Talk:Douglas DC-3/Archive 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 1 Archive 2

Gooney bird

According to one disambig page, this aircraft was also known as the "Gooney bird." If this bit of trivia is accurate, should it not be incorporated into the article? Kevyn 13:23, 29 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Although probably the best know, this is just one of many unofficial nicknames the DC-3/C-47 had during its long career. Antheii (talk) 16:44, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

10,000 ft/min climb rate?

Am I reading this right? There's no way a DC-3 could climb 10,000 ft/min. --ScottJ 23:27, August 15, 2005 (UTC)

  • Yeah, that can't possibly be right. Good eye. -eric 01:04, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Great catch, ScottJ. I misread the statistic when I first entered the specs. It was actually 9.6 minutes to climb to 10,000. That works out to a slightly lower number than what you used, but you specified "initial", which I would expect to be a bit higher than the average over 10k feet. Dabarkey 04:07, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

It really is important to distinguish between rate and time-to-climb anyway; if you've got both, put both in. What I've been doing lately (using information from Jane's Fighting Aircraft of WWII) is the following:

  • Rate of climb: 2,300 ft/min (11.7 m/sec); 9.6 min to 20,400 ft

That way, we get both initial rate and time-to-altitude information. -eric 05:14, 16 August 2005 (UTC)


I'm concidering adding an extra bit to this article but the problem seems to me that it's specifically about the plane and not any events that has taken place with it. Hmm... Dead-Inside 21:44, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Banking right picture

It's a thumbnail Adrian, it's not supposed to be a high-res background. Intersofia 03:42, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I understand what you mean but we don't normally have "thumbnail pics only" unless a good large one can't be found so that's not a good reason for the pic to be there. Loads of readers will click on it to enjoy the full size pic (as I always do) and be disappointed (and probably irritated as well). Quality pics of the DC-3 are easy to find so no need for this one. Best Wishes - Adrian Pingstone 08:50, 11 June 2006 (UTC)


I think this article needs an Aircraft infobox.

Yup, but there is a strong opposition to adding infoboxes to articles on aircraft and I doubt the WikiProject guys would let you do that. I tried once, but this was not very pleasant... //Halibutt 21:33, 17 June 2006 (UTC)

Famous People Who Died in the DC-3?

Is this an encyclopedia article or a People magazine article? This sort of thing does not seem to be germane to the article and isn't a topic that's recommended in Wikipedia:WikiProject Aircraft/page content. I think it should be deleted or at least moved to a separate article. Anyone else have a comment? Dabarkey 04:40, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Someone put work into it, so move rather than delete. Meggar 17:27, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Just because someone worked on it does not make it appropriate for an encyclopedia. However, I won't act unilaterally, and no-one else has exptressed an opinion as of now.Dabarkey 02:33, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Moved to its own List of... where interested parties may defend it against deletion. Meggar 03:25, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Comparing A380 to DC-3 and 747

I don't think we should descripe A380 being a revolutionizing aircraft in the same scale of 747 or DC-3. "generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made (also see Boeing 707 and Boeing 747)" Altough the A380 is somewhat bigger than 747, it can hardly be considered a step forward in the scale of DC-3 or 747, being an advanced competitor to 747 rather than being something totally new.

Not only that, but the jury is still out on the A380; at this point, it could be a dog, where as the DC-3 or 747 were inarguably game changers. —Joseph/N328KF (Talk) 04:09, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
The intro needs improvement. "The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft, which revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s..." Back up this 'revolutionized' claim with some fact, e.g. "The Douglas DC-3 is a fixed-wing, propeller-driven aircraft. The DC-3 revolutionized air transport in the 1930s and 1940s with reliability and economy that surpassed rival aircraft of the time." (This is an example, I'm not claiming this as fact, as I don't know). -- CraigKeogh 05:10, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
"...generally regarded as one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made" is point of view. Give me the facts, and I'll determine if it is significant or not.-- CraigKeogh 05:10, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

lead image

A quick google of "Portuguese air force 6157" reveals that the lead image is not a DC-3 but a C-47A Skytrain; how do we feel about mixing the aircraft between articles? ericg 06:22, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

