Aircraft Type
Civil Aviation Aircraft


The Douglas DC-3 first flew on December 17, 1935. Powered by Pratt & Whitney engines, it has robust all metal construction, except for fabric-covered control surfaces.  Crewed by two pilots, it can carry 24 passengers.

Civil DC-3s delivered to the US airlines before the Second World War played a most important part in the development of reliable national air routes. By the end of the War, nearly 11,000 had been built in the USA and a further 2,000 or so were built under license in Russia as the Li-2.

Very large numbers survived the war. Operators all over the world acquired them for use as passenger, freight or utility transports.  A true Queen of the skies, the DC-3 was years ahead of its time, very easy to land and generally free of bad flying characteristics. Hundreds of DC-3s are still flying throughout the world and will continue to do so long after the students viewing it today are old and grey.


DC-3A, CF-BZI Serial # 13448 was imported in to Canada in 1956, and was flown by Inter-provincial Pipelines of Edmonton until 1967, when Northwest Territorial Airways Limited, of Yellowknife, acquired her. In recent years BZI was part of the Buffalo Airways fleet.


  • Seventy years after its first flight, newly modified turbo prop models were still being acquired for commercial service. e.g. Kenn Borek Air added one to their fleet in October 2005.
  • The ‘DC’ in DC-3 stands for Douglas Commercial.
  • For a while, ‘BZI was used as a flying bank for small communities in the NWT that did not have their own banks. People would meet the airplane, cash cheques, make deposits, etc. and visit the bank when it flew in again.
  • The DC-3 was such a phenomenal success that by the late 1930s it was carrying over 90% of all commercial air business in North America!


  • Wingspan of 29.1 metres (95ft 6in)
  • Height of 5.2 metres (16ft 11in)
  • Length of 19.6 metres (64ft 5in)
  • Maximum speed of 381 km/h (237 mph)
  • Rate of climb of 1130 ft/min

Tour Our Aircraft During Open Plane Days

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