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Douglas R4D-8 (Super DC-3)

Douglas R4D-8 (Super DC-3)


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Douglas R4D-8 (Super DC-3)

The Douglas R4D-8 emerged from an unsuccessful attempt by Douglas to extend the commercial lifespan of the aging DC-3. At the end of the Second World War a vast number of DC-3s, C-47s, C-53s and Dakotas flooded onto the commercial market, but by the end of the 1940s many of these aircraft were threatened by increasingly strict Civil Air Regulations in the United States, and the looming expiry of their airworthiness certificates in 1952.

Douglas responded by developing a modified version of the DC-3, the DC-3S or Super DC-3, which could be produced by upgrading existing aircraft. The new aircraft had a stronger longer fuselage, with room for 30 passengers. The passenger door was moved forward, and the door itself could be used as the boarding stairs. Both the vertical and horizontal tail surfaces were enlarged, and given square tips, improving the single-engine performance of the aircraft. The engine nacelles were modified so that they could carry either 1,475hp Wright Cyclone engines or 1,450hp Pratt & Whitney R-200-D7 radial engines, and to allow the wheels to be fully enclosed. Finally the outer panels of the wing were shortened, and 4 degrees of sweepback was added to the trailing edges.

The first modified aircraft made its maiden flight on 23 June 1949, and was a technical success. Payload increased, while top speed went up by 40mph and cruising speed by 44mph. Unfortunately the aircraft was a commercial failure. Despite its improved performance, the Super DC-3 still trailed behind newer aircraft (most notably the Convair Liner series), which appealed to the larger airlines, while smaller airlines were eventually able to get their DC-3s recertified. Only four commercial aircraft were sold.

An attempt to interest the USAF was no more successful. The first prototype was evaluated as the YC-47F (after a short spell as the YC-129), but was rejected in favour of the Convair C-131, based on the Liner. The aircraft was then passed on to the Navy, and finally found a customer.

After evaluating the aircraft during 1951, the US Navy awarded Douglas with a contract to convert 100 of their existing R4D-5s, -6s and 7s to the new standard, with the designation R4D-8. They retained this designation until 1962, when under the combined Department of Defence system they became the C-117D.

Three special versions of the R4D-8 were developed – the R4D-8T (TC-177D) trainer, the R4D-8Z (VC-117D) staff transport and the R4D-8L (LC-117D) cold weather aircraft.

The Navy’s R4D-8s saw combat in Korea, where they were used for night drops and as flareships, to illuminate areas under attack at night. In Vietnam most were used as conventional transport aircraft, but some were used as electronic monitoring aircraft.

Engines: Wright R-1820-80 x2
Power: 1,475hp each
Crew: Three plus 33 passengers
Wing span: 90ft
Length: 67ft 9in
Height: 18ft 3in
Empty weight: 19,537lb
Loaded weight:
Maximum weight: 31,000lb
Maximum speed: 270mph at 5,900ft
Cruising speed: 251mph
Maximum range: 2,500 miles


Douglas R4D-8 (Super DC-3) - History

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File Description:
This folder contains a repaint for version 3.14 of the Douglas C-47 by Manfred Jahn and colleagues in the colors of ZK-AQS of the NZNAC. This was an ex USAAF C-47B-25-DK, 44-76363, that went to the RNZAF in 1945 as NZ3535 and in 1947 to the NZNAC, named Purourou. After it was withdrawn from NZNAC service in 1966 it went to Australian Aircraft Sales, and was sold to Far East Air Transport (FAT) in Taiwan in 1968 as B-255. Its ultimate fate is unknown to me. Repaint by Jan Kees Blom for Manfred Jahn's C-47 version 3.14, based on the paintkit by Gman5250.

Filename: jk_c-47_zk-aqs.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 17th August 2018, 16:27:40
Downloads: 206
Author: Jan Kees Blom
Size: 11270kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
Douglas C-47 (ZS-IPX) General Erection Co

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File Description:
This folder contains a repaint for version 3.14 of the Douglas C-47 by Manfred Jahn and colleagues in the colors of ZS-IPX of the General Erection Co of South Africa. It was built as c/n 26439 (43-49178), but went to the SAAF as 6849. After the war, it flew in South Africa and Botswana with several owners, and was converted to a turboprop. It was exported to the US and sold to Venezuela in 2008. Repaint by Jan Kees Blom for Manfred Jahn's C-47 version 3.14, based on the paintkit by Gman5250.

Filename: jk_c-47_zs-ipx.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 17th August 2018, 16:34:31
Downloads: 130
Author: Jan Kees Blom
Size: 11423kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
Douglas C-47R Skytrain Beta V3.14 Fixes

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File Description:
Various fixes to your FSX/FSX-SE/P3D 'Douglas C- 47R Skytrain Beta V3.14' installation. A.o. fixes address issues like multiplayer capable exterior models, exterior windscreen wipers, hardware mixture lever support, audible checklist, AH, Alt gauge pressure indicator, paratrooper switches, RMI/ADF needles, COM/NAV radios and Transponder. Also better gear sounds are included. It goes without saying that you'll need the original 'Douglas C- 47R Skytrain Beta V3.14' model for these fixes to have any use. Digital Dakota Works - 16-03-2017

Filename: douglas_c-47_beta_v3.14_fixes.zip
License: Freeware, limited distribution
Added: 16th March 2017, 16:26:28
Downloads: 4537
Author: Manfred Jahn, Alexander Metzger, Ted Wolfgang, Daniel Gauthier, Jan Visser
Size: 27383kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Original Aircraft
Douglas C-47R Skytrain V3.14 Beta for FSX/FSX-SE/P3D

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File Description:
Update for our Douglas C-47R Skytrain V3.12 Beta. Featuring nightlighted VVC, significantly updated Interactive Checklist, Automixture function, fine tuned flight dynamics and groundhandling with 2 choices of groundsteering, OMI Marker lights, selectable 'Cutie' picture plus various modifications, corrections and additions according to V3.12 users feedback. Works with FSX/FSX-SE/P3D.

