FLY IT! We know you want to fly it. And we want you to! We are committed to helping people visit and experience this aircraft that was an integral part of aviation history in any way that we can. Our Douglas DC-3 aircraft is always available for visits and tours if you just want to come see it and sit up front reminisce a little. There is no charge and you are always welcome. For those aviators with a few aviation credentials in their pockets, we also offer a truly unique opportunity to actually fly the DC-3.
It's a big airplane. It's wingspan is almost 100 ft. It can carry over 820 gallons of fuel. Each engine oil tank holds almost 30 gallons of oil. On takeoff it can produce over 2400 Horsepower. It can carry almost 5000 Pounds of anything that can fit in the door, and yet lift off the runway in far less than 3000 feet! After a review of your credentials and your flying history, we will conduct a short briefing with you that includes starting, taxi, takeoffs, landings, checklists, and emergency procedures. You sit left seat. We let you taxi this large multi-engine tailwheel airplane! It's not as easy as it looks. And now It's your takeoff! Push the power levers forward and feel all 3660 cubic inches of cylinders accelerate you down the runway! Once up and away, where we go and what we do is all up to you. You are welcome to try your hand at any of the local ILS or non precision approaches, takeoffs and landings, or whatever you like! Be sure to bring a camera and plenty of film. In addition to actually flying the DC-3, you will also have numerous premier photo opportunities along the way. We make a special effort to help make sure that you go home with all the photos that you want of you in the saddle and actually flying this classic old airliner!
If you are not a pilot but would like a flight in our DC-3, we can still help. Ride up front with the pilots in our "jumpseat" and get a bird's eye view of all the action! Be sure to bring a camera and plenty of film. In addition to actually flying up front in the DC-3, you will also have numerous premier photo opportunities along the way. We make a special effort to help make sure that you go home with all the photos that you want of you both on the ground and in flight in this classic old airliner!
Our DC-3 is a DC-3A, serial number 2054, now registered as N143D. It was built by Douglas Aircraft in October of 1938 and shipped via boat to Europe with the wings off and then re-assembled in Switzerland. It made its first flights there flying the colors of Swiss Air. This original Douglas Aircraft Company photo shows the aircraft on one of its first flights on December 8, 1938, just 2 months after it was completed in Santa Monica, California.
The airliner returned to the US to fly as a passenger aircraft for Ozark airlines until 1967 when it was sold several times and used as a corporate executive transport aircraft for several different companies. Then N143D took on a new lifestyle in 1974 as it was converted to a freight aircraft. The seats were removed and an all metal cargo floor was installed. The landing gear was upgraded to the heavier C-47 gear and the maximum gross weight was increased to 26,900 Pounds. The aircraft can carry 820 gallons of fuel located in four separate tanks, allowing a range in excess of 9 hours. The airplane has Pratt and Whitney 1830 - 92 engines that develop 1200 HP each for takeoff. With full fuel, the airplane can carry a crew of 2, almost 5000 pounds of payload, takeoff from a runway less than 3000 feet long, and still stay in the air over 9 hours! The control surfaces are covered with fabric; the ailerons alone are almost the size of a small Cessna! It has 28 cylinders, 56 spark plugs, and the oil tank for each engine holds almost 30 Gallons of oil!
Today, N143D has all new engines, props, tires, brakes, control surfaces, engine pre-oilers, and a new state of the art avionics suite! The aircraft has assumed yet another new mission of promotion of the heritage and history of aviation, helping aviators attain DC-3 flight training and type ratings, and the fulfillment of the dreams of aviators around the world just like you that might never again have another chance to actually fly this classic old airliner.