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 John Schmidt (dc8schmidt@twc.com) | Home > 
The Universal Airliner. 3 / 2017
I think we're still looking for the "DC-3 replacement." No airliner has had as many stated attempts to replace it as the DC-3, still operating 80 years after its birth. Scandias, Vikings, Martins, Convairs Heralds, Ambassadors, as well as Fokkers, Metros, Beechcrafts, and others to some degree replaced the DC-3. But no airliner served as universally as the DC-3 from Transcontinental "Sleeper" flights to 60 mile hops. The C-47 transported much of the war effort, and later served to launch many successful airlines. There are a lot of DC-3 postcards. Following are some of my favorites.
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Enlarge photo 1
A B A Swedish DC-3 #12
The last of a number of ABA issues of their DC-3s. This flight info postcard shows their DC-3 in its final colors.

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Aer Lingus DC-3 #2
There are many cards featuring Air
Lingus aircraft in front of Dublin Airport. This DC-3 is an airport issue from the early 1950s.

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Air Algerie DC-3 #1
A very nice in flight view of Air Algerie's DC-3 F-BCYI, an Air Force C-47 built in 1942, and delivered to Air Algerie in June 1947. It operated for Air Algerie until May of 1953 when it went to Autrex. Written off in Laos a year later.
Card issued approximately 1948. Less common than the color card on the ramp.

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Air B V I  DC-3
Air BVI took delivery of 2 DC-3s in 1975, to provide service to San Juan , PR. This one was an Ex Air Force aircraft which served with Canadian Pacific and Quebecair before arriving at Air BVI, where it operated until 1990. This is the aircraft shown on the Quebecair card.

Enlarge photo 5
Air Djibouti Ramp
An outstanding Air Djibouti issue of their fleet, which at the time included the 2DC-3s plus a Beech 18. The DC-3s operated from the mid 60s to 1975.

Enlarge photo 6
Air North (Australia) DC-3 #1
An airline issue of the DC-3 that launched Air North of Australia in 1978. The airliner was an Air Force C-47, which was brought to Australia by McRobertson Miller in 1973, ( Thus the VH MMA registration). It was the only DC-3 operated by the Airline, which now operates ERJ-170s.

Enlarge photo 7
Air North (Yukon) DC-3
Air North, formed in 1977 operated this DC-3 from 1980-1998, as well as 3 others. Now the Airline is a 737 operator, based in Whitehorse.

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Air Sunshine DC-3 #1
Air Sunshine DC-3s dominated air service to the Keys from 1974-1979. This is a  nice in flight view on an Air Sunshine issue.

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Allegheny  DC-3 #1
An outstanding Allegheny issue of their DC-3 which retains much of the appearance of All American. Not too common.

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Ansett Airways DC-3
This is one of a series of cards issued by Ansett which generally show different facets of operations. Not easy to find.

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Arkia DC-3 #2
A splendid Arkia issue of their DC-3 4X ASR, an ex Air Force C-47 which came to Israel in 1975.

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Braniff DC-3 #1
The only Braniff issued DC-3, although there were at least 3 DC-2 cards.

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British European DC-3 #1
This beautiful DC-3 served with the RAF before delivery to BOAC in 1944, and passing to BEA. In 1959 it was sold to Ghana, serving until 1967. Destroyed in Nigerian conflict in 1967. A mint BEA issue.

Enlarge photo 14
British United DC-3 #1
An outstanding card of a British United DC-3 at Isle of Mann. Issued by the Airport. This aircraft started as an Air Force aircraft, and passed through Hibernian and Emerald Airways before arriving at British United. This card is from around 1963.

Enlarge photo 15
C S A  DC-3s
An excellent Orbis issue of CSA DC-3s on the ramp. Both were USAF C-47s, built in 1942 and 1943.OK WDG operated from 1946-1958, and after  years in France became a corporate aircraft for Bird and Sons in 1975. WDS crashed on take off from Prague in 1954.

