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Breitling DC-3

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Appearing at the Air Tattoo this summer in support of the airshow's operational theme Skylift 2012, will be an aircraft that has never appeared in the UK before.

Based in Switzerland and flying the Breitling colors, DC-3 HB-IRJ was produced in 1940 for American Airlines. Since that time it has accumulated more than 74,000 flying hours, all of them as a passenger aircraft.

Between April 4 1942 and April 1 1944 she was operated by the US Army Air Corps; after which American Airlines took her back into its service. In 1949 she was bought by Trans Texas Airways and then, in 1971 by Provincetown-Boston-Airlines working as a commuter aircraft.

The Douglas DC-3 twin-engine propeller aircraft first flew in 1935. Thanks to its sturdiness, low fuel consumption and long-range capabilities, it quickly revolutionized the world of air transport.

By the end of 1930s, most of the major American and European companies were equipped with this aircraft. During World War Two, the DC-3 - particularly in its C-47 Skytrain/Dakota versions - played a key role in troop transport, in particular on D-Day, June 6 1944, towing countless gliders and dropping thousands of paratroopers on to the coasts of Normandy.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Former Formula 1 Racing Driver

“Probably the most complete air show I’ve ever been to!”

Al Worden, Apollo 15 Astronaut

“This is THE best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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