Seventy-seven years to the day since its first flight, the Breitling DC-3 has kicked off the great journey that it will be undertaking right around the planet between March and September 2017. A new accomplishment for this legendary airplane that has marked the history of aviation forever. On March 9th 1940, the twin-engine propeller-driven Douglas DC-3 that now flies under Breitling colors made its maiden flight in the United States. Three days later, it was delivered to American Airlines.
Hired out to the army from 1942 to 1944, it was subsequently used by various North American companies. Bought back in 2008 by pilot Francisco Agullo and a group of friends with Breitling’s support, and then restored, this veteran in perfect flying condition has since taken part in many aeronautical shows as well as events held by the brand.
In 2017, Breitling has decided to launch its DC-3 on a great world tour in stages punctuated with various events and participations in airshows. The “Breitling DC-3 World Tour” officially kicked off at a dedicated press conference held in Geneva on March 9th.
Breitling isn’t just flying the old girl around the world for the sake of it; it also has some precious cargo onboard. In celebration of this record-breaking expedition, Breitling will introduce a limited-edition version of its Navitimer chronograph, and all 500 pieces will be onboard the DC-3 with just 25 going on sale in the Middle East.
Watch aficionados will have to wait until the end of the year to get their hands on one though – Breitling wants to ensure all 500 pieces travel around the planet first. But, when they do finally make their way back to the region, each watch will be delivered with a certificate signed by the flight captain.
After the Balkans, the Breitling DC-3 will head for the Middle East and India, followed by South East Asia, China and Japan, where it has received a special invitation to take part in the Iwakuni “Friendship Day Air Show”. It will then cross the ocean to begin a grand tour of the United States, prior to returning to Europe via Greenland and Iceland and completing its journey in September at the Breitling Sion Airshow 2017 in Switzerland. At 77 years old, the Breitling DC-3 is the oldest airplane to undertake a round the world tour and this new claim to fame will be one more to add to the already long list of its achievements.