Called "the airplane that changed the world", the Douglas DC-3 launched the commercial airlines in the 1930's, flew as a war-time transport in the 1940's, and continues in active commercial service today. No other aircraft has achieved or matched the safety record of the Douglas DC-3 or its rugged dependability. General Dwight Eisenhower listed the Douglas C-47 "Gooney Bird" (DC-3) as one of four pieces of equipment that he considered vital in winning the Second World War.
Douglas produced the DC-3 aircraft from 1935 to 1946. Some 12,000 DC-3/C-47s rolled off the production line; an estimated 1,000 are still flying. MFI's flagship passenger turbine DC-3 is powered by two Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65AR turbine engines, each of which produces 1,230 horsepower at takeoff. The turbine DC-3 cruises at an average of 225 mph., burning 145 gallons per hour and carrying up to 1,030 gallons of fuel. The cabin of the passenger DC-3s can seat up to 32 in comfortable reclining seats.
The Douglas DC-3 is a proven workhorse and is ideally suited for missionary service because of its versatility, dependability, and low cost of operation. Fully loaded, it can operate safely off many different sized airstrips. MFI has flown Douglas DC-3s in missionary air support service since 1976 and now operates two turbine DC-3s as well as a Cessna 310N.
N200MF was originally built in 1943 and rebuilt in 1989. It is a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-65AR turbine-engine-powered DC-3 purchased in 2003 from Dodson Aviation. With its greater cargo capacity, faster cruising speed, and reduced maintenance costs, N200MF has become the workhorse of the MFI fleet.
N500MF is the newest addition to the MFI Fleet. It was originally built in 1944. MFI purchased it in 2010 from a company that had been flying it in Canada but no longer had a need for it. After a year and a half of total restoration in Ohio, two freshly overhauled PT-6 turbine engines were installed and MFI began flying it for missions in the fall of 2011.
Built in 1968, N911MF is a Cessna 310N which was donated to MFI in 1996. N911MF was flown to Missionary Maintenance Services in Ohio in January of 2001. Over the course of two years the aircraft was thoroughly refurbished. Both engines were overhauled and new propellers were installed, the landing gear was rebuilt, and extensive corrosion treatment was performed on the aircraft. After a new interior was installed the aircraft was flown to a paint shop in Canada for the final touches. In March of 2003, the MFI Cessna 310N rolled out of the hanger with new paint and a new tail number. N911MF is used for emergencies, flying injured or sick missionaries back to a hospital in the US, or flying aircraft parts out to a secluded island to fix one of our DC-3s. The tail number N911MF seems appropriate, as the aircraft is used to rescue people and broken airplanes for the glory of the Lord.