Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota

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Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota
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Douglas Dakota

This Dakota came from Guatemala to the USA in 1984. It flew from Opa Locka
near Miami for Atlantic Air Cargo to destinations in the Caribbean.



Douglas Dakota

Basler Turbo Conversions in Oshkosh refitted Dakotas with Pratt & Whitney PT6 turboprop engines and showed the result at the Farnborough air show.



Douglas Dakota

Thousands of Lisunov Li-2 'Cab' aircraft were built under licence in Russia from 1939 until 1952. The aircraft on the picture is in the Monino Air Museum near Moscow.



Douglas Dakota DDA

The Dutch Dakota Association (DDA) keeps several Dakotas in flying condition. The picture shows their first aircraft, PH-DDA. This aircraft, however, crashed in the Wadden Sea in The Netherlands in September 1996.



Douglas C-117D Super DC-3

After World War Two Douglas developed the Super DC-3 with a stretched fuselage
and more powerful engines.




About the Douglas DC-3 / C-47 Dakota

During the twenties and early thirties of last century many airliners were biplanes and built of wood, steel frames and linen. In February 1933 Boeing's Model 247 took to the air for the first time. Model 247 was a streamlined low-wing, all-metal monoplane airliner. Boeing built the first sixty aircraft of the type exclusively for United Airlines and that made other airlines feel uneasy. They were very interested in this aircraft too, but Boeing couldn't deliver. For that reason TWA (Transcontinental and Western Air) approached other manufacturers with requirements for a similar sized airliner.
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Douglas's answer was the DC-1 (Douglas Commercial One), which flew for the first time on 1 July, 1933. The DC-1 immediately drew attention with a TWA record flight between Los Angeles and New York. TWA ordered 28 of an improved version, the DC-2. The DC-2 flew for the first time on 11 May 1934 and started operations with TWA in July 1934. The first foreign airliner became the Dutch airline KLM, which flew its first aircraft, the PH-AJU 'Uiver' successfully in the London to Melbourne air race of 1934.
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A further development became the DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport), based on a requirement of American Airlines. This aircraft was larger and had a wider fuselage. It accommodated 14 berths for Americans trans-continent sleeper flights. As a 'daytime airliner', named DC-3, the new aircraft seated 21 passengers, three-abreast. The maiden flight was on 17 December 1935.
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The DC-3 soon became the mainstay of the US domestic airline network in the years prior to World War 2. Until late 1941 over 400 aircraft had been sold to airlines.
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When the United States became involved in World War II in December 1941, the US Army Air Force badly needed a lot of transport aircraft. It selected the DC-3 and designated it C-47 'Skytrain' or C-53 'Skytrooper'. The RAF named the C-47 'Dakota'. More than 10,000 aircraft were built for the US armed forces and for allied countries. Several thousands were built under licence in Russia as Lisunov Li-2.
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After the war many C-47s became superfluous and were sold off for bargain prices. The ex-military aircraft became the standard post-war aircraft for most the world's airlines well into the 1950s. Its availability and reliability made it extremely popular. Hundreds of these aircraft are still in service today.
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Douglas restarted production for the civil market. It also developed the Super DC-3 with a stretched fuselage, more powerful engines and a modified tail. The first flight was in June 1949. The aircraft showed impressive improvement on performance, but came too late for an active role in aviation. Douglas built only a small number for the US Navy as R4D8 and a few examples for airline service.
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