Historic Flight Foundation’s DC-3 takes flight

MUKILTEO, Wash. — The Historic Flight Foundation, an aviation museum with its flying operations based at Paine Field in Everett, recently launched the inaugural flight of its newest addition: A DC-3.

The DC-3 joins a flying collection of military and civilian aircraft from 1927-1957.

HFF DC-3 Flying the Hump for CNAC

Flying the “Hump” in 1944 for CNAC

The Douglas DC-3 is perhaps the most recognizable propeller-driven airliner in history. More than 16,000 were built and more than 400 remain in commercial service today. In over 75 years of flight the DC-3 has carried more passengers, flown more miles, and broken more records than any other airplane in history.

Fully restored, HFF’s DC-3 features a combination of executive-style VIP interior with classic Pan American Airways’ livery, reflecting its varied past, officials note.

HFF DC-3 Interior - Credit to James PolivkaThis DC-3 was built in Long Beach, Calif, by Douglas Aircraft Co. for delivery to CNAC (China National Aviation Corporation) in August of 1944. It served in the China-Burma-India Theater of World War II, flying critical supplies and personnel across the Himalayas, a route commonly referred to as the “Hump.”

After the war it flew in China as a regional airliner until the Chinese civil war in 1949. Resolution of a complicated legal battle between the Nationalist and Communist governments allowed its return to the United States in 1953 for conversion to a “Super” DC-3. It was purchased by the Johnson & Johnson Company and served as its chairman’s airplane until 1959. Then began a series of private ownerships spanning more than 50 years. Following restoration and flight-testing, it was relocated to Historic Flight at Paine Field.

With a full complement of museum supporters on board, the inaugural flight included an orbit around the Space Needle and a flight north over Lake Washington to Husky Stadium and via Lake Union and the locks to Elliott Bay, then north to Paine Field.

For more information: HistoricFlight.org 

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