Delta Flight Museum announced the return of DC-3 tours.  Starting Tuesday, June 4th, the museum will regularly offer tours of Ship 41, the only Delta passenger Douglas DC-3 still in existence.  The tours will be held at the museum in Hangar 1 and are included with admission. For more information about the DC-3, you can visit the museum’s Facebook page.

Ship 41 was one of five brand-new DC-3 aircraft ordered by Delta from Douglas Aircraft Co. The delivery records from Douglas are as follows:

– **Ship 40, N28340**: Delivered on November 29, 1940.
– **Ship 41, N28341**: Delivered on January 4, 1941.
– **Ship 42, N28342**: Delivered on January 6, 1941.
– **Ship 43, N28343**: Delivered on January 4, 1941.
– **Ship 44, N28344**: Delivered on January 12, 1941.

Passengers boarding Delta DC-3, Ship 41. Sign under wing reads “Augusta, Savannah and Connections.” Photo taken from first balcony of Atlanta Airport terminal building, August 1944.

According to Delta Air Corporation Daily Flight Logs for Route A.M. 24, the first-delivered DC-3, Ship 40, named “City of Atlanta,” was the first DC-3 to enter scheduled service with Delta. Its maiden voyage took place on December 24, 1940, traveling from Atlanta, Georgia, to Birmingham, Alabama. Ship 41 commenced service shortly thereafter, on January 19, 1941, flying from Atlanta to Ft. Worth, Texas.

In the early 1950s, Delta undertook a significant update of Ship 41. The enhancements included the addition of an airstair door, repositioning the galley forward of the passenger door, relocating the lavatory to the forward baggage bin area, and increasing the seating capacity from 21 to 25 passengers. The aircraft also received a new “white top” exterior paint scheme featuring Delta’s Flying D logo. After retiring from Delta service in April 1958, Ship 41 was purchased by North Central Airlines, which later became part of Northwest Airlines. Ship 41 continued to serve various owners over the next 35 years, remaining in continuous operation.

In 1990, a group of Delta retirees embarked on a mission to locate one of Delta’s original five DC-3s. Their goal was to secure an iconic aircraft for a future Delta museum, which would also display the Travel Air and artifacts from the Delta Archives. Their search led them to Puerto Rico, where they found Ship 41, registered as N29PR, and operating as a cargo plane for Air Puerto Rico. Delta acquired Ship 41 in June 1993 and transported it back to Atlanta for restoration by volunteers and Delta employees.

Members of Ship 41’s restoration crew, 1999. Over a hundred active and retired Delta people participated in the extensive five-year restoration effort led by this core maintenance team. The vision for Ship 41: (1) set an unprecedented standard in DC-3 restoration, and (2) create a technical work of art that could fly. Photo via Delta Flight Museum

The restored Ship 41 took its official inaugural flight on November 17, 1999. Birdie Bomar, who had flown Ship 41’s first inaugural flight in 1941 and served as an honorary flight attendant on its last scheduled Delta flight in 1958, had the honor of cutting the ribbon for this momentous occasion. See Restoration Photo Album.

READY TO FLY: A great test flight! Ship 41 took off and flew straight and level. Photo via Delta Flight Museum

Today, Ship 41 stands as a testament to Delta’s rich aviation history. Its remarkable journey from the 1940s to its restoration in the 1990s captures the spirit of innovation and dedication that defines Delta Airlines. Visitors can now explore this historic aircraft and appreciate its storied past as part of the Delta Flight Museum’s collection.

On dedicated DC-3 tour days, we offer a free interior guided tour with normal paid admission to the Museum. Tours begin promptly at 1 pm, and last about 45 minutes. Reservations are not accepted. This tour requires participants to wear gloves and shoe covers, which will be provided. The tour is not handicap accessible.  For more information, visit www.deltamuseum.org

You can visit award-winning Ship 41, and other restored vintage planes, in Delta’s historic Hangar 1 at the Delta Air Transport Heritage Museum in Atlanta.