Apr 26, 2011

Vintage aircraft: Douglas DC-3 video trip

Vintage aircraft: Douglas DC-3 video trip

Douglas DC-3 is an American fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft whose speed and range revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s. Its lasting impact on the airline industry and World War II makes it one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made. Many DC-3s are still used in all parts of the world.

The amenities of the DC-3 and DST popularized air travel in the United States. With only three refuelling stops, eastbound transcontinental flights across the U.S. taking approximately 15 hours became possible. Westbound trips took 17 hours 30 minutes because of typical 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 engines were fitted to the DC-3 throughout the course of its development. The original civilian aircraft used Wright R-1820 Cyclone 9s, but later aircraft (and the majority of military aircraft) used the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial which offered better high-altitude and single engine performance. In 1950 three DC-3S Super DC-3s with Pratt & Whitney R-2000 radials were built.

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