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How Many DC-3 Are Still Flying?

The Douglas Commercial 3 (DC-3) was one of the most mass-produced, well-engineered aircraft in history. Built to last, to land anywhere and never to break, Douglas churned out more than 11,000 of the type before and during World War II. But how many of these 80-year-old aircraft are still flying today? The 80-year old aircraft that will never die For an aircraft that was built before the Second World War, you’d be forgiven for assuming most would have been retired by now. So, imagine our… ( More...

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peter remec 7
Fond memories of flying on Indian Airlines repurposed DC3 Dakotas in 1966-67. Used on the smaller domestic routes. Once on a multi stop point to point trip in Southern India, we all deplaned and had a sit down dinner, with pilots and cabin crew at the head table, cruise ship style!
Abraham Sagiv 5
yes I flew on one as a paratrooper I had 50 jumps
dilkie 6
me as well, never landed in one.
Bill Butler 4
That's actually quite funny! Your log book would have multiple take offs and zero landings!

Thanks for your service. Bill, USN (RET). 22 yrs.
Bruce Bowe 5
My Dad (Capt Ed B) flew these for American and also in WW2 with Air Transport Command. I know he loved them.
Etienne Daniels 4
In THailand they are owned by the military, not sure how many are still flying. One is parked at wing 41 in CNX (Chiang Mai) Northern Thailand and has not moved for many years.
ImperialEagle 4
Well, for 1930's technology it was certainly ahead of its time, however, as a new design you probably could not get it certified today. It could not even meet the criteria for climbing over a 100 ft. obstacle with an engine loss past V1. Because it might hold altitude at 5k on one engine with not too heavy a load, but, with any kind of decent load an engine loss at take off was going to end at the crash site. And engine reliability was always an issue. It also had a tendency to want to switch ends on you when on the ground, so you really had to watch it especially in cross winds. Unpressurized and wallowing around at low altitudes in bad weather would just about guarantee every single pax would throw up all over the place. The odor of gastric juices permeating every inch of the airplane. The daily afternoon convective weather in Florida was a real joy. Oh yes, the -3 was certainly an aircraft not soon forgotten!
Willard Perry 4
DC3 had radio compass--stand by compass--windowss and a sextant--what more could you want?
Tim Dyck 2
A sextant? Cool! I wonder how many people can even read one of them anymore. I have an antique hand held one but I would love to squire one from an old military aircraft.
Mark Kortum 1
Many of the ones still flying have been converted to modern turboprops with upgraded instrumentation. I did not see in the article any reference to how many of the remaining airframes are upgraded.
Blake Van 3
Got my first DC-3 Type rating and 135 captain upgrade at Allied Air Freight in Kennedy Space Center in Florida, upon return flight lost left engine mechanical fuel pump, so just flew back to OPF on election boost pump, many hours flying cargo to the Bahamas both VFR and IFR. Once asked by a 747 Crew recruiter if I ever had an engine failure, I just laughed, too many, but always made it home, if not many days later.
Joseph Wade 3
Flew in one as a joy ride over Sydney many years ago. What a pleasure it was I couldn't wipe the smile off my face for days...

See the occasional one go over my place when there is an airshow on. Hearing it long before seeing it.

