DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Beyond the planes that take flight during the annual Dayton Air Show, additional aircrafts are situated on the ground for attendees to view. Many of those planes tell moving stories, serve unique purposes and even helped in defending the United States during times of war.
One of those planes is the Flagship Detroit, the oldest American Airlines DC-3 Flagship plane used as a commercial airliner beginning in 1937. Blake Butler of the Flagship Detroit Foundation said former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt was a regular passenger on the aircraft before Air Force One existed to transport White House officials. When WWII began, Butler said the Douglas company stopped making civilian models and transitioned to producing military planes to help the war effort.
Another small yet functional plane that was available to view was the Civil Air Patrol’s Cessna 182. Capt. Nathanial Lynch said the Civil Air Patrol possesses the largest fleet of single engine Cessna’s in the world, which is frequently used in emergencies such as plane crashes and natural disasters. Lynch said one of the best parts about the Civil Air Patrol is it’s cadet program, where young people can learn to fly planes like the Cessna 182, as well as build leadership skills and make new friends.
Some of the largest and most attention-capturing aircrafts on the ground at the Air Show were those used locally at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. While many people think about standard military operations when they think of the Air Force, Jeff Guillotte, an instructor and pilot of C-17 planes, said the planes are also used to help transport cargo across the country and to NATO nations. The type of cargo that travels on the C-17 can vary, said Guillotte, but could include military shipments, blood and other medical supplies during emergencies, or even satellites for SpaceX. One of the biggest pieces of cargo carried by the planes, he said, is the tank mentioned in the video below.