First flown in 1935, the Douglas DC-3 became the most successful airliner in the formative years of air transportation, and was the first to fly profitably without government subsidy. More than 18,000 DC-3s, both civil and military versions, U.S. and foreign built, were produced. Many are still flying. This airplane flew more than 56,700 hours with Eastern Air Lines.
Gift of Eastern Air Lines
Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum
First Flight, Age Nine, Cincinnati
Passenger, July 26, 1955
My first airplane flight at age nine was from Greater Cincinnati Airport in Newport, Kentucky, about 4 miles from our home. It was in a Lake Central Airlines DC-3. Back in those days, if there was time between scheduled flights the airline would take the paying public up on short sightseeing flights around Cincinnati. I was incredibly excited with this magical experience and was given a set of wings and an Honorary Captain's Commission signed by the crew (I still have it). I was always an "airport bum" growing up, often walking to the airport with buddies to watch the Connies, DC-4s, and DC-6s start up. I eventually got my flight instructor license and taught for a couple of years at CVG. I've never forgotten that first flight.