The plane is a tribute to Jim Cavanaugh Senior's family, where the C8 refers to the 8 children, and the cartoon character under the pilot's window refers to Jim Cavanaugh, Senior. Mr. "C" was working on the restoration of the museumís PT-19, and kept getting asked when it would be done; his answer was "Tuesday". So, when the day came and the test flight was completed, one of the other restorers turned to Mr. "C" and said "It's Tuesday" with a big smile."
09/30/2007. Remarks by Jack Mckillop: "This aircraft was built for the USAAF as a C-47A-90-DL (Douglas Model DC-3A-456), USAAF s/n 43-15935, was delivered on May 29, 1944 and sent to the Pacific where it served with the Seventh Air Force. It was sold to Silver City Airways of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on November 29, 1946 and registered VH-BHC. It was later sold to a British company in December 1948 and registered G-ALFO and then was sold in the USA in December 1950 and re-registered N94539.
During the next 40-years, it passed through a number of owners and was re-registered N300A in October 1951, N700E in October 1961, N20DH in June 1970, N3BA in July 1972, N890P in April 1979 and N12RB in August 1990. In July 1993, it was purchased by Vintage Air Tours of Orlando, Florida, which had been formed by Richard Branson as an offshoot of Virgin International and, operating as Vintage Airways, began operating flights from Kissimmee to Key West, Florida.
On October 17, 1993, my wife and I boarded this aircraft for a flight to Key West International Airport. Vintage Airways attempted to take the passengers back to May 8, 1945 by dressing the stewardess (no flight attendants in 1945) in a long skirt and seamed nylon stockings. As we boarded, she handed out magazines of the period, e.g. Collier's, Life, Look, Saturday Evening Post, etc.
After we took off and reached a cruising altitude of 7,000 ft (2,134 m), the stewardess came on the PA (public address) system and announced that they had just picked up an important message on the radio. She then played a tape of President Harry Truman announcing the German surrender in Europe. She said it was time to celebrate and we sat there at 09.00 hours drinking mimosas (four parts champagne and one part orange juice).
One passenger at a time was allowed into the cockpit and handed a headset with a "hot" mike so they could talk to the pilots. A very enjoyable flight. After spending a day in Key West, we boarded the aircraft that night for our flight back to Kissimmee but they had engine trouble and we had to fly back on a commercial Embraer EMB-120RT Brasilia. I preferred the DC-3!
Vintage Airways flew until 1997 but they went out of business and this DC-3 was withdrawn from service in September. It was sold and re-registered N33VW in June 1998. The final sale was to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum of Addison, Texas, on June 12, 2001.