Filename: douglas_c-47_beta_v3.1405.zip
License: Freeware, limited distribution
Added: 23rd February 2017, 16:47:09
Downloads: 6085
Author: Manfred Jahn, Alexander Metzger, Ted Wolfgang, Daniel Gauthier, Jan Visser
Size: 182565kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
Douglas C-47R Textures

File Description:
Virtual Aircraft Restoration is proud to present to you our Textures for the popular C-47 Skytrain V3.14 by Daniel Fuernkaess, Manfred Jahn, Alexander M. Metzger, Hans-Joerg Naegele, Mike Cyul, Warwick Carter and Jan Visser . These Textures are made under usage of the Paintkit provided by the original publisher! Make sure you use the Vintage Virtual Cockpit provided by Manfred Jahn to enhance your Flight experiance.

Filename: var_textures_c47.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 29th September 2018, 19:27:17
Downloads: 1760
Author: Hartmut Hekmann
Size: 213409kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
Douglas DC-3 (N90079)

File Description:
Repaint for Manfred Jahn's C-47v2 in N90079 livery, clean and silver in color also with this paint you get exhaust effects and the A2A Shockwave light configuration for this great add-on for FSX. There is exhaust and flame effects with this package, photo of real aircraft included.

Filename: douglas_dc3_n90079.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 19th April 2015, 11:28:01
Downloads: 441
Author: David Robles
Size: 26831kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
Douglas R4D-8 US Navy #17171

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File Description:
This folder contains a repaint for the Douglas C-117D by Manfred Jahn and colleagues in the colors of 17171 of the US Navy, which made an emergency landing in Iceland in 1973. On the 24th of november of that year, the Douglas R4D-8 17171 on route to Höfn í Hornafirði was forced to make an emergency landing at Sólheimasandur due to bad weather conditions at Höfn and low fuel. The landing was successful and the plane suffered no major damages. At the time the US navy was discontinuing it’s use of the Douglas C-47 and instead of repairing it, the plane was stripped of all valuables and abandoned in the black volcanic sand. Since then it’s been a favourite of photographers and adventure seeking tourists. Repaint by Jan Kees Blom, based on the paintkit by Gman5250.

Filename: jk_c-117d_usnavy_17171.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 7th August 2018, 12:36:18
Downloads: 151
Author: Jan Kees Blom
Size: 12205kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
Douglas R4D-8 USMC #12440 Yuma

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File Description:
This folder contains a repaint for the Douglas C-117D by Manfred Jahn and colleagues in the colors of Douglas R4D-8 #12440 of the US Marine Corps, based in MCAS Yuma. Repaint by Jan Kees Blom, based on the blank textures by Manfred Jahn.

Filename: jk_c-117d_12440_yuma.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 7th August 2018, 12:48:52
Downloads: 212
Author: Jan Kees Blom
Size: 10395kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
Douglas R4D-8 USMC #39097 HQ

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File Description:
This folder contains a repaint for the Douglas C-117D by Manfred Jahn and colleagues in the colors of Douglas R4D-8 #39097 of the US Marine Corps HQ, Washington 1962. This aircraft flew with the US Navy as an R4D-6 before conversion to R4D-8. It was later civilianised as N851M and is still airworthy. Repaint by Jan Kees Blom, based on the blank textures by Manfred Jahn.

Filename: jk_c-117d_39097_hqmc.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 7th August 2018, 12:48:28
Downloads: 181
Author: Jan Kees Blom
Size: 11896kb

Category: Flight Simulator X - Aircraft Repaints, Textures and Modifications
Douglas R4D-8 USMC #50834

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File Description:
This folder contains a repaint for the Douglas C-117D by Manfred Jahn and colleagues in the colors of Douglas R4D-8 50834 (c/n 26993), assigned to H&MS 11 of the US Marine Corps, 1963. Repaint by Jan Kees Blom, based on the blank textures by Manfred Jahn.

Filename: jk_c-117d_50834.zip
License: Freeware
Added: 7th August 2018, 12:47:58
Downloads: 135
Author: Jan Kees Blom
Size: 12015kb

AVSIM Library System Version 2.00 -- 2004-May-01
© 2001-2021 AVSIM Online
All Rights Reserved


The C-117 was based on the reliable and proven DC-3/C-47 and was originally intended for the civilian airline market. The “Super DC-3” featured a longer fuselage, redesigned tail and wings, and fully enclosed the landing gear when retracted. In 1951, the Navy evaluated the Super DC-3 and liked the increased performance it offered and accepted the aircraft as the R4D-8. Rather than purchase new aircraft a total of 98 earlier R4Ds were converted to R4D-8 standards. In 1962, the R4D-8 was redesignated under the joint Air Force-Navy designation system as the C-117D. Super Gooneybirds continued in U.S. Navy service into the mid-1970s.

