Posts: 680
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2001 12:02 am

How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:26 am

Just to satisfy my curiosity. Does anybody know (or at least have an approximate idea) about how many DC-3's are still flying around? How many of them as passenger operations?

Posts: 6609
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2000 6:25 am

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 4:06 am

I have only one DC-3 in operation. Well, we are 2000 people supporting that DC-3.

We don't fly much, only small jumps and only in the summer season - roughly 40 hours per year.

Following an engine problem some years back we have lowered MTOW so we can fly no more than 19 passengers on a roughly 200 miles range. This makes signle engine operation absolutely safe.

Last year we bought a complete overhaul of our spare P&W R-1340 engine (roughly $50k). Hopefully we won't need it for quite some years. We have it stored in a completely sealed container in totally dry nitrogen atmosphere. Warrenty lasts for five years when the seal isn't broken. Hopefully we now have engines without much heavy maintenance for a couple of decades.

The cabin interior was used when the plane was VIP transport for the royal family. It doesn't qualify for today's fire depression standards, so the plane cannot be on the ordinary civil register. We have it registered in the "experimental" class which means that only members of the club can fly as passengers.

Economically our small "airline company" performs quite well thanks to quite high fares, which cover more than half of the operations costs. Membership fees and gifts from the members cover much more than the rest, and it also helps that the crews fly for the fun of it and don't even get their direct costs (uniforms etc.) covered. Crew training flights, however, is a major expense.

We also have a few minor sponsors. A favourable fuel agreement with an oil company, and a working dress company donated dresses for all mechanics.

We were quite lucky with paint. Some years back, when it needed new paint, then it coincided with SAS's 50th anniversary. SAS repainted it for that summer in the old SAS scheme of the 50'es, and we flew some celebration flights for them. And the following winter SAS repainted it in our paint scheme simular to its air force VIP transport scheme. It saved us a minor fortune.

Most importantly the Royal Danish Air Force supplies basing and hangar including winter storage and workshop for free. And we have access to the on base officers' club for club meetings etc.

Hopefully we will still haul pax along in our DC-3 in a hundred years from now. That's at least what we plan for.

Regards, Preben Norholm
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
Posts: 276
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 11:54 am

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:42 am

There is an airline in mexico called TANSA based near Puerto Vallarta that operatates DC-3´s on sightseeing tours and flights to touristic places near PVR.
Pablo S.

Posts: 1384
Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2001 4:13 am

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 6:57 am

South Coast airways in the UK operates one for sightseeing and short charter work
little vc110
Posts: 4962
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2001 3:13 am

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 10:12 am

My guess is less than 1000, hard competition from Antonovs in remote areas of Africa, Asia and so on....
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
Posts: 3192
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 12:40 am

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 10:20 am

Per propliners.com, more or less 400 DC-3/C-47s are still airworthy around the world. Even the #5 ship, the oldest survivor, is still listed as airworthy. It doesn't, however, means it flown on a daily basis. Regards.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
Posts: 2125
Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2001 2:47 pm

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 1:56 pm

As far as I know there are at least 50 DC-3s still flying in Canada.
Posts: 29881
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 1999 11:27 am

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 5:10 pm

I know of three at Anchorage.

1 is owned by Desert Air and is operated as a freighter.

2 are the flightseeing birds that are flown by ERA. They are in winter storage up at Merril Field.
Posts: 392
Joined: Sat Feb 16, 2002 4:40 am

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 10:06 pm

I know there are at least 4 airworthy examples in CVT (Coventry) in the UK, operated by Air Atlantique.
1 is used for ad-hoc charter work, freight and pax, another operates purely for Thales Limited, used to fly for RACAL, 2 others are used for oil spill response work.
Air Atlantique have also just recently sold 1 of theirs to Berlin Air Service, who operate it for sight seeing tours (still registered as G-AMPZ).

Hope all that is of some use.
Posts: 356
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2000 4:09 pm

RE: How Many DC-3 Still In Operation?

Wed Jan 23, 2002 10:10 pm

Classic Air in Switzerland operates two DC-3 for sightseeing flights.


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