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The DC-3 Reunion

by John M. White |

Unfortunately, the planned mass fly-in of DC-3s in celebration of the 75th anniversary of this wonderful aircraft to Oshkosh and AirVenture will not happen, as many had feared. The Douglas DC-3 is perhaps one of the most widely known passenger aircraft in the world, and while designed and first flown in 1935 many of these aircraft still ply the skies today. It is probably the airplane that did more than any other to introduce the public to air transportation. It was the first airliner to ever make a profit just carrying passengers without the support of an air mail contract or any other government subsidy. Originally the aircraft was offered in two versions: a 14 passenger sleeper version called the Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST) and the DC-3 day version. Douglas DC-3 in World War II Livery American Airlines was the first customer of the aircraft, followed by United Airlines and KLM was the first overseas DC-3 buyer. By 1939 90% of the world's airline traffic was flying on DC-3s. 10,655 of the DC-3 were built, plus some 2,500 more under license to the Soviet Union and Japan. Some 30+ of these marvelous aircraft are scheduled to arrive at Whiteside County Airport in Rock Falls, IL during July 24th through July 26th. This event is known as "The Last Time" gathering and there is parking room for 34 of these aircraft at Whiteside. Despite promises to the contrary by AirVenture officials an agreement to organize a mass arrival of these aircraft at Oshkosh failed which means it will not occur and there will be no mass display of these aircraft at AirVenture. Many of these beautiful aircraft will, no doubt, wing their way to Oshkosh anyway, and if you get a chance to go either to Whiteside or Oshkosh you will get a chance to see a number of these aircraft up close and personal. I encourage you to do so. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Every flying machine has its own unique characteristics, some good, some not so good. Pilots naturally fly the craft in such a manner as to take advantage of its good characteristics and avoid the areas where it is not so good. — Neil Armstrong, quoted in 'Popular Mechanics,' June 2009. ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!

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