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling

Manufacturer
Douglas

Markings
Marine Headquarters and Maintenance Squadron 27 (H&MS-27,) Cherry Point, North Carolina, 1968


Douglas R4D-8 (Super DC-3) - History

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    Tags Douglas Super DC-3
    Related groups — Douglas Super DC-3
    View allAll Photos Tagged Douglas Super DC-3

    On Saturday November 24th, 1973, this United States Navy Douglas DC-3 was forced to crash land on this stretch of beach in Solheimasandur.

    Douglas Super DC-3 lies on a deserted black beach in Iceland. Once a symbol of U.S Navy, now probably the most well known "photographic attractions" of Iceland.

    This beautiful Swiss registered Douglas DC3 is seen here performing at Duxford "Flying Legend's" air show in 2015.

    “The Breitling DC-3 HB-IRJ was first delivered to American Airlines the 12th of March 1940 under the name “Flagship Cleveland”. It was then leased to the U.S. Army between 1942 and 1944 during world war ll, thereafter bought by Trans Texas the 24th of February 1949, and later by Texas Int’l in 1968.

    In November 2008, Francisco Agullo and a group of friends buy the airplane with the intention to make it fly in Switzerland and Europe. Since Mai 2009, it is operated by the Super Constellation Flyers Association. Today the aircraft is certified in Switzerland. It can carry passengers and is fully IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) equipped.”


    Douglas R4D-8 (Super DC-3) - History

    In this fast pace age we live it today, it is refreshing to pay tribute to an airplane the term obsolete and not reusable may never apply: the legendary Douglas DC-3 and C-47 still lingers on. Although it has been over 76 years it has first flown, as many as a 900 examples still survive as wrecks in museums and some even keep hauling passengers and cargo. This page pays tribute to the different Dakota's, DC-3s and C-47s from around the world, restored show-birds, nostalgic airliners, VIP transports, tired cargo haulers and decaying hulks from the past and present.
    According to the latest Air Britain worldwide DC-3 survey as off October 2010, there are 164 derelict airframes, 219 stored examples, 336 preserved airframes and 281 active airframes, totalling 991 DC-3s and 9 DC-2s.

    Photo's and slides from Andre van Loon, Ed Davies, Marcelo Magalhaes, Peter Gralla, Peter van Stelle and Chris Mak collection.

    Aircraft reference and data: DC-3 history and aircraft date from2006 Air Britain, The Douglas DC-1/DC-2/DC-3 'The First 70 Years' and the 2011 75 Years Celebration Edition + 1996 The Legacy of the DC-3 by Henry Holden.

    All rights reserved, no pictures and or contents from this page may be reproduced and/or copied in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical…with out prior permission by the owner of this website.


    Air Manitoba C-47B-35-DK C-GSCC (33352) delivered May 1945 ex KN655 RAF is now F-GIDK


    VARID C-47B-20-DK PP-VBN (26921) delivered 23 Dec 1944, ex PT-KZG VOTEC, Royal Taxi Aero current Rio Grande do Sul Flying club


    Millardair C-47B-35-DK CF-WGN (33368) delivered May 1945, ex KN665 RAF, N132AL, N32AL


    Monroe Country Mosquito Control N213GB TC-47B-35-DK (33232) delivered as USN R4D-7 May 1945, ex N5177V, N64, N2007J a/c now wfu at Shell Creek FL


    US Forest Service C-47B-40-DK N115Z (33567) delivered June 1945 to RAF as KP265, ex N146Z rebuilt by Basler to BT-67 (#7) configuration


    HFF C-47B-1-DL N877MG (20806) delivered July 1944 to China as CNAC 100/XT-20, ex N8350C, N37800, N800J and N8009


    Dragon Air Leasing Inc USN R4D-8 N505C (43335) delivered June 1952 ex N2121U Hawkins and Powers Aviation Inc. ex HI-521SP,
    YV-505C a/c damaged by tornado Opa-Locka FL and broken up.


    Ethiopian Airlines C-47B-10-DK ET-AGK (26465) delivered October 1944 ex Swissair HB-IRF, Spantax EC-AQF, N99873 ADCO… wfu at Addis Ababa


    Delaney C-47A-25-DK ZS-PTG (13331) delivered 17 May 1944 to RAF as KG600 ex Rovos Air ZS-CRV


    Millardair R4D-8 C-GGKE (43366) delivered to USN November 1952, ex N2577G Gateway airlines stored at Brantford Ontario Canada


    American Airlines DC-3-277B N393W (2202) ex NC21798 delivered to American airlines 11 March 1940 is now preserved at C.R. Smith museum Fort Worth TX


    DC-2 Association DC-2-118B N1934D (1368) delivered to Pan American Supply Comp as NC14296 13 March 1935 belongs now to the Museum of Flight Foundation Seattle


    Aerovias Oaxaquenas SA C-47A-40-DL XA-JIH (9904) delivered July 1943, ex KLM PH-TBP and PJ-ALT, HK-525 and N138H


    C-47B-5-DK HK-3199 (26044) delivered 19 September 1944 ex Satena Colombia as 1123 ex Aerovilla, TCA Colombia and Aerovanguardia


    Aerolineas Llaneras Colombia C-47A – 60-DL HK-2663 (10201) deliverded September 1943 ex LN-TVA, C-GSTA ex Sadelca and SAEP. a/c
    now stored at Villavicencio February 2012.


