The Douglas DC-3 is as iconic an aircraft design as the Mustang or the Spitfire. It has endured more than any other, with a few hundred examples still in use across the world: from Africa, to Antarctica, to the USA. Many of the DC-3's current operators use turbine conversions of the type, with the main proponents from South Africa and Wisconsin, USA. Many fledgling US airlines blossomed due to their DC-3s, and almost every major post-war airline started running their schedules with this type; they took advantage of the surplus in military DC-3s (C-47s) after the Second World War, which had already helped to make history in operations such as the huge support for the D-Day Normandy Landings. In Douglas DC-3: 80 Glorious Years, Geoff Jones explores the rich history of the DC-3 from its beginnings in Southern California to its use across the world. Even today, numerous enthusiast organisations continue to keep DC-3s airworthy and fly them for their members. The days of DC-3 commercial operations are now nearing an end, due to the unavailability of spare parts and the scarcity of expensive avgas fuel in remote parts of the world.And yet, the legacy of the DC-3 has endured; the Airbus and Boeing operators of today have the DC-3 operations of the previous century to thank for their current success.
Geoff Jones is a pilot, writer and photographer who grew up in the 1960s hearing the sounds of Cambrian Airways DC-3s thundering out of his local airport at Cardiff/Rhoose. This affection for the iconic DC-3 has been with him during a half-century of worldwide travel reporting and photographing many aspects of the world's civil aviation scene. With fourteen civil aviation book titles to his name and thousands of magazine articles, Jones is a respected and well-known author/photographer. Flying a DC-3 in the Caribbean was a career highlight.