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.
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.
This 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