    R4D-8 / C-117 Skytrain

    After World War II, the US Navy modifed 100 R4Ds to Super DC-3 standards. The US Navy had 100 R4D-5s and R4D-6s converted to "Super Three" (R4D-8) standards, though other engines were used: Wright R-1820-80s. This aircraft, designated the R4D-8 had more powerful engines, newly designed wings, an enlarged tail and added landing gear doors. The name "Skytrain II" did not stick much, "Super DC-3" or "Super Three" did. The R4D-8 was designated the C-117 after 1962.

    After World War II Douglas decided to modernise the DC-3, with more power and capable of carrying a greater load. This led to the Super DC-3, or DC-3S, which was issued Approved Type Certificate on 24 July 1950. Douglas put Wright 1820-C9HE engines on the prototype and initial production models. The maximum speed increased from 230 mph to 270 mph, and cruising speed increased from 207 mph to 251 mph. Although the DC-3S looked like a DC-3 (or C-47), it was much improved. The Super DC-3 had newly designed wings, an enlarged tail and landing gear doors were added. Also the nose was changed and the wings had square cut tips. It seated up to 37 passengers and it was 60 percent a completely new airplane.

    This post-war development of the famous Douglas twin-engined transport was meant to replace the DC-3 in both military as well as the commercial marktes, but failed commercially due to the many military surplus C-47s flooding the market and the competition on the Convair Liner series with pressurised cabins. The conversion price was between $250,000 and $300,000, while a Convair CV340 would seat 44 passengers, flew faster and would cost about usd $570,000 brand new.

    The successes of early Marine transport aircraft, especially during World War II, paved the way for what was to evolve into the modern day operational support airlift (OSA) mission. Early transports were essentially commercial aircraft, with minor modifications, that were put into military service to provide logistical support directly to the warfighter. Mostly, these aircraft had no armament or special equipment for protection during combat. Employing them in a hostile environment emerged from a warfighting necessity because no other Marine aircraft had the required payload, range, and reliability offered by these early transports.

    Marine aircraft were first used in their OSA role during the late 1960s and early 1970s. OSA aircraft, mostly old C-117 "Hummers" once used during combat resupply missions in Southeast Asia, were attached to Marine Corps air stations (MCASs) at Cherry Point, NC Yuma, AZ Futenma, Okinawa and Iwakuni, Japan. By the early 1980s newer, more modern OSA aircraft were entering the Marine Corps' fleet.

    On 12 July 1976, the Navy phased out the last C-117 (Douglas DC-3), perhaps the most famous transport plane of all time. The last C-117 was flown from Pensacola to Davis Mountan Air Force Base, Arizona, the boneyard for obsolete military aircraft.


    Hatching the "Gooney Bird"

    There are thousands of stories about the DC-3. From "Gooney Bird" and "Dumbo" to "Spooky" and "Puff The Magic Dragon," at least two dozen nicknames testify to its versatility and ruggedness. More than 16,000 DC-3s and military version C-47s were built in 50-plus variants. More than 300 are still flying today.

    The DC-3 was born into a still-nascent commercial air travel industry&mdashand traveling by air was much riskier and arduous before the DC-3 came along. The first airline flight in America was a 23-minute jaunt across Tampa Bay in 1914, on which a single passenger joined the pilot in a noisy, windy open-cockpit Benoist flying boat.

    By the 1920s, the Ford Trimotor reliably carried 13 passengers coast to coast, but its limited range (570 mi), slow cruising speed (100 mph), and modest instruments meant that the trip took 48 hours (though not all of it was aboard the Trimotor). In comparison to these early flights, the DC-3 was a quantum leap forward.

    ✈ The Most Fun RC Planes for Aviation Enthusiasts

    The Douglas Aircraft Company built the "Douglas Commercial 3" based on the 1933/34 Douglas DC-1 and DC-2. Around that time, American Airlines CEO C. R. Smith persuaded Donald Douglas to design a sleeper aircraft based on the DC-2 for long-distance flights. With a cabin two feet wider than the DC-2, it accommodated 14 to 16 sleeper berths or 21 passenger seats.

    The new airliner first flew on December 17, 1935, and its expanded dimensions perfectly balanced load and revenue. Transcontinental trips from L.A. to New York could be made in about 15 hours, or 17 hours in the other direction. As Flying magazine puts it, the DC-3 married reliability with performance and comfort as no other airplane before, revolutionizing air travel and finally making airlines profitable. Airlines like TWA, Delta, American, and United ordered entire fleets of DC-3s, finally establishing the airplane as the go-to method for long-distance travel.


    Douglas R4D-8 (Super DC-3) - History



























    Douglas DC-3
    Two-engine Two-crew Low-wing 21-Passenger Airliner, U.S.A.

