The C-47 is one of the best known transports of all time. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, termed it one of the most vital pieces of military equipment used in winning World War II. In the mid 1930’s the US military needed a new transport/cargo plane and contracted with Douglas to adapt the Douglas Commercial or DC series of aircraft. The DC series was a new design being built for the airline industry in the early to mid 1930’s.
Douglas made several improvements to the early DC series culminating with the DC-3. The C-47 purchased by the US Army Air Force is the military version of the civilian DC-3 airliner. The major differences are a reinforced floor in the passenger/cargo area, complete with tie down rings for securing cargo. An astrodome was added on the upper fuselage, just aft of the cockpit for celestial navigation. The personnel door on the left side was made much larger to accommodate cargo loading. The door is split into three sections with the main two opening as a clamshell door. The third door, which is part of the forward door, can be opened to provide access for personnel via an air-stair, similar to an airliner door. The door is large enough to accommodate a complete Jeep with trailer or a 37MM anti-tank gun. The comfortable airline seating was also replaced with twenty-eight folding metal seats that were installed against the fuselage sides. Many C-47 aircraft had their tail cone removed and were fitted with a glider-towing hook, to facilitate towing troop carrying gliders like the Waco CG-4 used in the D-Day Invasion.
The C-47 was produced in greater numbers than any other Army transport and was used in every theater in World War II. The Army was not the only service to see the usefulness of this wonderful aircraft; the US Navy and Marine Corps used the aircraft, under the designation R4D. The British and Australians also ordered the C-47 and gave them the designation Dakota, short for Douglas Aircraft Company Transport Aircraft. At the end of World War II, more than 10,000 aircraft including all types and designations had been built. The aircraft operated from every continent in the world and participated in every major battle.
The design was so successful that many C-47 aircraft remained in US service through the Korean and Vietnam wars. Many C-47 aircraft, including the one on display were sold after World War II and put into civilian service as airliners and cargo aircraft. Many C-47/DC-3 aircraft are still in regular service today not only as museum aircraft, but also as cargo haulers and even as short haul airliners. Some C-47/DC-3 aircraft have been refitted with more modern turboprop engines, which is a testament to its superb design dating back to the early 1930’s.
The C-47 on display at the Museum S/N 43-15935 was delivered to the USAAF on May 29th 1944, and served in the 7th Air Force in Manila. It was then transferred to the 20th Air Force, 7th Fighter Command based at Northwest Field, Guam. It is painted in D-Day military transport colors.
*This Aircraft is available for your airshow!*
|ENGINE||Two 1,200 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engines|
|ARMAMENT||Some gunship versions were fitted with laterally-firing 7.62mm gatling guns with up to 15,000 rounds of ammunition; these were mounted in the fuselage left side.|
|WING SPAN||95 feet 6 inches|
|LENGTH||63 feet 9 inches|
|EMPTY WEIGHT||17,860 pounds|
|MAX TAKEOFF WEIGHT||31,000 pounds|
|PAYLOAD||6000 lbs. of cargo or 28 airborne troops, or 14 stretcher patients with three attendants.|
|MANUFACTURED BY||Douglas Aircraft Co.|
|TOTAL BUILT||Over 10,000 (all types)|
|MUSEUM'S AIRCRAFT BUILT||1944|
|ON DISPLAY AT||Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison Airport (KADS), Dallas, Texas|
|CRUISE SPEED||160 m.p.h.|
|NORMAL RANGE||1,600 miles|
|MAXIMUM RANGE||3,800 miles|
|SERVICE CEILING||26,400 feet|