Long Live the DC-3

The famed Douglas aircraft reigned supreme as a civilian and military transport

(Dallas Historical Society)

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.

C-47 Cockpit

(San Diego Aerospace Museum)

A C-47 cockpit bristles with dials and flight controls.


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