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Over 60 years ago, DC-3s landed regularly at the Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) in South Carolina.  Their mission was to safely transport commercial airline passengers to their destination of choice.  DC-3s have

been doing just that since 1936 when American Airlines convinced Douglas Aircraft to increase the size of their DC-2, which held 14 passengers, to accommodate 21 in a newly designed DC-3.  This allowed American to feasibly fly enough passengers so that the funds from these fares would generate enough income to justify the flight without having to rely on income from the government's air mail service.  Before World War II most commercial air travelers flew in DC-3s.

During WWII, the DC-3 was equipped with a larger cargo door and stronger landing gear so they could be used in military missions.  The Army called their altered version a C-47, and the Navy a R4D.  After WWII many C-47s were seen coming in and out of Greenville Army Air Base. But that was also long ago...

The Flagship Detroit, NC-17334, is the oldest flying DC-3 in the world. It was manufactured in early 1937 and American Airlines accepted delivery of the Detroit on March 2, 1937.  American Airlines flew the Detroit in regular passenger service until 1947 at which time it was sold. Since the airplane was not conscripted into military service during World War II, American used this airplane for a considerable amount of print advertising during the early 1940's. Since the Army Air Corps did not have a dedicated airplane for the President during this time, the Detroit had the distinction of carrying Eleanor Roosevelt on several occasions. She always sat in the same seat (the rear seat on the right side, just forward of the entry door) because, it has been said, she always wanted to be the last person boarded and the first person deplaned. 

This month Greenville residents will once again see a DC-3 in their sky. 

Historic DC-3 Flagship Detroit to Arrive! 
April 23 - 24, 2019. 
FREE ground tours!

Become a member the Flagship Detroit Foundation, 501(c)3 organization, for just $100 (tax deductible) and you can ride in this historic aircraft. Only 21 seats available on each flight! 

The Flagship Detriot DC-3 Is owned and operated by the Flagship Detroit Foundation and is in no way affiliated with American Airlines, Inc.  Flagship Detroit Foundation is a non-profit (501c-3) organization dedicated to preserving the legacy of one of the most popular aircraft in American Airlines history.   For more information please visit https://www.flagshipdetroit.org/index.htm

GMU is the busiest general aviation airport in South Carolina and is a self-sufficient entity with financial strength that doesn't rely on local taxpayers for funding.  GMU is home to Greenville Jet Center, the largest Fixed Base Operation (FBO) in the state, as well as more than 15 other aviation-related businesses creating 547 jobs that annually contribute more than $68.8 million to the Upstate economy.  For more information about GMU please visit http://www.greenvilledowntownairport.com or contact Joe Frasher at 864-242-4777 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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