    Archive Photos [1]

    [Douglas DC-3 (N20TW) on display (c.1994) at the Hawthorne Air Faire, Hawthorne, California (35mm photo by John Shupek copyright © 2000 Skytamer Images)]

    [Douglas DC-3 (N20TW) on display (c.1995) at the Hawthorne Air Faire, Hawthorne, California (35mm photo by John Shupek © 2000 Skytamer Images)]

    [Douglas DC-3 on display (9/24/2003) at the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan (Photo by John Shupek copyright © 2003 Skytamer Images)]

    [1942 Douglas DC-3 &ldquoDakota&rdquo (CF-TDJ, c/n 6261) (9/17/2003) Canada Aviation Museum, Ontario, Canada (Photos by John Shupek copyright © 2003 Skytamer Images)]

    [Douglas DC-3-201B &ldquoDakota&rdquo (C-GDAK, c/n 2141, KN563 X) on display (9/22/2003) at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Mount Hope, Ontario, Canada (Photos by John Shupek copyright © 2003 Skytamer Images)]

    [Douglas DC-3-362 &ldquoSpirit of Seventy Six&rdquo (N760, c/n 3269) on display (12/1/2007) at the Flight Path Learning Center-Museum, Los Angeles International Airport (Photos by John Shupek copyright © 2007 Skytamer Images)]

    The Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing propeller-driven airliner, the speed and range of which revolutionized air transport in the 1930's and 1940's. Its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made. The major military version was designated the C-47 &ldquoSkytrain&rdquo, of which more than 10,000 were produced. Many DC-3/C-47's are still used in all parts of the world.

    Design and Development ²

    The Douglas DC-3 was the culmination of a development effort that originated out of an inquiry from Transcontinental and Western Airlines (TWA) to Donald Douglas. TWA's rival in transcontinental air service, United Airlines, was inaugurating service with the Boeing 247 and Boeing refused to sell any Boeing 247's to other airlines until United's order for 60 aircraft had been filled. TWA asked Douglas to design and build an aircraft that would enable TWA to compete with United. Douglas' resulting design, the 1933 DC-1, was promising, and led to the DC-2 in 1934. While the DC-2 was a success, there was still room for improvement.

    The Douglas DC-3 was the result of a marathon telephone call from American Airlines CEO C. R. Smith to Donald Douglas, during which Smith persuaded a reluctant Douglas to design a sleeper aircraft based on the DC-2 to replace American's Douglas &ldquoCondor II&rdquo biplanes. Douglas agreed to go ahead with development only after Smith informed him of American's intention to purchase twenty aircraft. The new aircraft was engineered by a team led by chief engineer Arthur E. Raymond over the next two years, and the prototype DST &ldquo(Douglas Sleeper Transport)&rdquo first flew on December 17, 1935 . the 32nd anniversary of the Wright Brothers' flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A version with 21 passenger seats instead of the sleeping berths of the DST was also designed and given the designation DC-3. There was no prototype DC-3, the first DC-3 built followed seven DST's off the production line and was delivered to American.

    The amenities of the DC-3 and DST popularized air travel in the United States. With only three refueling stops, eastbound transcontinental flights crossing the U.S. in approximately 15 hours became possible. Westbound trips took 17½ hours due to prevailing headwinds, still a significant improvement over the competing Boeing 247. During an earlier era, such a trip would entail short hops in slower and shorter-range aircraft during the day, coupled with train travel overnight.

    A variety of radial engines were available for the DC-3 throughout the course of its development. Early-production civilian aircraft used Wright R-1820 &ldquoCyclone&rdquo 9's, but later aircraft (and most military versions) used the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 &ldquoTwin Wasp&rdquo which offered better high-altitude and single engine performance. Three DC-3S &ldquoSuper DC-3&rdquos with Pratt & Whitney R-2000 &ldquoTwin Wasp&rdquos were built in the late 1940's.

    Total production of all derivatives was 16,079. More than 400 remained in commercial service in 1998. Production was as follows:

    • 607 civil variants of the DC-3.
    • 10,048 military C-47 derivatives were built at Santa Monica, California, Long Beach, California, and Oklahoma City.
    • 4,937 were built under license in Russia as the Lisunov Li-2 (NATO reporting name: &ldquoCab&rdquo).
    • 487 Mitsubishi Kinsei-engined aircraft were built by Showa and Nakajima in Japan, as the L2D2-L2D5 &ldquoType 0&rdquo transport. (Allied codename &ldquoTabby&rdquo).

    Production of civil DC-3's ceased in 1942, military versions were produced until the end of the war in 1945. In 1949, a larger, more powerful &ldquoSuper DC-3&rdquo was launched to positive reviews however, the civilian market was flooded with second-hand C-47's, many of which were converted to passenger and cargo versions and only three were built and delivered the following year. The prototype &ldquoSuper DC-3&rdquo served the US Navy with the designation YC-129 alongside 100 C-47's that had been upgraded to the &ldquoSuper DC-3&rdquo specification.

    Turboprop Conversions ²

    From the early 1950s, some DC-3's were modified to use Rolls-Royce &ldquoDart&rdquo engines, as in the Conroy &ldquoTurbo Three&rdquo. Other conversions featured Armstrong Siddeley &ldquoMamba&rdquo and Pratt & Whitney PT6A turbines.

