Long Live the DC-3
The famed Douglas aircraft reigned supreme as a civilian and military transport
On December 17, 1935, test pilots Ed Steinman and Frank Collbohm made the first flight of the Douglas Sleeper Transport, a 14-berth version of the DC-3. To mark the 75th anniversary of Steinman and Collbohm’s flight, photographer Bruce McAllister assembled a stunning collection of images for his latest book, DC-3, A Legend in Her Time: A 75th Anniversary Photographic Tribute (Roundup Press, 250 pp., $49.95).
The book features McAllister’s contemporary color photographs of the popular airliner as well as dozens of black-and-white archival images, many of them documenting the DC-3’s role as a military transport, the C-47. Marketers in the 1930s, by making flying in the DC-3 look carefree and luxurious, introduced the idea that flying was a safe mode of travel.
Pictured above: Braniff’s DC-3 stewardesses wore uniforms designed by Neiman Marcus.
A C-47 cockpit bristles with dials and flight controls.
The standard DC-3 seating configuration had 21 seats and overhead storage compartments.
DC-3s were assembled by hand at the Douglas factory in Santa Monica, California.
Flying Over Alaska
During World War II, the U.S. Navy used a rugged version of the DC-3—the R4D—to ferry personnel and supplies to outposts in the Aleutian Islands.
Military personnel board a Northwest DC-3 at Missoula, Montana during World War II.
Northwest at Night
In the 1930s and ’40s, Northwest flew DC-3s in and out of Washington state’s Spokane Airport.
DC-3 in Flight
A Northwest DC-3 flies over the Mississippi River near Holman Field in St. Paul, Minnesota, during World War II.
Royal Dutch Airlines
Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) operated DC-3s on its routes to Indonesia.