The first modern airliner, the Boeing 247 marked the beginning of a new era. Versatile, easy to maneuver, and economical to operate, the 247 quickly outperformed other transports of the period. United Air Lines, which had a monopoly on the production of 247s, was soon outdistancing its competition. This forced TWA to go to Douglas Aircraft to request a new plane which could compete with -- even outperform -- the 247. The result of this challenge was the development of one of the most significant planes in aviation history -- the Douglas DC-3.