock was clear.
DC-3 was still flying to Catalina Isle on Catalina Airways. Because I was a non-revenue passenger the plane had to be empty (no cargo) so I had to take the boat over and catch it at the Airport in the Sky. I rode the jump seat for the flight back and it was so uncomfortable the pilot suggested that I stand between the two seats. I felt like a WWII crew chief. The article appeared in Airliner Magazine.
I grew up in the 40’s and regularly flew all the planes of the era including 4 cross-Atlantic trips of various Connie models.
I am a lucky guy.
My First Flight was on a DC-3 From Boston to Laconia New Hampshire to attend my Grandfathers Funeral.
My Second Flight was on a Lockheed Super G Constellation Nonstop from LAX to BOS to attend College
College @ BC Went into Navy Flight Training and flew the R6D and then to Eastern Airlines and flew
Flight Engineer and Co-Pilot on the Super Constellation
The 3350 Engine Produced 3250 HP The Greatest Most Efficient Reciprocating Engine ever built
And the Most Beautiful Reciprocating Engine Airliner on the planet