Just love the old Gooney. They say the 747 is the queen of the sky but if there is a king well its gotta be the DC-3.
Bob Horgan 4
I took my last fly on a DC3 as and Anniversary flight to celebrate the DC3 50 year history. The aircraft I flew in was owned by AIr North in Darwin, and was the oldest DC3 on the Australian Register. We flew in formation with two other DC3.s over Sydney CBD.
Willard Perry 2
My guess is the DC3 will still fly after the 747 is parked forever
Vaughn Blue Jr 3
My uncles used to ride Trans-Texas Airways DC-3s from Little Rock, AR.
bdarnell 3
My first ever commercial flight was a DC-3 from IND to LGA for the New York World's Fair in 1964. Great airplane.
William Corbett 3
Naval Air Station Cubi Point RP to Manila International.
Viet Nam war - base to base transport
Antony George 3
I was fortunate to fly in a DC3 when on a trade visit to South Africa in 1976. The aircraft flew a few of us from Johannesburg to the Welcom gold mine. Great flight at slow cruising speed and low level gave us a wonderful view of the African veldt below!
Lanny Word 3
That had to be a beautiful way to see South Africa.
Willard Perry 3
Drop the first number of 747 replace it with a "C" what do you have left?
The Rx 3
Millard Air.... 1983. Toronto Symphony Orchestra chartered a DC-3 from them for a tour of the Arctic. We shoe-horned all the orchestra stands ...chairs ...etc etc into the belly. 3 jump seats in the back for myself boss ...and the orchestra librettist. After we loaded ...was having a quick smoke break on the apron. Watched the co-pilot pass up about 12 x 5 gal. pails of Rotella engine oil. After we were airborne for about an hour heading to Frobisher Bay...watched the co-pilot carefully pouring engine oil into a small pipe behind the cockpit. Apparently...SOP in the day to compensate for engines that burned up too much on long flights. LoL
Wayne Schuman 3
A great memory ride, in the mid 60's, from Churchill MB to Flin Flon MB, losing one engine enroute, but arriving safely!!
William Crooker 4
Flew in one from Boston to Martha's Vineyard when PBA where using them. My son was a 1st officer at the time. He mentioned that one Aircraft in the PBA's fleet was the oldest manufactured DC-3 and would break its total time record with every flight.
laundryczar 1
Yes! I flew In theirs too, Great fun.
myalias 2
There is a fleet of them parked at the Hay River airport.
The Rx 1
Buffalo Airways ??
Don Whyte 2
Buffalo Airways for sure (for ever).
Lee Withers 2
Flew twice I one. Detroit City to Flint in the late 40’s and Plston to Flint as a 13 year old in 1955.
Gordon Truax 2
Follow D-day Squadron for some interesting history of the c-47s
Gene Pardee 2
I caught a hop on the USN version from MCAS El Toro to NAS New Orleans in 1966 during a nationwide airline strike. It was a long ride, but it got me there. I was on my way to my first USAF duty station, MacDill AFB in Tampa Florida.
Everett MacArthur 2
In June of 1955 I flew from Otis AFB to Samson AFB for basic training. Subsequently flew with Foster McEdward who flew the hump on China and the Berlin airlift. In the 1990s participated in a zero time restoration.and subsequently was checked out for start, taxi and runup.
vtpaul -1
Hello Mac from fellow former Northern Airways/Air North employee at BTV.
Glad to see you are still around!
McEdward's name caught my eye. I didn't work on those 3s much but always loved being around those great birds!
Paul Young
Victoria Auerbach 2
My grandfather was a mechanic for Dc-3
Harvey Glockenmeyer 2
1956 -1958 flew Vancouver to Price George BC. with Canadian Pacific Airlines return once a month on a DC 3. We called it the milk run, Vancouver - Penticton - Williams Lake - Quesnel - Prince George. I was 18 years old and working for B.C. Tel changing out magneto phones to dial phones. Once I flew from Williams Lake to Prince George and the taxi was late and took us out to the end of the runway where we boarded the plane. This is when I found out the runway was gravel and a very bumpy ride in the taxi. The stewardess would serve coffee and cookies in flight and once sat down beside me and I offered her a cigarette. She told me she didn't smoke or drink, but did everything else. I was to young or stupid and never followed up on it?? At the time it was just another day but the memories are great.
Harrison Fisher 2
My Uncle was a WWII vet in the South Pacific. He swore by DC3's. He was very disappointed when all of the commercial airline companies took them out of their fleets.
Ed Haier 2
I live close to CFB Trenton and recently I heard an unusual engine sound. Yep, it was a DC3 doing patterns.
rfsahae 2
Was invited to ride a twilight flight in a DC3 spraying for mosquitoes in 1977. Lovely evening making low altitude passes over Charleston (if I recall). One px seat and a tank of chemicals.
Donald Stewart 2
I was in the R.C.A.F. and flew in one many times, since it's not pressurized it will probably fly many more years.
Ken Kaiser 2
In May of 1972 I was a junior Ensign, and the navy flew me to the Philippines to join my ship, the USS Saratoga, in Subic Bay RP. The last leg (from Manilla to NAS Cubi Point) was in a military DC-3, the one and only time I ever flew in one. Years later I became a corporate pilot and at one point wanted to get a type in a DC-3 just for nostalgia's sake, but never did. In the late 1980's public television aired a great documentary about the development and history of the iconic aircraft. I believe it may have been Eisenhower who stated we could have never won WW-II without the DC-3.
James Simms 1
The DC-3 & Jeep
Jackson Whatley 2
My local Commemorative Air Force Wing in Burnet, the Highland Lakes Squadron is working on revamping two engines on a DC-3 to get it flying again! If you are in the Texas Hill Country, come check it out soon at KBMQ
linbb 3
Also many were produced under the item called C47 for the military many of those are still in use too. I assume those would be included also.
EMK69 5
As well as C-117 both Navy and Marines flew them, including me. Had a little over 4500 hours on the Gooney Birds.
James Simms 1
As a very young child, I remember flying on a Southern Airways DC-3 from Huntsville, AL (HSV) to Little Rock, AR (LIT) w/a stopover in Memphis, TN (MEM)m part of the way was through aSevere Thunderstorm.

