DC-3 Stories Abound
As details firm up for the huge gathering of DC-3 and C-47 aircraft just before AirVenture, those with a personal attachment to the venerable aircraft are telling their stories. Organizers of the Last Time, a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the aircraft, have opened a diary section on their Web site that encourages the swapping of yarns about the iconic aircraft. From stories about JATO-assisted takeoffs (800 feet) to bush flying to super secret electronic surveillance missions in Vietnam, the site covers the history of the aircraft through the eyes of those who flew it. Although more than 130 such stories have been added to the site, organizers say that's the tip of the iceberg and they're hoping for thousands of entries. Meanwhile preparations continue for the mass formation flight of 40 aircraft from Rock Falls, ILL to Oshkosh for the opening day of AirVenture on July 26 which will include one of the last flying DC-2s in existence.
The Museum of Flight in Seattle owns N1934D but Clay Lacy has been instrumental in restoring it to flying condition and will be in the left seat when it takes part in the festivities. The aircraft was built in 1934 and was originally sold to Pan Am for use in South America. It spent time as a smoke jumper platform before it was acquired by the Douglas Historical Society in the 1970s. It spent 15 years parked at Santa Monica Airport before the Seattle museum bought it and put it in good enough flying condition for the trip to Seattle, where it was put on static display, still in need of engine work. Lacy flew it back to Van Nuys earlier this year to overhaul the engines and it's now in top operating condition.