Enlarge photo 16
California Airmotive DC-3
This is an unusual as well as rare DC-3 card issued by California Airmotive. It is a postcard used as a solicitation to sell the aircraft. N671P (at this stage of her life) was originally an Air Force C53, built in 1943 and delivered to TWA in 1945.
TWA sold it in 1952. By 1953 it was in the hands of California Airmotive.
In 1968 the airliner became N889P, operating for Pointer Oil Co. On June  11, 1972 it began a new career with Skyways Aviation , a Missouri IntraState airline. It was equipped with 30 seats and operated through 1978. It is now restored.

Enlarge photo 17
Canadian Colonial DC-3 #1
A nice airline issue from Canadian Colonial, which was a subsidiary of American. It was delivered to American 1n 1939. The airline was sold to investors who ultimately changed the name to Colonial. This airliner, NC21750 did not go to the new Colonial but was sold to Pan Am, and was written off in a crash at Khartoum in 1942.

Enlarge photo 18
Caribair DC-3 #1
Caribair, long a symbol of Puerto Rico, began services to other Caribbean destinations with DC-3s in 1945, ultimately operating 11.  The airline grew steadily, finally taking delivery of DC-9-30s before acquisition by Eastern in 1973.

Enlarge photo 19
Central  DC-3 #3
This was the first of 3 DC-3 cards issued by Central, and the hardest to find.

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Chicago & Southern DC-3 #5
Chicago and Southern issued a number of DC-3 cards in the 1940s, including this beautiful in flight view of NC 25626. The airliner, delivered in April 1940, passed through to Delta, and eventually was sold to Aerolineas Del Pacifico in Mexico. Its last flights were for Aero Transporte Turistico at Merida .

Enlarge photo 21
Continental DC-3 #3 1
An excellent Continental issue of their DC-3 in flight. Two other cards were issued concurrently, a DC-3 at Albuquerque, and an in flight Lodestar.

Enlarge photo 22
Cruzeiro DC-3
This is a rare Cruzeiro issue of their DC-3 PP CBS, from the early 1950s. Its service was short, arriving at Cruzeiro in January 1944, and written off in a landing accident in February 1946.

Enlarge photo 23
D A T Ramp
Delta Air Transport of Belgium operated these 3 DC-3s in the early 1970s. Based at Antwerp, the airline launched scheduled services to Amsterdam and ultimately served a number of regional destinations.

Enlarge photo 24
Danish DC-3
A splendid card of a special airliner, Danish airlines DC-3 OY DDA was delivered in 1946, later served with SAS, and in 1951 joined Piedmont as N50V, as the Yadkin Valley Pacemaker and later Chesapeake Pacemaker. Now in a museum in France.

Enlarge photo 25
Delta DC-3 #1
An excellent in flight view of NC 28345 , a DC-3 originally destined for Delta but drafted into the military in 1941. Actually entered civilian service with Australian National, and was written off in 1945.

Enlarge photo 26
Derby DC-3 #1
An excellent in flight Derby Airways issue, of G AMSX, which operated for Derby / British Midland until 1972.  It was then delivered to Guyana Airways as 8R GCF.
It later flew for Seagreen Aviation. Last known at Patterson Aviation in Miami in 1982.

Enlarge photo 27
Eastern DC-3 #2
A truly splendid card from the late 1940s, this is the first color Eastern issue of the DC-3. NC 18123 was actually written off at LaGuardia in 1945.

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Eastern DC-3s
This DC-3 line up is something of a recreation of a similar card of DC-2s.
Not easy to find, this is a virtually mint copy from around 1950

Enlarge photo 29
Frontier  DC-3 #3
One of my early card acquisitions was this beautiful in flight Frontier DC-3, one of 2 issues which display a route map.

Enlarge photo 30
Iceland DC-3 #3
This is an excellent in flight view of the Flugfelag Islands DC-3 , TF ISB, in flight. Originally an RAF C-47, it came to Iceland in 1951, serving at least through 1973. Now preserved at Reykjavik.
A Solarfilma Issue.

