The world's most famous transport, the DC-3, was launched on the back of a single telephone call between two friends, American Airlines President Cyrus R. Smith and Donald Douglas. And in contrast to today's protocol, the contract was signed just before delivery. There was no actual fleet planning, just a desire to widen the 14-passenger DC-2 to accommodate sleepers for a multistop, overnight US transcontinental service. Today, fleet planning is a science. The challenge is getting the ...

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