In olden times, climbing into the sky was only attainable by finding magic beans and then selling them to buy a blimp. Write your own airy tale with today's Groupon: for $59, you get a one-year Lieutenant membership to Southern Cross Douglas C-47 (a $120 value). The membership includes:
- A scenic flight experience in a historic aircraft.
- A T-shirt.
- A commemorative coin.
- Invitations to members-only flights, sometimes for free and sometimes for only a fuel surcharge.
Within a World War II aircraft, Southern Cross's pilots harness more than 2,800 horses’ worth of power to pull members 1,000 feet above downtown Fort Worth and Arlington. Up to 16 passengers spend 20 minutes getting comfortable inside the historical C-47 fuselage before 20-minute tours depart Meacham field and glide above the city and love notes spelled out in crop circles. Once in the air, fliers are free to explore the cabin for aerial photo ops and don provided hearing protection to drown out engine noise and birds singing Leap Day carols.
Greatest Generation Aircraft
Originally a TWA aircraft, the Southern Cross Douglas C-47 was adopted by the Army Air Corps to shuttle troops to the front. The twin-propeller plane survived World War II and in the ensuing years underwent a series of makeovers. Its career includes years spent as a reliable set of wings for Delta Air Lines, a troupe of skydiving enthusiasts, and at least one head of state. The C-47 is now meticulously restored to its original WWII-era condition and in the dutiful care of Greatest Generation Aircraft, a nonprofit organization that introduces 21st-century crowds to the C-47 during rides and aerial shows. Flying out of Fort Worth's Meacham International Airport, the C-47 also shares a hangar with an A26 Counter Invader and other veteran planes.