    Each Dodson International &ldquoTurbo Dakota&rdquo began its life as a Douglas DC-3 or C-47. The aircraft went through a detailed process of remanufacturing and new certification under United States FAA Supplemental Type Certificate SA3820SW or South African CAA Modification Number M89/483 and M93/011E. Virtually every system is replaced with new technology and design features. A team of engineers and mechanics who worked with the original AMI Conversion Process (a progenitor of the DC-3 PT6 conversions) created this conversion. The low-time structures have been stripped, restored and corrosion-proofed. The center section has been reinforced for 29,300 GW and the cabin fuselage has been extended to 40 in. with cabin and flight control extensions added. The Dodson International DC-3 is widely licensable with mission-specific customization.

    The Dodson International &ldquoTurbo Dakota&rdquo aircraft is maintained in accordance with a modified version of the Douglas AAIP with no fuselage life and a very easy to follow series of inspections, based upon hourly service. Owners/Operators receive an Illustrated Parts Catalog (IPC), Maintenance Manual (MM) and Airplane Flight Manuals (AFM) specifically for their aircraft. They receive the aircraft documentation in print and electronically. Due to its design, and because the &ldquoTurbo Dakota&rdquo is unpressurized, it has a virtually unlimited service life.

    The Basler BT-67 is a conversion of the DC-3/C-47's. Basler refurbishes C-47/DC-3's at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, fitting them with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-67R turboprop engines, lengthening the fuselage by 40 in (100 cm) with a fuselage plug ahead of the wing and strengthening the airframe in selected areas. The airframe is rated as having "zero accumulated fatigue damage." This and extensive modifications to various systems and avionics result in a practically brand-new aircraft. The BT-67's have been supplied to civil and military customers in several countries.

    Braddick Specialised Air Services International PTY Ltd in South Africa is another company able to perform a Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop conversion of DC-3s. Over 50 DC-3/C-47's/65ARTP/67RTP/67FTP's have been modified.

    Conroy Aircraft also made a three engine conversion with Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 called the Conroy &ldquoTri-Turbo-Three.&rdquo

    Operational History ²

    American Airlines inaugurated passenger service on June 26, 1936, with simultaneous flights from Newark, N.J. and Chicago, IL. Early U.S. airlines like American, United, TWA and Eastern ordered over 400 DC-3's. These fleets paved the way for the modern American air travel industry, quickly replacing trains as the favored means of long-distance travel across the United States.

    KLM Royal Dutch Airlines received its first DC-3 in 1936, it replaced the DC-2 on the service from Amsterdam via Batavia (now Jakarta) to Sydney, by far the longest scheduled route in the world at the time.

    The first airline in Latin America to use DC-3's was &ldquoCubana de Aviación&rdquo, initially placing them in service in its domestic routes, and then using them to start its first international scheduled service, from Havana to Miami, in 1945. This was the first scheduled service to Miami by a Latin American airline. Cubana used DC-3's in some of its domestic routes well into the 1960's.

    Piedmont Airlines operated DC-3/C-47's from 1948 to 1963. A DC-3 painted in the representative markings of Piedmont, operated by the Carolinas Aviation Museum, was retired from flight in March 2011. Both Delta Air Lines and Continental Airlines operate &ldquocommemorative&rdquo DC-3's wearing period markings.

    During World War II, many civilian DC-3's were drafted for the war effort and just over 10,000 US military versions of the DC-3 were built, under the designations C-47, C-53, R4D, and &ldquoDakota.&rdquo Peak production was reached in 1944, with 4,853 being delivered. The armed forces of many countries used the DC-3 and its military variants for the transport of troops, cargo, and wounded.

    Licensed copies of the DC-3 were built in Japan as Showa L2D (487 aircraft) and in the USSR as the Lisunov Li-2 (4,937 aircraft).

    Thousands of surplus C-47's, previously operated by several air forces, were converted for civilian use after the war and became the standard equipment of almost all the world's airlines, remaining in front line service for many years. The ready availability of cheap, easily maintained ex-military C-47's, both large and fast by the standards of the day, jump-started the worldwide post-war air transport industry. While aviation in pre-war Continental Europe had used the metric system, the overwhelming dominance of C-47's and other US war-surplus types cemented the use of nautical miles, knots and feet in post-war aviation throughout the world.

    Douglas had developed an improved version, the &ldquoSuper DC-3&rdquo, with more engine power, greater cargo capacity, and a different wing but, with all the bargain-priced surplus aircraft available, this did not sell well in the civil aviation market. Only five were delivered, three of them to Capital Airlines. The U.S. Navy had 100 of their early R4D's converted to &ldquoSuper DC-3&rdquo standard during the early 1950s as the R4D-8, later C-117D. The last U.S. Navy C-117 was retired July 12, 1976. The last U.S. Marine Corps C-117 (BuNo 50835), was retired from active service during June 1982. Several remained in service with small airlines in North and South America in 2006.

    A number of aircraft companies attempted to design a &ldquoDC-3 replacement&rdquo over the next three decades (including the very successful Fokker F27 &ldquoFriendship&rdquo), but no single type could match the versatility, rugged reliability, and economy of the DC-3. It remained a significant part of air transport systems well into the 1970's.

    Douglas DC-3 Today ²

    There are still small operators with DC-3's in revenue service and as cargo aircraft. The common saying among aviation buffs and pilots is that &ldquothe only replacement for a DC-3 is another DC-3.&rdquo The aircraft's legendary ruggedness is enshrined in the lighthearted description of the DC-3 as &ldquoa collection of parts flying in loose formation.&rdquo Its ability to take off and land on grass or dirt runways makes it popular in developing countries, where runways are not always paved.

