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Douglas DC-3First flown in 1935, the Douglas DC-3 became the most successful airliner in the formative years of air transportation, and was the first to fly profitably without government subsidy. More than 13,000 DC-3s, both civil and military versions, U.S. and foreign built, were produced. Many are still flying.An enlarged variant of the popular 14-seat DC-2, the 21-seat DC-3 was comfortable by the standards of its time and very safe, because of its strong, multiple-spar wing and all-metal construction. The airlines liked it because it was reliable, inexpensive to operate, and therefore profitable. Pilots liked its stability, ease of handling, and excellent single-engine performance.The airplane on display above flew more than 56,700 hours with Eastern Air Lines. Its last commercial flight was on October 12, 1952, when it flew from San Salvador to Miami. It was subsequently presented to the Museum by Eastern’s president, Edward V. Rickenbacker.Gift of Eastern Air LinesWingspan: 29 m (95 ft)Length: 19.7 m (64 ft 6 in)Height: 5 m (16 ft 11 in)Weight, gross: 11,430 kg (25,200 lb)Weight, empty: 7,650 kg (16,865)Top speed: 370 km/h (230 mph)Engine: 2 Wright SGR 1820-71, 1,200 hpManufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Co., Santa Monica, Calif., 1936

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