Enlarge photo 31
Itavia DC-3
A really outstanding view of an Itavia DC-3 on a Milan Airport issue. This was an Air Force DC-3 that went to Trans Africaine, then Autrex in France, then Transair, Linjeflyg, Iran Air, and Wideroes before arriving at Itavia in 1962.

Enlarge photo 32
L A M S A DC-3 #1
A rare LAMSA issue of  XA FUM, which was delivered to United as the Mainliner Chicago in 1940. probably became an Aeronaves de Mexico aircraft.

Enlarge photo 33
Lake Central DC-3 #1
The first card I received from Lake Central was this blue-tone of  N 21716, originally a Northwest DC-3 delivered in 1939. It came to Lake Central in 1950 and served for 17 years. Its fate is unknown.

Enlarge photo 34
Liberian National DC-3
Another rare DC-3 card is this Liberian National card, including their two DC-3s and flight crews. The two were ex Pan American DC-3s, delivered in 1948, the year in which the card was issued.

Enlarge photo 35
Lufthansa DC-3 #1
One doesn't think about Lufthansa in connection with DC-3s, but the German carrier operated 3, from 1955-1960. D CADI was an ex Air Force aircraft, but I can't find much about it. The card is an uncommon Lufthansa issue.

Enlarge photo 36
Maritime Central DC-3
An uncommon and very much treasured card I received from Maritime Central in the early 1960s. The card was created using the generic NC 30000 image. Rather crude art work, but  at the time it seemed very exotic.

Enlarge photo 37
Mid Continent DC-3 #3
An outstanding early color postcard of Mid Continent's DC-3 NC 34950, delivered after the war, and transferred to Braniff after the merger. It went to Lake Central in 1959, operating through 1965. Scrapped in 1974.

Enlarge photo 38
Mohawk DC-3 #1
A very nice airport card showing Mohawk's DC-3 N404D, which was American's Flagship Los Angeles when delivered in 1939. Operated for Robinson/Mohawk from 1952-1962.

Enlarge photo 39
North Central DC-3 #2
North Central never produced a card of the DC-3 although predecessor Wisconsin Central had issued an excellent in flight Electra. This, however was a North Central photo used to produce a great card for the Milwaukee Airliners International.

Enlarge photo 40
Northwest DC-3 #3
One of my favorite Northwest DC-3 cards is this excellent  color card on the ramp.
NC 21715 was delivered new to Northwest in June of 1939, operating through 1948.

Enlarge photo 41
Norwegian DC-3 #1
An excellent in flight view of Norwegian's LN IAL, a USAF DC-3 delivered in March of 1946. In 2 years it became the Scandinavian Erling Viking, and operated through 1957. Later operated for Wideroes, but fate is unknown.

Enlarge photo 42
Pacific Southwest DC-3
A somewhat iconic, even if common card of an early PSA DC-3. N95487,  built as a Navy R4D, arrived at PSA in 1948 and served until sold to Piedmont in 1955. There it became N57V, the Tarheel Pacemaker. Ultimately, it arrived in Mexico in 1979 with Aerovias Oaxaquenas .

Enlarge photo 43
Pan Am DC-3 #5
A splendid Bluetone card of Pan Am's DC-3 NC 30011. One of a 1940s series of cards from Sanitarium Health Foods. Few Pan Am cards feature this livery.

Enlarge photo 44
Pennsylvania Central DC-3 #6
A rare ink blotter card from Pennsylvania Central of their DC-3 NC 21786. This beauty was built in 1939, and operated for Pennsylvania Central until Jan 6, 1946, when it crashed at Birmingham.

Enlarge photo 45
Piedmont DC-3 #1
By far the best of 3 Piedmont DC-3 cards, this in flight Piedmont issue is one of the best local service airliner cards. Issued , I believe around 1957.

Enlarge photo 46
Qantas DC-3 #1
An excellent card of Qantas' DC-3 VH AIA, an ex Air Force C-47, sold to Qantas in 1945. Operated primarily on "Bird of Paradise" services in New Guinea until sold to the Thai Air Force in 1953.
An uncommon Deaton and Spencer Issue.