I oppose it, and will remedy the situation on the commons. I only added it because I felt it was the most illustrative picture available. I will also change the caption in this article.
Should you decide to find another image, feel free. As I said, the fact that it isn't actually a DC-3 is a concern for me as well. Karl Dickman talk 18:16, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, the horizon on this picture is not level, and it is yet another static picture. I feel it's much better to use a dynamic shot. I suggest: [1] or similar ;) Intersofia 14:18, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Done. Intersofia (talk) 14:43, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

licenced built vs variants

There is a difference between "licence-built" and "variant" and "clone". The Lisunov Li-2 is a metric variant with metric 9-cyl Shvetsov ASh-62 engines. There's nothing interchangeable between the DC-3 and the Li-2 even tho they look identical at 10 paces. Thus, the Li-2 really deserves its own separate page, just as the Tupolev Tu-4 (metric clone of the B-29) has its own page. Also what's worth telling is the story of the frantic and desperate cloning process that the Soviets used to try to catch up to the Yanks. BomberJoe 19:16, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

To my knowledge, the Lisunov Li-2 was built with the permission of Douglas (hence it was license-built), while the Tu-4 was an out-right stolen, illegal copy. To label them both simply as "metric clones" is highly misleading. The Soviets further developed the Tu-4, and the aircraft gave significant service to the Soviet air force. These all combine to make up enough content to warrant having its own page. If there is enough verifiable content to warrant the Li-2 having its own page, then I'm all for it. But if it's just going to be a stub, then leave it here for now. In print, the Li-2 is hardly ever covered on its own, unless perhaps in a book on Soviet aircraft. - BillCJ 19:31, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't think we disagree on the basics. One problem is to find a term that describes an aircraft that is neither a copy nor a clone, but looks identical from 10 paces. We don't use that sort of design method, so we don't have a word to describe the result. Here's a quote from Yefim Gordon's book promo on Amazon: "Suitably adapted to make use of Russian engines and structural materials, the DC-3 entered production as the PS-84; and gradually the design drifted further apart from the US original." BomberJoe 08:13, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

I think the term usually used in such situations is a "license-built derivative". Take the Westland Wessex (S-58) and Westland Sea King: Both were highly modified by Westland for British and export service, and differ significantly from the original Sikorsky models. This often happens with license-built aircraft, and is fully legal under the terms of the license. The Li-2 seems to fall into this category, while the Tu-4 certainly does not.
I would certianly be interested in whatever info you find on the Li-2, and if it's sourced properly, go ahead and put it into the article. WHen the Li-2 section starts to overwhelm the other models, then I'd be for splitting it off, provided we have some good photos and specs to go along with it. - BillCJ 08:54, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Comparison with Boeing 247

The article says the DC-3 was a significant step forward from the 247 in the context of transcontinental speed, but the listed cruising speed on the 247 page is actually higher than the 170mph listed here. Is it possible that one or both of those cruising speed numbers is incorrect? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 02:12, 8 April 2007 (UTC).


Aren't most of the DC-3's in regular use today one's that have had their rotary engines replaced with turboprops? --Gbleem 10:01, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

No. The DC-3 might be a pretty airplane, but it's a horrible relic for use in a commercial operation because of the sloping floor and tailwheel. So not many operators want to pour millions into a cheap relic that is likely being used only because it's a cheap relic. BomberJoe 07:56, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

some do: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:32, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Continued Use

Just got done watching the history channel show "Boneyard" and a small airline called Bufalo continutes to operate the DC3/C47 and has one of the largest surplusses of parts and fuseloddges.

The Southern DC3 Charitable Trust operates a DC3 (Registration ZK-AMY) in Christchurch, New Zealand. She is most often seen on weekends flying scenic flights of the city and the local area, but she is available for charters as well. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:42, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

DC3 glider

In Canada, there is a DC3 converted to towed glider by removing the engines. The government of Quebec may still own a DC3 to fly up north and in the outback. It's possible to find out the pics of this glider I've seen on display.

Takima 16:10, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Lead image (again)

I'm of the opinion that, where possible, the infobox image really ought to be an airborne shot. Over at commons, there's this

Douglas DC-3, SE-CFP.jpg

gorgeous one...would anybody object if I put it in the infobox instead of the parked aircraft that's there now? AKRadeckiSpeaketh 19:30, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Good move, I say. I'm partial to flying images myself. Binksternet 20:02, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


The specifications listed describe VNO and VNE to be the same (206 knots). That is weird, as they are two different things: Maximum Speed or VNO ist the maximum speed the airplane can attain in level flight at (usually) maximum continuous power, it is limited by drag and engine output. VNE is the maximum speed the airframe can stand, (some margin) above that, the airframe will start to desintegrate due to flutter. I've found performance number (VNO) that rather matches the maximum speed listed here, but no reference to VNE. Are you guys sure they are the same? Wouldn't that be a bit unusual?

