National Postal Museum logo
Top Image
Pilot StoriesHistoric PlanesAirmail Creates an IndustryObject ShowcaseHistory TimelineActivity ZoneFlight School
The Early Airplanes
The Postal Airplanes
Commercial Aircraft
>> Douglas M2
>> Ford Tri-Motor
>> Stinson Reliant
>> Pitcairn Mailwings
>> Boeing Aircraft
>> Romance of the
>> DC-3
Unusual and Experimental



In the early 1930s, Boeing's 247 airplane was the airplane to beat. Donald Douglas' company secured a TWA contract for a new style of airplane. Douglas Commercial Model 1 (DC-1), was produced in 1933. The model was tinkered with and unveiled the following year. This DC-2 was successful enough to make Boeing's 247 practically obsolete. Douglas Aircraft engineers continued to tinker and improve their design. Their first DC-3 was unveiled on December 17, 1935. While not as revolutionary as the craft flown by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk 32 years ago on that date, the DC-3 changed the industry.

Click here to learn more about the DC-3.

Related Links:
>> Historic Aircraft
>> Contract Airmail Route Covers
>> Turning it Over

American Airlines DC-3 TWA DC-2
Pan Am DC-2 Western Air Exp DC3 posed next to a Douglas M2 biplane
Click on the photos to view a larger image.

(top left) American Airlines DC-3

(top right) TWA DC-2

(bottom left) Pan Am DC-2

(bottom right) Western Air Exp DC3 posed next to a Douglas M2 biplane
View Our Collection
Postal Museum | Smithsonian | Privacy | Terms of Use | Site MapBottom Navigation
Top of page link to homepage