The Flagship Detroit's American Airlines DC-3 at San Francisco.

The Flagship Detroit's American Airlines DC-3 (NC17334) at San Francisco.

During my last trip down to San Francisco (SFO) and their showing off of Terminal 2, I had the opportunity to check out the Flagship Detroit Foundation’s DC-3 (NC17334) with classic American Airlines livery.

The foundation is a nonprofit organization made up of 1500 members whose main goal is to keep the DC-3 travelling across the country promoting the history of aviation — what a great cause.

The aircraft was built in 1937 and was the 21st DC-3 that American Airlines received. American ended up operating 84 DC-3s until they went out of service in 1949. NC17334 is the oldest DC-3 still flying today.

The DC-3 was purchased by the Flagship Detroit Foundation in August 2004 and was restored. Today it is flown around the country to remind people of the history of flying. It is surely one of the most impressive DC-3s that I have seen that still flies.

Check out the other goodies:
* 12 of my photos of the DC-3 (check the sweet B757 seen through the cockpit)
* 73 photos of NC17334 on
* Video taken from the DC-3 over Niagara Falls
* Photos from the Flagship Detroit’s site

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner Was Almost Called the Global Cruiser

Very nice photo and post about my favorite airplane. I flew about 600 hours in DC-3s and really enjoyed the airplane. I miss the sound of those great radial engines and the challenge of making the aircraft “sing”.

Even though I have a type rating in the DC-3 there’s not much call for DC-3 captains these days.


Re: DC-3 Captain at Buffalo – Only if you’re Canadian and only if you want to work on the ramp in the cold for a year. Only good if unmarried and <30 years old.

dear Tony, Tomorrow am (2-4-12) we are scheduled on your breakfast flight departing Stuart (FL) I’ve got the
excitement of my 1st flight of my life. I know it’ll be wonderful. We (my husb. Emilio) met you at PBI tarmac
Jet Aviation in January. Hope weather cooperates. See you tomorrow.


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