--Adhominem (talk) 19:13, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

"End of an era in passenger flight"

A couple of short articles about the end of timetabled passenger DC-3 flights in Britain, which will happen this July. One is from the Daily Post and the other is from the Press Association. (talk) 18:57, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

The aircraft are used for charter flights mainly to airshows in the United Kingdom and joyrides from Coventry Airport, they may be the last passenger flights in Europe but proper scheduled services ended a long time ago. I suspect that they are still DC-3s somewhere in the world carrying passengers! MilborneOne (talk) 23:04, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

There's a much longer article on the same subject from The Daily Mail. This might count as a citation: "One aviator memorably described the Dakota as a "collection of parts flying in loose formation", and most reckon they can land it pretty well on a postage stamp". And this factoid about the name "Dakota" is not present in the Wiki page: "The name, incidentally, is an acronym for Douglas Aircraft Company Transport Aircraft". (talk) 16:09, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Commuter Aircraft?

Before the arrival of the DC-3, such a trip would entail short hops in commuter aircraft, during the day, coupled with train travel overnight.

"Commuter aircraft" is the wrong term for any airplane in 1935! Did the author mean "short range aircraft"? Isaac R (talk) 15:59, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

certificate of air worthiness

I have read that part of the test for its certificate on the 17th December, 1935 required a fairly brave employee of the FAA to pull the main circuit breaker on one of the engines at the instant of takeoff, as the plane was required to be able to take off with one engine out. Does anyone know his name? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:48, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Joe Goofball, I think (LOL). FWIW Bzuk (talk) 06:22, 27 February 2009 (UTC).


The Japanese version of this appears to have been calle "Tabby". Not sure how official this was. Drutt (talk) 08:41, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Tabby was the allied codename not the real name for the Nakajima L2D. MilborneOne (talk) 08:58, 4 April 2009 (UTC)

Band of Brothers

Has anyone seen the jumping paratroopers on the series called "Band of Brothers"?? They seem to jump from DC3s. Did they really use this aircraft for the landing at Normandy on D-Day?

They used the military version during the Second World War refer to C-47 Skytrain, it just had a bigger door at the back for freight (and paratroopers). MilborneOne (talk) 17:44, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

When were they built?

I'd be interested to know when production stopped. -- Hoary (talk) 15:05, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Production of the DC-3 at the Long Beach and Santa Monica factories ended in 1946 [2] but the super DC-3 was still being built in 1950 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Deekaygee (talkcontribs) 05:40, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Lasts Forever?

Is it true that a DC-3 "lasts forever" (as I seem to remember having read somewhere)? — (talk) 23:36, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Not yet. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 01:00, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

bush plane

The bush plane article lists the DC-3 as one of the options for that type of rugged plane. Perhaps this article could elaborate on this, since it isn't mentioned here. Bonus Onus (talk) 17:50, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

The article also doesn't give any sources for its list of planes - DC-3 isn't usually considered a bush plane, IMHO, although it is a tail-dragger. - DavidWBrooks (talk) 21:26, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Too many side profiles

There are too many photographs of the DC-3 using a side profile. The main infobox photo is the only exception. The article could use a better variety of viewing angles. -Rolypolyman (talk) 03:03, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

List of users

from the article:

"The very large number of civil and military operators of the DC-3, C-47, and related types since their introductions means that a listing of all the airlines, air forces, and other operators is impractical."

And indeed the article has no list what so ever. Of course having no list at all, vs having incomplete one, it is no brainer which one is the correct approach, in other words having no list at all is the incorrect and faulty approach to the issue, so people better get listing the users! (talk) 06:09, 14 November 2009 (UTC)


Did it have a lav on board and if so what kind? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:16, 16 March 2010 (UTC)

It had a loo. At least while flying in the uk. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:59, 17 April 2010 (UTC)


This page lists the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial as the major engine on this aircraft. However, the engine page does not list the DC-3 as an application. This needs to be rechecked...Deepak23 (talk) 04:28, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

The statement in the Design and Development sections says"the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp radial which offered better high-altitude and single engine performance" without any cite. The 9-Cylinder Wright engine had the same horsepower and supercharger as the Pratt. What leads the author to believe that performance of the Wright engine is inferior?

Not a turboprop conversion?

In 1987, Airtech Canada offered aircraft re-engined with current-production PZL ASz-62IT radial engines of 1,000 hp (746 kW) as the DC-3/2000.

Above phrase is under the "Turboprop conversions" header. But the ASz-62IT is 'just another radial' and not a turboprop, so I think its inclusion at that point is incorrect. Antheii (talk) 16:39, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Removed misleading statement about U.S. transcontinental air-rail travel

Previously, this article contained the following statement about transcontinental U.S. flights:

Before the arrival of the DC-3, such a trip would entail short hops in slower and shorter range aircraft during the day, coupled with train travel overnight.

