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Douglas Aircraft Subject of Santa Monica Conservancy Talk Next Month
By Jorge Casuso
June 27, 2018 -- Not only did Douglas Aircraft have a decisive impact on commercial passenger airlines with it's fabled DC-3, the Santa Monica-based company also left an indelible mark on the city where its airplanes were built.
Next month the Santa Monica Conservancy will present "Douglas Aircraft Impacts Air & Travel in Santa Monica," a talk by aviation artist, author and historian Mike Machat that will explore "Douglas’ long and influential imprint on Santa Monica."
The presentation will take place Sunday, July 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
"In 1920, 17 years after the Wright brothers first flew, Donald W. Douglas founded his aircraft manufacturing empire in Santa Monica, creating a huge impact worldwide and locally," Conservancy officials said.
Santa Monica Airport -- which is scheduled to shut down in 2028 under an agreement between the City and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) -- played a critical role in Douglas' development.
"In 1929, Santa Monica Airport was used exclusively for the testing and flying of the company’s production aircraft, including the iconic DC-3 and C-47, as well as other early airliners and military aircraft," organizers said.
During the Great Depression, Douglas was responsible for expanding and maintaining Santa Monica's economy by employing thousands of workers to produce the DC-3.
The streamlined aircraft became the first commercial air transport to make a profit based solely on sales of passenger tickets, with more than 16,000 DC-3 type aircraft produced by Douglas in the the U.S., as well as by Japanese and Soviet manufacturers.
During World War II, Douglas remained the beach city's largest employer, with its ranks swelling to 44,000 employees working around the clock.
"As a result, thousands of new homes were built, creating new neighborhoods," Conservancy officials said.
Tickets for the lecture are $10 for Conservancy members and $15 for the public. Since space is limited, the Conservancy advises that tickets be bought in advance.
Registration is available online. Checks can be mailed to Santa Monica Conservancy, P.O. Box 653, Santa Monica, CA 90406-0653. The name of the ticket buyer, email, address and the number of tickets being purchaes should be included along with the event.
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