The Douglas DC-2 was the stepping stone between the original Douglas DC-1 prototype and the commercially successful Douglas DC-3. With a capacity of 14 passengers and a range of 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometres), it first flew on 11 May 1934.
Launch customer Transcontinental & Western Air, more familiarly known as TWA, put the aircraft into service a week later on 18 May 1934. Powered by a pair of Wright Cyclone piston engines, it was ordered by airlines predominantly in the USA and Europe.
Douglas DC-2 Videos
Following on from the last video about the Italian Caproni Ca.60 Transaereo flying boat, this time we return to the USA for a look at the Douglas DC-2. First up is a four minute presentation from 2009 of an original 1934 build aircraft painted up as a KLM example.
Next up is a private home movie, which is silent and shot on 16mm film. It shows a flight on an American Airlines aircraft from 1935 and the plane appears from 1 minute and 12 seconds in.
Finally, there is a clip here from the 1934 movie Bright Eyes, starring Shirley Temple. American Airlines provided the aeroplane exterior (not seen here), and a full scale accurate mockup of the cabin was provided by Douglas.
The collaboration of the two aviation companies came about as they figured the movie would promote air travel. Definitely a different era altogether and one we will never get to experience again.
There were just 198 Douglas DC-2s built between 1934 and 1939. As well as TWA and American Airlines, other operators included KLM, Swissair, Deutsche Luft Hansa, LOT Polish Airlines, Eastern Airlines, Pan American-Grace Airways, Japan Air Transport (later Imperial Japanese Airways), Australian National Airways, Braniff and more.
The Dutch example in the video was the last flying DC-2 in the world. Several are on display in museums around the world for those who might want to see one.
Have you ever flown on board a Douglas DC-2 and what was it like? Did you enjoy the videos? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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Featured image by Jon Proctor via Wikimedia Commons.
Mr President Joe Biden loves this motion picture.
Well, that’s good to know!
I grew up next to Long Beach Airport, home of McDonnell-Douglas’ commercial aircraft production (back when that was a thing). The company supported a volunteer restoration project of a DC-2 by employees to flying condition. The plane was based at LGB and used as a promotional tool by the company. I had the chance to fly in it once and it was as noisy and cramped as you might imagine it to be, but it was obviously a giant leap from what came before it.
That would have been some experience to fly on something so old and such a part of aviation history. Obviously things have come a long way since the DC-2, but it should never be forgotten.
There is a photo of a TWA DC-2 in the St. Louis Science Center that was captioned as a DC-3. Drove my inner av-geek nuts of course so I pointed out the error to one of the administrators and eventually it was corrected a few months later. I’m sure a few others must have pointed it out as well. Doing my small part for aviation history. Not sure if its still there as I haven’t been back in ages. Have never seen one in person though, it exists in my memory from photos only,
Nice that you corrected them. It’s an easy error to make as the two aircraft look quite similar, but still a museum shouldn’t have an error like that. Nice work 🙂