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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Sky Chief: 1941

Sky Chief: 1941

July 1941. "Working on an engine of one of the airliners. Municipal airport, Washington, D.C." Acetate negative by Jack Delano. View full size.

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The cowl is secured by DZUS fasteners, which must have been new. Quarter-turn screws encouraged not to unscrew by a ramp and a spring.

It always seems too flimsy but seems to work.

I was a DC-3 Stewardess

During early 1965-l967, I flew as a stewardess for Northeast Airlines out of Boston. At the time, Northeast was owned by Howard Hughes of Hughes Aircraft; he also owned TWA at the time. The airline was sold to Storer Broadcasting in late l965.

My favorite piece of equipment was not their new 727-200, nor the wonderful Convair 880, nor their Vintage DC-6, but it was the DC-3, or C-47 during WWII. Our pilot instructors told us it was the safest plane in the world. I bid schedules that always included WWII pilot and co-pilot. These men were excellent at the job. I was the only stew in the 24-passenger cabin. We flew all over New England including Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Island, Maine, N.H., Massachusetts, Vermont in the DC-3. Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, the longest serving woman in the Senate, was very instrumental in keeping New England routes served by Northeast.

Today, my husband and I live on a ranch in Texas. Whenever Raytheon Technology flies their DC-3 over our ranch, we run outside to enjoy the sound. Nothing in the air space sounds a wonderful as a DC-3, with their big Pratt & Whitney engines.

Familiar terms

My father is a WWII USAAF veteran who continued in the aviation field after the war. He was a mechanic and later inspector for United, and by the time of his retirement he was certified for Airframe & Powerplant on every United airliner from the DC-3 through the 767. When he was laid off for a year or so during a late 1940s slump, he worked for Capital and hated it. He was glad to be back with the big boys by 1950.

Penn Central Airlines

The DC-3 being serviced belongs to Penn Central Airlines, which became Capital Airlines in 1947. In 1960 Capital Airlines Merged with United Airlines.


Lots of searching, results here. Aircraft is a Douglas DC-3 with Wright R-1820 Cyclone engines, operated by Pennsylvania Central.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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