    Some of the uses of the DC-3 have included aerial spraying, freight transport, passenger service, military transport, missionary flying, and sport skydiving shuttling and sightseeing.

    Perhaps unique among prewar aircraft, the DC-3 is in daily use. The very large number of civil and military operators of the DC-3/C-47's and related types, means that a listing of all the airlines, air forces and other current operators is impractical. As of 2012, DC-3 #10 is still used daily for flights in Colombia. Buffalo Airways, based in Canada's Northwest Territories, operates scheduled passenger service between their main base in Yellowknife and Hay River, plus some passenger charter operations, using DC-3's. Some DC-3's are also used by the airline for cargo operations.

    The oldest surviving DC-3 is N133D, the sixth &ldquoDouglas Sleeper Transport&rdquo built in 1936. This aircraft was delivered to American Airlines on July 12, 1936 as NC16005. The aircraft was at Griffin-Spaulding County Airport, Griffin, Georgia as of November 2010, where it was being prepared for a ferry flight to Charlotte County Airport, Punta Gorda, Florida. The aircraft will be restored back to &ldquoDouglas Sleeper Transport&rdquo standards, and full airworthiness.

    The oldest DC-3 still flying is the original American Airlines Flagship Detroit (c/n 1920, #43 off the Santa Monica production line), which can be seen at airshows around the United States and is owned and operated by the nonprofit Flagship Detroit Foundation.

    Basic price of a new DC-3 in 1936 was around £18-23,000 and by 1960 used examples were available for £25,000.

    • DST: Douglas Sleeper Transport, the initial variant, 24 passengers during day and fitted out with 16 sleeper accommodation in the cabin for night.
    • DC-3: Variant of DST with 21 passenger seats.
    • DC-3A: Improved DC-3 with two 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-21 radial piston engines.
    • DC-3B: Improved DC-3 with two Wright R-1820 &ldquoCyclone&rdquo engines.
    • DC-3C: Designation for ex-military C-47, C-53 and R4D aircraft sold on the civil market.
    • DC-3S: &ldquoSuper DC-3&rdquo, improved DC-3 with a new wing, tail, and powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2000 engines.
    • LXD1: A single DC-3 supplied for evaluation by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service.
    • C-41A: A single DC-3A (40-070) modified as a VIP transport, powered by two 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-21 radial piston engines, used to fly the Secretary of War. (The Douglas C-41 was not a DC-3 derivative but a modification of a Douglas C-33.)
    • C-48: One former United Air Lines DC-3A impressed.
    • C-48A: Three impressed DC-3A's with 18-seat interiors.
    • C-48B: Sixteen impressed former United Air Lines DST-A's with 16-berth interior used as air ambulances.
    • C-48C: Sixteen impressed DC-3A's with 21-seat interiors.
    • C-49: Various DC-3 and DST models, 138 impressed into service as C-49, C-49A, C-49B, C-49B, C-4D, C-49E, C-49F, C-49G, C-49H, C-49J, and C-49K.
    • C-50: Various DC-3 models, 14 impressed as C-50, C-50A, C-50B, C-50C and C-50D.
    • C-51: One aircraft ordered by Canadian Colonial Airlines impressed into service, had starboard-side door.
    • C-52: DC-3A aircraft with R-1830 engines, five impressed as C-52, C-52A, C-52B, C-52C and C-52D.
    • C-68: Two DC-3A's impressed with 21-seat interiors.
    • C-84: One impressed DC-3B aircraft.
    • R4D-2: Two Eastern Air Lines DC-3's impressed into USN service as VIP transports, later designated R4D-2F and later R4D-2Z.
    • R4D-4: Ten impressed DC-3's for the US Navy R4D-4R Seven impressed DC-3's as staff transports for the US Navy.
    • R4D-4Q: Radar countermeasures version of R4D-4 for the US Navy.
    • Dakota II: RAF designation for impressed DC-3's

    Conversions ²

    • DC-3/2000: DC-3/C-47 engine conversion done by Airtech Canada, first offered in 1987. Powered by two PZL ASz-62IT radials.
    • Dodson International &ldquoTurbo Dakota&rdquo DC-3 PT6A-65AR: A team of engineers and mechanics who worked with the original AMI Conversion Process (the father of ALL DC-3 PT6 Conversions) created this quality conversion.
    • Basler BT-67: DC-3/C-47 conversion with a stretched fuselage, strengthened structure, modern avionics, and powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A-67R.
    • Conroy Turbo Three: One DC-3/C-47 converted by Conroy Aircraft with two Rolls-Royce Dart Mk. 510 turboprop engines.
    • Conroy Super-Turbo-Three: Same as the Turbo Three but converted from a &ldquoSuper DC-3&rdquo. One converted.
    • Conroy Tri-Turbo-Three: One DC-3/C-47 converted by Conroy Aircraft with three Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A turboprops.
    • USAC DC-3 Turbo Express: A turboprop conversion by the United States Aircraft Corporation, fitting Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-45R turboprop engines with an extended forward fuselage to maintain center of gravity. First flight of the prototype conversion, (N300TX), was on July 29, 1982.
    • BSAS C-47TP &ldquoTurbo Dakota&rdquo: A South African C-47 conversion, by Braddick Specialised Air Services, with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65R turboprop engines, revised systems, stretched fuselage and modern avionics for the South African Air Force.

