Flagship Detroit Visits Tulsa

Tuesday, June 30th 2009, 5:27 pm
By: News On 6

Chris Howell, NewsOn6.com

TULSA, OK -- In 1937 the airliner Flagship Detroit rolled off the Douglas assembly line and flew into the friendly skies.

The DC-3 offered exceptional speed, comfort and service and quickly became one of the world's favorite aircraft.

The Flagship Detroit visited Tulsa during the week of June 28th for use in the filming of "The Killer Inside Me."

The visit included a stop at the Tulsa Air and Space Museum.

After years of restoration, this airplane is now one of the few DC-3's left flying.

"It was one of the early DC-3's built," said one of its pilots, Steve Jacobson, "and it's the oldest one still in flying condition on the planet earth.  It first flew for American Airlines on March 2nd, 1937, so it's 72 years old."

The vintage aircraft once flew without modern avionics but has since been fitted with radios and GPS, and even a jack for an IPod.  But other than that great care was put in to restoring the plane as closely as possible to its original condition.

Curator Kim Jones from the Tulsa Air and Space Museum is delighted to see the Flagship Detroit as TASM is currently restoring its sister-ship The Flagship Tulsa.

"This airplane will give Tulsans a little sneak-peek at what the Flagship Tulsa, that the Tulsa Air and Space Museum is restoring currently, will look like when it's completed," said Jones.

The Flagship Tulsa is disassembled and being restored in hangers throughout Tulsa and should be airworthy once again in around four years.

Until it does return to the sky, people like the school children visiting TASM will have to take advantage of planes like the Flagship Detroit to recall the air travel of yesteryear.