A tribute flight is planned later this month for the 70th anniversary of the Douglas DC-3. On Dec. 17, the National Aviation Hall of Fame will observe the DC-3’s anniversary, and the 102nd anniversary of powered flight, as part of festivities taking place at the Santa Monica Airport in California. The GA airport, originally known as Clover Field, was the site of the Douglas Aircraft Co. factory, which was torn down in 1975.Of the 10,631 DC-3s built under Douglas guidance from 1935 until 1947, it is estimated that more than 1,200 are still flyable worldwide. One of those is “Duggy,” named for Donald Douglas, which is now a flying ambassador and classroom for Project SkyReach, the Hall of Fame’s youth education program.
“Duggy” will lead a flyover of DC-3s and the C-47 military derivative over Santa Monica, including the DC-3 Monument Park, where “Spirit of Santa Monica,” a restored DC-3, will eventually stand on a pedestal in tribute to the legacy of Douglas Aircraft. “Spirit of Santa Monica” was donated to the airport by David Price, president of the Santa Monica Museum of Flying, and has undergone more than 3,000 hours of restoration by a team of volunteers.