You Can Now Have a Meal in the Cockpit of a DC-3 from WWII
If you've ever fantasized about having a meal in the cockpit of a Douglas DC-3, you're in luck. American Airlines converted a DC-3 aircraft that served during World War II into a gourmet food truck, dubbed the DC-3 Gourmet, and it's now open to the public at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum (TAM) in Compton, California.
TAM describes itself as "a living classroom in South Los Angeles that brings aviation history to life and is empowering the dreams of more than 5,000 local youth to take flight." The organization will use the truck as a fundraising tool to support its programs.
“Our goal is to provide opportunities for young people to grow into prosperous careers,” Robin Petgrave, founder and CEO at TAM, said. “That’s exactly what inspired us to build this truck. Not only will it provide a unique culinary experience to visitors, it will also help future generations get the support they need to compete in today’s economy.”
Don't let the idea of a food truck fool you. The DC-3 Gourmet is equipped with a full kitchen and serves gourmet dishes like Chilean sea bass, lobster tail and ribeye, most being under $20. If you're lucky, you may be able to enjoy VIP treatment and have your meal in the original cockpit, which remains intact.
The DC-3 is among the most iconic aircraft in aviation history, but it holds a particular meaning for American Airlines as it was designed in-part by the airline's founder and CEO, C.R. Smith. It was the first aircraft to combine reliability with performance and comfort, allowing transcontinental trips from Los Angeles to New York in 15 to 17 hours (down from 48 hours previously). Nearly all major airlines ordered entire fleets of DC-3s, and when World War II broke out, it was transformed into a military aircraft, the C-47. Of the more than 16,000 DC-3s and C-47s that were built, there are an estimated 200 still flying today.
Images courtesy of American Airlines.