    Military and Foreign Derivatives ²

    • Douglas C-47: Production military DC-3A variant.
    • Showa/Nakajima L2D: 487 License built DC-3's and derivatives for the IJNAS.
    • Lisunov Li-2/PS-84: 4,937 DC-3 derivatives license-built in the USSR.

    Specifications (DC-3A) ²

    • Crew: 2
    • Capacity: 21-32 passengers
    • Length: 64 ft 8 in (19.7 m)
    • Wingspan: 95 ft 2 in (29.0 m)
    • Height: 16 ft 11 in (5.16 m)
    • Wing area: 987 ft² (91.7 m²)
    • Empty weight: 16,865 lb (7,650 kg)
    • Gross weight: 25,199 lb (11,430 kg)
    • Powerplant: 2 × Wright R-1820 &ldquoCyclone&rdquo 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 1,100 hp (820 kW) each
    • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1830-S1C3G &ldquoTwin Wasp&rdquo 14-cylinder air-cooled two-row radial piston engine, 1,200 hp (890 kW) each
    • Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton Standard 23E50 series
    • Maximum speed: 200 kn 370 km/h (230 mph) at 8,500 ft (2,590 m)
    • Cruise speed: 180 kn 333 km/h (207 mph)
    • Service ceiling: 23,200 ft (7,100 m)
    • Rate of climb: 1,130 ft/min (5.7 m/s)
    • Wing loading: 25.5 lb/ft² (125 kg/m²)
    • Power/mass: 0.0952 hp/lb (156.5 W/kg)
    1. Photos: John Shupek, Copyright © 2000, 2003, 2007 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
    2. Wikipedia, Douglas DC-3

    Copyright © 1998-2019 (Our 21 st Year) Skytamer Images, Whittier, California
    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


    History

    The aircraft, a Douglas R4D-8, a Super DC-3, was originally in possession of the US Navy and considered to be a symbol of the golden age of air travel.

    Originally utilised as a cargo aircraft, the US Navy was routinely flying over Iceland during the 1970s as a part of its unilateral defence agreement with the country. Iceland is a NATO member, and US forces had a permanent base on the island until 2005.

    The aircraft crashed into Sólheimasandur on Wednesday, November 21st, 1973, at around 14:00 as reported by the Aviation Safety Network. It was flying from Höfn in Iceland's east coast and onboard were seven crew members.

    No one is quite sure why the plane crashed, with several theories flying about. Some blame it on ice damaging the plane&rsquos structure others say that the thrusters were not working correctly. Some say that it was a mishap of the pilot who believed the thrusters were not working when they were.

    Regardless, it little matters as no one was injured in the crash. The forced landing was made on an icy river by the coast, and though the ice broke, the plane didn't sink.

    In the years since its rocky landing, the DC Plane Wreck has borne the brunt of Iceland&rsquos tempestuous weather heavy rainfall, freezing and powerful gales. Today, the aircraft&rsquos wings are no longer attached, and it has only half a tail (rumours stipulate that a local farmer cashed in on the tail long ago.)

    It is not expected that the plane wreck will be there forever. Sólheimasandur is a glacial outwash plain, meaning when there is an eruption underneath the glacier Mýrdalsjökull, there is a chance floodwater could wash it away.

    It truly is a case of &lsquowhen there is an eruption&rsquo, not if, as Mýrdalsjökull covers Katla, one of the country&rsquos most explosive and regular volcanoes.


    DC-3 Commercial Transport

    The Douglas DC-3, which made air travel popular and airline profits possible, is universally recognized as the greatest airplane of its time. Some would argue that it is the greatest of all time.

    Design work began in 1934 at the insistence of C.R. Smith, president of American Airlines. Smith wanted two new planes &mdash a longer DC-2 that would carry more day passengers and another with railroad-type sleeping berths, to carry overnight passengers.

    The first DC-3 built was the Douglas Sleeper Transport &mdash also known as Skysleepers by airline customers &mdash and it was the height of luxury. Fourteen plush seats in four main compartments could be folded in pairs to form seven berths, while seven more folded down from the cabin ceiling. The plane could accommodate 14 overnight passengers or 28 for shorter daytime flights. The first was delivered to American Airlines in June 1936, followed two months later by the first standard 21-passenger DC-3.

    In November 1936, United Airlines, which had been a subsidiary of Boeing until 1934, became the second DC-3 customer. The DC-2 had proved more economical than the Model 247, and United assumed the DC-3 would continue that lead. Initial orders from American and United were soon followed by orders from more than 30 other airlines in the next two years.

    The DC-3 was not only comfortable and reliable, it also made air transportation profitable. American's C.R. Smith said the DC-3 was the first airplane that could make money just by hauling passengers, without relying on government subsidies. As a result, by 1939, more than 90 percent of the nation's airline passengers were flying on DC-2s and DC-3s.

    In addition to the 455 DC-3 commercial transports built for the airlines, 10,174 were produced as C-47 military transports during World War II. For both airline and military use, the DC-3 proved to be tough, flexible, and easy to operate and maintain. Its exploits during the war became the stuff of legend. Today, more than six decades after the last one was delivered, hundreds of DC-3s are still flying and still earning their keep by carrying passengers or cargo.



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