Tuesday, September 1, 2009

DOUGLAS DC-3


1936–46




STANDARD DATA: Seats 28-30. Gross wt. 25,200. Empty wt. 16,865. Fuel capacity 411. Engines two 1,200-hp Pratt & Whitney Twin-Wasps.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 230. Cruise mph 207. Stall mph 67. Initial climb rate 1,130. Range 2,125. Ceiling
23,200.

The DC-2 was developed from the DC-1. The DC-2 first flew in 1934, and production continued until 1936 when it was replaced by the DC-3. The DC-2 was powered by two Wright engines rated at 710 hp each. It was later modified by the U.S. Air Force under the designation C-39. The C-39 was essentially the DC-2 with DC-3 wing and tail assemblies and two 975-hp Wright engines. Construction was all-metal with a semimonocoque fuselage. In 1936, the first DC-3s rolled off the line and were an instant success. By 1941, more than 400 DC-3s had been sold to the airlines. When the war broke out, the military designed the big airliner the C-47 Skytrain. More than 10,000 were built to transport troops back and forth across the oceans. And after the war ended, the demilitarized C47s returned to the civilian designations, and created a bargain-priced backbone for the growing airline industry. In 1949, Douglas created the Super DC-3 with a longer fuselage and more powerful engines. The updated, upgraded model was commercially unsuccessful. The original DC-3 remained the world’s choice. Ultimately the greatest tribute to the DC-3 lies in the fact that after more than six decades, there are still hundreds of the big taildraggers still in operation around the globe.



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