The Douglas Industrial 3 (DC-3) was one of the mass-produced, well-engineered plane in historical past. Constructed to final, to land wherever and by no means to interrupt, Douglas churned out greater than 11,000 of the kind earlier than and through World Conflict II. However what number of of those 80-year-old plane are nonetheless flying right this moment?Are any DC-Three nonetheless flying? Picture: Getty ImagesThe 80-year outdated plane that can by no means dieFor an plane that was constructed earlier than the Second World Conflict, you’d be forgiven for assuming most would have been retired by now. So, think about our shock once we heard one had suffered a runway tour in Colombia right this moment. Out of curiosity, we thought we’d check out what number of DC-Three are nonetheless accounted for proper now.In accordance with the aviation historical past guide ‘Survivors’ by Roy Blewett (final up to date in 2017), there are slightly below 200 DC-3s airworthy and usually energetic. Whereas some belong to hobbyists or tour operators, greater than 100 are considered hauling freight and passengers in distant areas.The ruggedness and bulletproof reliability of the DC-Three has made it surprisingly related to right this moment’s missions, regardless of its 80 years of age. It might land on grass and filth runways with ease, and requires a surprisingly conservative runway size, making it in style in growing international locations.An unimaginable quantity are nonetheless flying right this moment, both with fans or as cargo/passenger plane in distant areas. Picture: Getty ImagesSome have even been transformed to turboprops, utilizing the Rolls-Royce Dart engine or the Pratt & Whitney PT6A powerplant. Others are saved flying via salvaged spare components and new outdated stock. The over-engineered nature of the DC-Three means most of the spare components manufactured for it within the ’30s had been by no means used, so there’s a stunning stock nonetheless round.In addition to the circa 200 in flying situation, Blewett estimates an additional 160 are saved and will doubtlessly be made flyable once more. 389 are on show (each good aviation museum has one), and 33 are being refurbished, both to fly or for static show.Out of a complete manufacturing run of 11,139 plane, that makes for round 8% of the fleet nonetheless in existence.Keep knowledgeable: Join our every day aviation information digest.The most well-liked pre-war planeIn its heyday, the Douglas Industrial 3 (DC-3) was flown by a variety of fascinating airways. Air France, Swissair, and Aer Lingus had been some main European clients, however the true dwelling of the DC-Three was in america.The plane was operated by all method of US airways, a few of whom are nonetheless with us right this moment, others who succumbed to consolidation following deregulation of the trade. Notable operators included Delta Air Strains, Braniff Airways, Hawaiian Air Strains, Jap Air Strains, Pan Am, and naturally, United.A United Air Strains DC-3. Picture: Getty ImagesAmerican Airways was instrumental within the improvement of the DC-3, and together with TWA, Delta and United, it ordered a whole fleet of the kind. The plane married reliability with consolation and efficiency, and rapidly grew to become the go-to model for long-distance flying.American Airways had an enormous fleet of DC-3s. Picture: Getty ImagesIt really proved its worth throughout World Conflict II, when it was probably the most extensively used navy transport, flying because the C-47 for the US Military Air Corps. It additionally discovered a spot with the US Navy because the R4D, in addition to the Marine Corps and Royal Air Power because the Dakota. So prevalent was the DC-3, President David Ike Eisenhower named it one of many 4 most necessary issues that received the warfare.Final yr, to have fun the 75th anniversary of D-Day, a mass take-off of 35 DC-3s was orchestrated from Duxford Aerodrome within the UK to Normandy. It was the biggest meeting of the Douglas plane since WWII and one thing that will need to have been breathtaking to see.Have you ever ever seen a DC-Three in motion? Ever had the pleasure to fly in a single? Tell us within the feedback.