Oct 16, 2011

Flagship Detroit

Between June of 1936 and April, 1946, American Airlines took delivery of 94 DC-3's from Douglas Aircraft Corporation.  These were the pride and joy of the young company; the "Flagships" of their growing fleet.  On March 2, 1937, Flagship Detroit became part of that fleet.  It served the airline until 1946, after which it served as a Mexican executive aircraft, a cargo hauler (including some cargo of an illicit nature), insecticide spreader, and training aircraft.  In September, 2004, it was purchased by the Flagship Detroit Foundation from Eastern Mennonite University.  The stated goal of the foundation was to restore the airplane to its initial configuration as a passenger airliner in order to "Preserve the legacy of one of the most popular aircraft in American Airlines history."
Winston with DC-3 in background

Yesterday I heard that the Flagship Detroit, NC17334, was to be flying out of the Madison County Executive Airport.  That is only about 12 miles away.  I decided to drive Winston, my 1932 Plymouth coupe, to visit a 1937 airplane.  And besides, the weather was perfect for an an afternoon drive.

The restored airplane is stunning.  It is now the oldest flying DC-3 in the world.  The pictures tell it all.  Coincidentally, Deron Shady and son Daniel were there and had taken a flight.  I also ran into Paul Brinkmeyer, a gentleman I used to work with at Camber.  He is now a medevac pilot.  Small world...
The restored interior -- The height of luxury in 1937!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just saw this aircraft fly into DFW!