Today’s Top Aircraft For Sale Pick: 1943 Douglas DC-3

Designed in the Golden Age, the DC-3 remains a relevant load hauler in modern aviation.

This DC-3’s 1930s design proved adaptable to modern technology from its updated panel to turbine engines. [Courtesy: Preferred Airparts]

Each day, the team at Aircraft For Sale picks an aircraft that catches our attention because it is unique, represents a good deal, or has other interesting qualities. You can read Aircraft For Sale: Today’s Top Pick at daily.

Yes, this aircraft’s maximum gross takeoff weight is 29,000 pounds, not the 2,900 or so that might make more sense to pilots of light piston singles. This is a big airplane, and its ability to lift big loads of passengers and cargo helped make it the first truly practical, profitable airliner. It is also the reason this 1930s design is still flying today. It is still the ideal aircraft for certain missions, which is why you still have a good chance of spotting them at airports across the globe.

This DC-3 demonstrates how an adaptable design can continue to improve and perform decades beyond its expected lifespan—but it’s not just a stock DC-3, if there is such a thing. With 18,878 hours on the airframe, it has been updated with Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67R turbine engines that have logged just 50 hours each, and 115-inch propellers. Fuel capacity is 1,030 gallons.

The cabin has room for 32 seats and is equipped with a galley that includes a cooler and hot water dispenser. Modern updates include a fire detection and extinguishing system, heated windshields, LED tip nav and strobe, landing and taxi lights, standby third battery, and de-ice boots.

There is no sign of 1943 in the panel, which includes Garmin GTN 750 nav/coms. Garmin GTX 3000 (2), transponder, Garmin GTS 8000 TCAS ll, Garmin GI 275 electronic instrument, Garmin GI 106A  VOR/localizer/glideslope (2),

Collins 331-3G HSI (2), Collins ALT-50A radar altimeter, L3 WX-500 Stormscope, weather radar, a Pratt & Whitney ADAS+ engine monitoring system, and more.

If your mission profile includes serious, airline-style transport with a touch of “Fate Is the Hunter,” you should take a look at this rare, updated, turbine-converted DC-3, which is available on AircraftForSale.

You can arrange financing of the airplane through FLYING Financial Group. For more information, email

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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