Melton Truck Lines, Inc. brings Flagship Tulsa home
TULSA, Okla – August 27, 2008 - Melton Truck Lines, a premier air-ride flatbed carrier based in Tulsa, OK, donated their services to bring the 1939 Douglas DC-3 passenger plane known as “Flagship Tulsa” home to Tulsa. The plane was part of American Airline’s fleet until 1949. The Tulsa Air and Space Museum plans to restore the plane to its original glory. For the past 14 years the plane has been sitting at Basler Turbo Conversions in Oshkosh, WI.
It took careful planning, preparation and three trucks to get the plane safely back to Tulsa. Joe Givens, Manager of Operations for Melton, said “We had to route three drivers and three trailers, including two specialized trailers to transport the disassembled plane, from Oshkosh, WI to Tulsa, OK. We also had to permit all three loads, hire escort vehicles and route the loads on accepted oversize routes from Wisconsin to Oklahoma.”
A retired group of American Airlines mechanics went to Oshkosh to disassemble the plane before Melton brought it home. The wings fit on a standard flatbed trailer and the center spar was placed on a special single-drop trailer donated by Utility Trailer Co. The fuselage, which is 62 feet long, was placed on an expandable single-drop trailer.
Dave Decker, Safety Training Supervisor, drove the truck hauling the fuselage. “This experience was breathtaking. I have hauled a lot of oversize freight, but I have never hauled a piece of history in my 32 years of being in the trucking industry,” he said. “I will treasure this for a very long time. Not everyone can say that they hauled a DC-3 airplane that was part of making aviation history for American Airlines. Words cannot express the experience of this trip.”
Headquartered in Tulsa, OK, Melton Truck Lines Inc. is an award-winning leader in the air-ride flatbed industry and services the United States, Canada, and Mexico. In business for over 50 years, Melton has offices and terminals in Tulsa, Dallas, Laredo, El Paso, Birmingham and Youngstown. For more information, please visit www.meltontruck.com.