The legendary Breitling DC-3 aeroplane has landed in Dubai as part of its record-breaking world tour.
This historic aircraft, which is aiming to become the oldest plane to circumnavigate the globe, arrived at Jetex FBO Terminal, Dubai World Central on Tuesday (21st March) ahead of the next leg of the trip which will take it to Karachi, Pakistan.
Having crossed the Gulf from Qatar, flying low over Dubai’s world-famous landmarks, the Breitling DC-3 is making its first visit to a region that boasts some of the world’s leading airlines, with fleets of state-of-the-art aircraft. The visit of the DC-3 harks back to the early days of international aviation travel – its maiden flight took place 20 years before Dubai’s first airport opened to the world.
Speaking after arriving in Dubai, Breitling DC-3 pilot Francisco Agullo said: “Crossing the Middle East, with its blend of amazing contemporary high-rise towers and vast open desert, is something I’ve really been looking forward to since we started planning this project. And flying over Dubai at just 2,000 feet, far lower than commercial aircraft are normally allowed to, has been a truly unique experience and a personal highlight of this world tour.”
The Breitling DC-3 world tour took to the skies on March 9, seventy-seven years to the day since its maiden flight. Departing from Breitling’s home country of Switzerland, the plane will visit 54 countries over seven months, landing back in Switzerland at the Breitling Sion Airshow 2017 in September. Dubai is its seventh stop, following on from visits to Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar.
To celebrate the world tour, Breitling is also introducing a 500-piece limited edition of its famous Navitimer aviation chronograph, of which 25 models will be made available for the Middle East market. This steel Navitimer 01 (46mm), powered by Manufacture Breitling Caliber 01, will be distinguished by its caseback, which will be engraved with the Breitling DC-3 World Tour logo. Enthusiasts will have to wait until the end of 2017 to get their hands on this model – all 500 pieces will travel aboard the Breitling DC-3 around the planet, thus ensuring they are truly part of the entire adventure. Each watch will be delivered with a certificate signed by the flight captain.
The first Douglas DC-3 (DC for Douglas Commercial) twin-engine propeller plane made its maiden flight in 1935, at a time when Breitling had introduced its first on-board chronographs for civilian and military aircraft. Nicknamed the “Normandy landings plane”, the DC-3 seats 20 passengers and has a cruising speed of 241km/h (130 knots). More than 16,000 DC-3 aircraft were built and most major airlines acquired them as part of their fleet. Today there are fewer than 150 DC-3 aircraft in flightworthy condition worldwide, including the Breitling DC-3, which itself flew for the first time in 1940. It now flies under Breitling colours and participates in a variety of air shows around the globe.