top of page

The story behind the DC-3


One of the longest-used airliners ever, the Douglas DC-3 nears 80 years in the air as an aviation icon.

The Douglas DC-3 is universally recognised as the greatest airplane of its time, some would argue that it is the greatest of all time……..


James Bond piloted a Douglas DC-3 airliner. Indiana Jones hopped a ride on one for his last crusade. This aviation icon even stars in a reality TV show.


The Douglas Aircraft Company built the "Douglas Commercial 3" and was based on the 1933/34 Douglas DC-1 and DC-2.  Design work began in 1934 and he DC-3 debuted in the mid-1930's as an aviation rock star.

THE FIRST FLIGHT December 17, 1935, was a sunny but cool afternoon in Santa Monica, California. The holidays were coming and spirits were high in the Douglas Aircraft Company. It was another ordinary day at Clover Field, a big polished propeller caught the sun’s light as it began to turn.


Slowly it revolved and then a belch of blue-white smoke appeared. The engine roared into life, and the propeller was lost in its own motion. A second propeller came to life. For a few minutes, the engines roared and then the plane began to move forward.

A few engineers and draftsmen watched the shiny airplane taxi out to the runway. The DST sat at the edge of the runway for about five minutes, its engines running at full throttle. Then it began to move, slowly at first but within 1,000 feet it lifted off, effortlessly. The lives of millions of people throughout the world were about to change.

With its two powerful propeller engines it revolutionised the travel industry by cutting typical coast-to-coast flight time across the United States from 25 hours to just 18.

Pilots, both military and civilian, loved the DC-3. It took off easily, cruised comfortably at 185 mph at 10,000 feet, and had a ceiling of 23,200 feet and a low stalling speed (67 mph). Pilots said it landed itself, and it had a cruising range of 1,500–2,100 miles.


When production of the DC-3 ended in 1945, more than 13,000 of them had been built. The DC-3’s ease of handling and maintenance, its facility at taking off and landing on short runways, and its remarkable reliability combined to keep it flying in many regions of the world into the 21st century.

Name, Title

U.S. C-47 Skytrains unloading supplies a

Later a military version of the plane helped win World War II by dropping thousands of paratroopers during the D-Day invasion of France, 70 years ago this month. The result, the DC-3 has touched millions of lives over the decades !

U.S. C-47 Skytrains unloading supplies at Tempelhof airfield during the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49



James Bond 007 flies the Gooney Bird 2008, a Gooney Bird helped James Bond get out of a jam.

Fans of the Bond film "Quantum of Solace," may recall actor Daniel Craig in the cockpit of a beat-up DC-3 fighting off a Marchetti plane!


Indiana Jones flies the DC-3

Back in the 1980s, a DC-3 served another movie franchise hero. In "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade," Indy flies from New York to Newfoundland to the Azores and Europe on his quest for the Holy Grail

The STROND DC-3 timepiece made with history

So for watch enthusiasts & aviation lovers we are giving people the opportunity to wear a piece of history. Each watch will be made with a metal tag in the 6 hour position made from the wing of a 1940s DC-3, with the plane identification number NC - 16007 engraved onto the tag itself !

Strond vintage automatic watch.jpg
Douglas DC3 on Strond watches.jpg

The very tag on your new DC-3 timepiece is made from the very wing of a 1940s DC-3 taken from the top part of the plane wing !

bottom of page