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Oldest DC-3 to fly again

 

With the 75th anniversary of the first flight of the Douglas DC-3 approaching on December 17, plans for restoration of the oldest surviving example of the breed are being drawn up in the USA. Owned by Frank Moss and his sons Glen and Charlie, DC-3 N133D will soon be ferried from Griffin, Georgia, where it has sat for more than a decade, to Punta Gorda, Florida.

The historic airliner is the sixth Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST) built, and was delivered to American Airlines as NC16005 on July 12, 1936. The DST was the first iteration of the immortal DC-3/C-47 line, and could be fitted out with either 14 sleeping berths or accommodation for 28 day passengers.

Among the DST’s external features was a series of “eyebrow” windows along the upper fuselage at the height of the sleeping bunks, and these will be replicated during the restoration. Glen Moss says, “We have compiled much of the reference material necessary for a faithful restoration of the DST interior, and are actively locating the components necessary to fit it out”.

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