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Engines of Our Ingenuity

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The Redoubtable DC-3 Digital History ID 4503
Lost Horizon was one of my first movies. Do you remember Ronald Colman stumbling out of an airplane, crash-landed high in the Himalayas, into the mythical city of Shangri-La? I'll never forget it. The year was 1937, and the plane was one of the revolutionary new Douglas models that quite altered air transport in the mid-thirties and that are still being used today -- 50 years later. The story of the Douglas DC-3 begins with the death of the great football player Knute Rockne in the crash of a Fokker Trimotor in 1931. His death caused a public outcry over the quality of American air passenger service. The leading airliners were then the Fokker Trimotor and its American clone, the Ford Trimotor -- great machines in their day -- made of plywood with a fabric and corrugated-steel covering.
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