This statement has been in the article since the very earliest version in the history. I've finally removed it, because it's misleading as hell. Such "air-rail" trips did take place in the U.S., but they had been phased out by the early 1930s, years before the DC-3 was developed. The real reason for them was that the U.S. was still in the process of developing navigation and airport facilities for flying at night. Once enough lighted airports, navigation beacon lights, and radio navigation beacons had been put in place, there was no longer a need for transcontinental air-rail trips.

U.S. transcontinental flights were done with many airliners before the DC-3. It's true that all of these had shorter range and thus needed more stops for fuel, but the Boeing 247D, Douglas DC-2, and Lockheed 10 Electra (which Northwest flew between Chicago and Seattle) were just as fast.

--Colin Douglas Howell (talk) 19:29, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Not such a big deal about the veracity of the statement, the Ford Trimotor and other airliners of its vintage were employed in that way. See revision. Bzuk (talk) 19:36, 27 December 2010 (UTC).


Recently a change was made in this section that added non-DC-3s:

Total production of the DC-3 was 16,079.[1] More than 400 remained in commercial service in 1998. Production was as follows:
10,655 DC-3s were built at Santa Monica, California, Long Beach, California, and Oklahoma City in both civil DC-3 (607) and military C-47 (10,048) versions.
4,937 were built under license in Russia as the Lisunov Li-2 (NATO reporting name: 'Cab').
487 Mitsubishi Kinsei-engined aircraft were built by Showa and Nakajima in Japan, as the L2D2-L2D5 Type 0 transport. These last two entries are not true DC-3s.
Production ceased in 1945, although Douglas refurbished some C-47s as DC-3Cs and delivered the last in March 1947. In 1949 a larger more powerful Super DC-3 was launched to positive reviews, but the market was flooded with second-hand C-47s and only three were ever sold. The prototype served the US Navy with the designation YC-129 (alongside 100 C-47s that had been upgraded to Super DC-3 specification).

What do others think? Bzuk (talk) 01:12, 15 January 2011 (UTC)

Unidentified plane


Hi, does anyone know what kind of plane this is →

Moebiusuibeom-en (talk) 02:12, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Looks like maybe a Lockheed Model 10 Electra. You can see a bit of tail away from the center line which confirms that the empennage was a dual or triple vertical rudder, not simply a single vertical rudder like the DC-3. Binksternet (talk) 03:00, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I'm reposting this to WT:WikiProject Aircraft#Unidentified plane. See you there! Binksternet (talk) 03:08, 11 September 2011 (UTC)

Service ceiling: 24,000 ft (7,300 m) in a non-pressurised cabin?

I am pretty sure that the DC3 never had a pressurised cabin. So that would seem to make a service ceiling of 24,000 ft seem pretty unlikely. Either the passengers would all have to be issued with oxygen masks, or pass out. I've flown in one of these in the 1970's on a scheduled airline, and we kept at a low-ish altitude all the way, presumably for this very reason. Jinlye (talk) 15:22, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Checked sources again, nope, that is the published ceiling. Recall, that most DC-3s are now used in cargo roles and would rarely fly at those heights. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 16:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC).
Service ceiling is a measure of performance, not necessarily of how high an aircraft flies when it is in service. IIRC the service ceiling is the altitude at which the aircraft can only climb at 100 feet per minute. YSSYguy (talk) 21:00, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

See Showa/Nakajima L2D

I did some work on this variant, noting the number of differences in the type. Comments? FWiW Bzuk (talk) 01:03, 22 December 2011 (UTC).

Arose by any other name

Unfortunately a DC-3 is not the same as a C-47 , R4D (except impressed R4D-4s), C-117s, Li-2, L2D. Only 607 DC-3 / DSTs were built, mostly pre-war, with relatively few surviving past the 1950's. So it is a fair bet that most survivors are actually C-47s, C-53s, etc. etc. Can we have a consensus on what we call what, as at present this article calls every derivative DC-3 at some stage of the article and that is patently un-true!! I propose that where the true identity is unkn own then aircraft are referred to as DC-3/C-47, and that where known the correct designation is applied.Petebutt (talk) 20:18, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Assessment comment

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Douglas DC-3/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Top="one of the most significant transport aircraft ever made"

Last edited at 01:02, 5 September 2006 (UTC).

Substituted at 20:30, 2 May 2016 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Gradidge p. 20 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).