The Douglas DC-1 was the very first commercial aircraft produced by the Douglas Aircraft Company. The “DC” stands for Douglas Commercial and it was built to a requirement from TWA, who needed a metal aircraft for their passenger services.

Designed to seat 12 passengers, it first took to the sky on 1 July 1933 and could fly 1,600 kilometres at a cruising speed of 310km/h. TWA took delivery on 15 September 1933, which is a remarkably short time between first flight and passenger service.

Douglas DC-1 Video

Following on from last weeks video about the German Dornier Do X flying boat, this week we look at the Douglas DC-1. This video is a presentation made by Brian Hernan for The Old Fliers Group in Western Australia and it runs for about 14 minutes.

The presentation covers the entire history of the Douglas DC-1, which was powered by two Wright Cyclone engines. Just one was produced and it was unfortunately destroyed in an accident in Spain in 1940.

Inside The Douglas DC-1

The 12 passengers were seated in a 1-1 arrangement as you can see in the photo below. While everyone is fashionably draped casually over their seats, the rides could be quite rough due to the lower altitudes these aircraft flew at.

Those hat racks would make the passengers of today cry as there’s no space for any carry on luggage. Perhaps the stand out feature for me is the giant bow the lady on the left is sporting!

Overall Thoughts

A long and famous line of commercial aircraft sprouted from the Douglas DC-1, most notably the wildly successful Douglas DC-3. Douglas continued producing aircraft right through to the Douglas DC-10 and McDonnell Douglas MD-11 before being taken over by Boeing.

While there is no DC-1 around for people to see, there are several DC-2s on display around the world, which are virtually identical. What did you think of the video? Thanks for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image via RAScholefield Collection via
Cabin photo via Reddit.