Iconic Breitling DC-3 airplane makes stop in Seattle on historic World Tour
SEATTLE - One of the world's most iconic airplanes made a stop at Boeing Field in Seattle on Tuesday, as part of its historic journey around the world.
The crew of the Breitling DC-3 is attempting to set a world record. The twin-engine propeller airplane is 77 years old, which would make it the oldest plane to circumnavigate the globe, when its world tour is complete later this year.
According to Boeing's website, the first DC-3 built was the "Douglas Sleeper Transport" — also known as "Skysleepers" by customers, and was considered the height of luxury. It featured 14 plush seats in four main compartments which could be folded in pairs to form seven berths. Seven other seats could be folded down from the cabin ceiling.
The plane could accommodate 14 overnight passengers or 28 for shorter daytime flights. The first was delivered to American Airlines in June 1936, followed two months later by the first standard 21-passenger DC-3.
The DC-3 plane visiting Seattle, made it's first flight in 1940, before it was delivered to American Airlines. It was then hired out to the Army from 1942 to 1944. It's the same kind of aircraft that dropped thousands of paratroopers on the coast of Normandy during World War II.
Seattle was the first of 12 scheduled stops in the continental U.S.
"My first job in aviation was right here in Boeing field and this is the first stop on the World Tour in North America the lower 48," said Captain Francisco Agullo. "So its pretty cool this is a momentous occasion for me and the World Tour."
After completing tours through Europe, the Middle East and Asia, the DC-3 will now continue its route through the U.S.
The plane landed at Boeing Field Tuesday afternoon, then took off again for a brief aerial of Seattle. The DC-3 will stay overnight in the Emerald City before heading to Aurora, Ore. for a maintenance stop for several weeks.
The plane's tour will end at the Breitling Sion Air Show in Switzerland in October.