My late Father flew on a C-47 from Calcutta, India to Kumming, China over ‘The Hump’ during WW2 on his way to his unit. The pilot was a demoted Flying Tiger pilot (did Victory Rolls over his base & Chennault demoted him for wasting precious AvGas). Upon arrival, the pilot stood the C-47 on one wing to check fir any runway bomb damage, circled & stood the aircraft on the other wing for the same reason.

After the war, he flew back across ‘The Hump’ back to Calcutta & back home.
nathan salzman 1
More than 50 Basler re-engined DC3 with PT6A turboprops are flying.
Alan Lewis 1
In the summer of 1968, I flew on a U.S.Navy R4D, the Navy varient of the DC-3, from Davis-Montham AFB to Nava Air Station North Island. The aircraft had been reworked in Brownsville, TX and was being ferried to the Philippines. As I recall, it had an extra fuel tank fitted for the journey. Great experience.
Flew one leg...SJU to STT.....45 years ago....just to say l flew on one....
Michael Craig 1
i believe the dooibe brothers crew plane was a DC3 called Crewbie Liner
Bart Youngblood 1
There was one based at Mallard's Landing fly in community for a while. I don't see it there in the current aerial imagery, but it was still parked out there maybe 7-8 years ago. I never seemed to be there at the right time to get a ride in it, but saw it fly numerous times when visiting my aunt and uncle who lived there. There was no mistaking it when it flew around the pattern over their home.
Thomas Dorough 1
Received my Douglas Type in March '95. Over the next five years, logged about 3,000 hrs. flying everything from Sea Lions to Auto Parts. Wouldn't trade the experience for anything...
Victoria Auerbach 1
My grandfather used to be a mechanic for the DC 3.
Mark Daugherty 1
Flew in one in the early 80’s from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard on, I think, PBA. I do recall the incline when boarding to take a seat and window curtains as opposed to a pull down window shade.
Alan Dahl 1
My father flew the DC-3 for United Airlines starting in 1940 and my mother worked on them as a stewardess in the early 1950s though she worked on the -4 and -6 as well.
First Last 1
The article doesn't mention it, but Finland and Hungary has also working DC-3s (they are even on the Normandy video).
I've had the pleasure to fly with the Finnish one a couple years back (I think they have at least 2 or perhaps even 3). And I see them from my office windows quite regularly, flying on a sightseeing route. I hope they keep them up for many years to come!
Chris Kane 1
Wien Airlines, 1953, Fairbanks to Circle. Leftside were passenger seats, right side was cargo. On departure, wheels wouldn't retract. Back to Fairbanks. On return a few days later, pilot spotted caribou herd and buzzed them. Pretty exciting stuff for a 12 year old kid.
Ted Drake 1
MacRobertson Miller Airlines of Western Australia flew DC.3s between Perth and Rottnest Island (one of the world's shortest air routes) during the 1960s, and they offered what they called a "first-flighter concession" fare for 18 shillings ($AUD1.80) on the route, a condition being that you couldn't leave the airport at Rottnest. I used the concession several times, just to get flights in a DC.3. Often I was the only passenger aboard.
Paul Hurford 0
I was privileged to right-seat a DC-3 that was rented for the annual Reading Airshow in PA in 1973. All were in the Jr. College Aviation program at then South West college in Chicago. We filled up the plane with program participants and Bob our Professor (a ATP Pilot) took the left seat as we departed KMDW for our flight to Reading. It was a great 3-day adventure as we camped under the Port Wing for the show. I also flew the same DC-3 with Bob several more times, even once landing on a grass field primarily a glider airport.
Well I'm probably older than all you guys!
I joined the Naval Air ln 1957 in Akron, Ohio.
It was a blimp squadron, but I had to jump out of a DC3 (Navy R4D-8) It was a long ride to the top but we had fun and looked around a lot.
Being on a static line ment that the canopy opened before you could think about it,,
But I'll Always remember that noisy ride up, more than the quiet ride down!
Roger LEE 0
Flew in a Dan Air DC 3 from Cardiff to Liverpool on the way to the Isle of Man in May 1962 . The approach over the River Mersey was rough and my Wife was sick . The Air Hostess handed me the tissues to do the mopping up . Liverpool to the IOM was a 20 minute trip in a BEA Viscount . The return trip a week later was a direct flight from the IOM to Cardiff in a Dan Air DC 3 with only three of us on the flight . The other passenger was so fat he occupied 2 seats .
Peter Melanson 0
Flew in one while Island hopping in the Carirbean in 1970...Loved it...Then again in 1971 from Granada to Barbados,
Both wil LIAT and Once more...I would love to do it again!!
steve jenney -1
my first flight. EWB/LGA Northeast Airlines. 1958..remember boarding through rear door and literally climbing uphill to seats,


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