Created by request of forward-thinking American Airlines president C.R. Smith, the Douglas company’s new DC-3 joined American’s Flagship Fleet in September 1936 and immediately began flying between all important US cities. It was not long before its ports of call extended overseas to Shanghai, London, Karachi, Lima and Buenos Aires.
By 1939 the DC-3 was carrying 90% of the world’s air commerce. Finally, the world’s airlines had an aircraft capable of carrying passengers, mail and cargo safely and profitably. The DC-3 was perhaps the aircraft which singly developed a stable and reliable airline industry.
Robert Watts’ fine rendering depicts an American Airlines DC-3 – one of 20 in service by 1936 with right-hand doors – outbound from La Guardia airport. Below, the distinctive Manhattan skyline and the busy New York waterfront add to the nostalgic mood of this pre-war aviation scene.
Tribute to this remarkable aircraft is the fact that after almost 60 years of unbroken service, the distinctive shape and sound of the DC-3 can still be seen in the skies all around the world, performing the role for which it was built – flying passengers and cargo safely and profitably.
Each print has been personally autographed by award-winning artist Robert Watts.