The Douglas DC-3 Dakota. The most widely used transport aircraft of the Second World War, if not of all time, the DC-3 was produced initially before the war as a civil airliner. Its merits were seen immediately, and it was produced in large numbers (over 10,000) during the war years for use with the Allies. The basic design was very rugged, and could therefore be used in the troop transport role with little modification. But for the transport of war material it was produced in a special military version, the C-47, which had a strengthened fuselage floor and larger loading doors on the port side. Speed: 230mph maximum, 167mph cruising.
Range: 1,300 miles. Crew: 3. Load: 9,028lbs of cargo or up to 24 fully-equipped troops.
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain. Derived from the civil DC-3 Dakota airliner, the C-47 was the basic medium transport aircraft in service with the US air forces in South-East Asia at the beginning of the war. The main differences between the civil and military versions was the strengthening of the fuselage floor and the undercarriage, together with the fitting of larger doors in the fuselage for the loading of military cargo, which can include (in one load) two jeeps or three aircraft engines, ora similar weight in other stores, or alternatively 28 fully-armed men. Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1930 Twin Wasp radials, 1,050hp each. Armament: None. Speed: 230mph at 8,500 feet. Climb: 1,130 feet per minute. Ceiling: 23,200 feet. Range: 2,125 miles. Weight empty/loaded: 16,865/30,000 lbs. Span: 95 feet. Length: 64 feet 6 inches
The DC-3 in Production
"Rosie the Riveter" was the nickname given to the many housewives who went to work for Douglas in the production of the WWII C-47.