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Home > Screenings > > The DC-3 Story - The Plane That Changed the World


The DC-3 Story - The Plane That Changed the World


In Oshkosh near Chicago, the Basler factory is living in symbiosis with an airplane boneyard. Several DC-3 aircraft seem to be lying about in disrepair. But their fuselages will be made into brand new airplanes. Through 45,000 hours of work, 80 employees hammer, screw, and drill a wreck into a modern aircraft. “We tear everything out and deliver a brand new airplane with a modern turbo prop engine and a high-tech cockpit”, says aircraft mechanic Ashley Haase. The fuselage of the DC-3 remains, with its square windows – and its 1936 type certificate. The DC3 is the only aircraft in the world that can be fully rejuvenated.
With more than 16,000 built, the DC-3 became the world’s most successful aircraft and legend in several wars. The DC-3 is able to land on any surface, including grass, gravel, ice, or snow. Its slowness helps in extreme areas such as the North and South Pole. And the disadvantage of an unpressurized cabin becomes an asset when it comes to wear and tear. A DC-3 can continue to fly without any cracks in its fuselage after 75 years, while Airbuses and Boeings get so many cracks that most of them are scrapped after just two decades of service. When Swissair was winding down its DC-3 operations, Hugo Mathys bought the last plane for $250,000. An engineer, he sees the DC-3 as a singular masterpiece.

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