Enlarge photo 47
Quebecair DC-3
A very nice portrait style card of Quebecair's DC-3 CF QBM.  Delivered to Canadian Pacific in 1946, and sold to Quebecair in 1959, it ultimately went to Air BVI, and is shown on the BVI card above. A Quebecair issue

Enlarge photo 48
Sabena DC-3 #3
An excellent view of Sabena's OO  AWZ, Wearing the "jet age" Sabena livery. An ex RAF C-47, it operated for Scottish Aviation, and then launched Luxembourg Airlines (later Luxair) before joining Sabena in the 1950s. Ended life in Nigeria .
An Editions PI issue.

Enlarge photo 49
S P A N Z  DC-3
This is a rare airline issue of a SPANZ (South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand) DC-3 in flight. An ex Air Force aircraft, it's civilian life began with Australian National in 1947, continued with Ansett, and went to SPANZ in Feb. 1961.  It operated 5 years until the shutdown of the airline. Passed  through Mount Cook before becoming a sprayer.

Enlarge photo 50
Southern  DC-3 #1
This was my first airline issued DC-3 card! an in flight beauty sent to me by Southern Airways.

Enlarge photo 51
Stratofreight DC-3
I believe this is the only card featuring a Strato Freight airliner.  Despite the name, Strato Freight operated passenger charters beginning in 1947, until a catastrophic crash of a C-46 at San Juan resulted in the shutdown of the airline. I believe the airline may have been based in Gainesville, but primarily operated from New York, Miami and San Juan. Card is a Gainesville airport issue.

Enlarge photo 52
Sudan DC-3
An excellent in flight Sudan Issue of their first DC-3 (SN AAG), delivered in 1953 from Airwork. It later flew for Ethiopian.

Enlarge photo 53
Swissair DC-3 #2
A splendid Swissair issue of their DC-3 HB IRA, delivered to Swissair in 1937. In 1955 it was delivered to Ozark, where it operated through 1966 when DC-9s began to arrive.
It later went to Gulf Park Aviation in Mississippi, but fate is unknown.

Enlarge photo 54
A very hard to find card of TACA's DC-3 YS-38. Presumed airline issue, with generic 1940s photo Card back. Unfortunately I can find nothing on this aircraft.

Enlarge photo 55
TAM  Bolivia DC-3 #1
This is the only postcard I have ever seen of a Transportes Aereos Militares (Bolivia) aircraft. It was used as a QSL card. The airline, created by the Bolivian military in 1945 continues to operate today.

Enlarge photo 56
TWA DC-3 #10
This is actually a rather rare card of the TWA DC-3 "Skysleeper" from the late 1930s. NC 17312 was delivered to TWA in April 1937, participated in the war effort, and was sold to North Central in 1951. There it operated as the Northliner "Land O' Lakes through 1966. Scrapped in Puerto Rico.

Enlarge photo 57
TWA DC-3 #4
This wonderful TWA issue very much captures the spirit of those optimistic, happy days.

Enlarge photo 58
Trans Canada DC-3 #2
Not a very inspiring card, but a rare one (only 1000 issued). Shown is Trans Canada's CF-TEA, an ex Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft that finished its career in the Dominican Republic.

Enlarge photo 59
United DC-3 #3
One of many United DC-3 cards, (I have 34) this is my favorite view. It is a simple late 1930s United issue of NC 16062, the Mainliner Sacramento, delivered to United in January of 1937. It was sold to Northeast in 1953, and on to North Cay Airways in 1968.

Enlarge photo 60
West Coast DC-3 #1
This is a rare West Coast issue of their DC-3 with route map. Issued around 1955, it was a template for the 2 Frontier DC-3 route map cards issued in the late 1950s.

Enlarge photo 61
Zambia DC-3
A remarkable card featuring the newly formed Zambia Airways DC-3, over Victoria Falls. VP YKH operated for Central African from 1953-1964, and was then turned over to Zambia. Later registered 9J  RFX.
The card was issued by Sapra Studio actually describing Victoria Falls

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