CHICAGO -- Just days ahead of the air and water show, one of the world’s oldest aircraft made a special pit stop in Chicago, Monday.
The DC-3 World War II aircraft is a throwback in time and still making history trying to break a world record as the oldest aircraft to circle the world.
It’s not often you see a twin turbo solid metal piece of history touchdown on a Chicago runway.
Not only is this classic DC-3 still flying strong, but it’s made a journey more than halfway around the world over the last six months.
The powerhouse twin turbo engine flying through Europe, Asia and Australia before it’s last leg through the U.S.
Ted Rog has been fascinated with the DC-3 his whole life and wasn’t going to miss his one chance to see one up close.
“There's something about this plane. I always loved it. Talk about the flying fortress it is,” said Rog.
There were only about 600 civil DC - 3’s built in the late 30’s and a few are still flying today. Making today’s encounter and it’s attempt at breaking a world record extraordinary.
"I couldn't believe I'm right here with this plane. it's like a little kid at Christmas. may sound silly but that's how I feel. I just can't believe it,” said Rog.
This Breitling DC-3 carries a huge piece of U.S. history as one of the aircraft used to drop thousands of para-troopers on the coast of Normandy during WWII. It can land on pretty much any surface, from a sandy beach to a dirt road, making it one of the most versatile aviation designs. It’s a far cry from aircraft today where the slightest touch will tilt the wing.
Captain Francisco Agullo says flying this is a whole-body workout.
"Here's it's only cables and pulleys. there's no assistance of computers so it's a little bit like a truck. it's very heavy to fly but that's what makes it so much fun,” said Captain Francisco Agullo, a Breitling DC-3 WWII Pilot.
For the soldiers it once carried, it was a long journey with these small windows, their only glimpse of what lie ahead.
Captain Agullo says he thinks about those men every time he is behind the controls, acutely aware that it’s not just a world record attempt, but a chance to share a poignant piece of history.
"We feel this airplane had a incredible life...it's a privilege and an honor to fly this airplane,” said Agullo.
The Breitling DC-3 already left for Toronto Tuesday afternoon. It has a dozen more stops before it completes its journey around the world.
If they make it back to Switzerland by September 15th, it breaks the world record for the oldest aircraft to circle the world.