I have also had the honor of riding on Delta's Ship 41 restored DC-3. It is the first DC-3 to carry revenue passengers for Delta. It was quite the experience.
If you are flying on a "true" AA
DC-3, your experience will be different, as AA
was the only operator to request that their DC-3's be made with the passenger door on the right side of the airplane. Other than that, it should be similar to any other DC-3 flight some have taken. On Ship 41, EVERYTHING was just the way it was when it entered service. Whatever couldn't be salvaged was fabricated. The seats are the same size, style and color, seatbelts have the '40's era Delta winged logo, and even the cockpit is the same. The radios are hidden away as to not "spoil" the authentic look. The flight I took was from JAX
back in 2002 on a barnstorming tour of the aircraft by Delta throughout the South. It seemed to be the star of the show sitting at the end of Concourse B for all to see. Pilots from other airlines were coming over to check her out between flights, and it seemed every Delta flight that taxied by stopped for a few seconds with lots of faces in the windows. I'm sure that onboard you could hear, "And if you look out the left side of the airplane, you will see..."
I got the chance to fly on it the next morning as it made the hop over to TLH
, and I would just hop on a US Airways Express B1900 back over. DL
has a truck that follows the DC-3 everywhere that carries the walkway and ground equipment for the airplane. As we flew west at about 3,000 feet, the pilots kept peering over the nose, looking down at Interstate 10. I asked them what they were looking for, to which they replied, "We're looking for the truck, otherwise we'll have a hard time when we get to TLH
." Well, the truck beat us, astonishingly.
As for the ride, I took the option to sit right on the wing by the engine. Not as noisy as I expected, but gave me goosebumps to see those big engines cough and sputter white smoke on starting. We taxied to the end of the runway and as we started down, you could feel the tail slowly lift up, and very gently, the aircraft floated into the air. The engines eventually settled into a cool growl that was somewhat relaxing. One interesting fact, you can stand in the rear of the airplane and feel the back of it slowly fishtail in the slipstream. On landing, there was a smooth bump, and the airplane kept her tail up for most of the landing roll. Almost to the very end, she finally settled down her tail with another small bump. It's an experience to be sitting on a plane taxiing while your sitting at such a steep nose up angle.
As I exited the airplane, I had to remove the white gloves and booties I was wearing(required wear for flying Ship 41 to preserve her), as the mechanics(wearing circa 1940's uniforms) immediately took their place under the wings wiping the oil off the shiny aluminum skin. They later took the TLH
station crew up for a spin before I headed back to JAX
. From what I hear, even though the retired DL
pilots flying her have many, many hours on her, she blew a tire landing in ATL
and had to be towed back to the Delta Heritage Museum Hangar. Somewhat scary thought, but all was handled with safety and professionalism.
Great ride, and I hope yours goes the same way. As said above, hopefully you will get a ride as nice as Delta's Ship 41.
I don't have a microwave, but I do have a clock that occasionally cooks shit.