The Douglas DC-3 (Douglas C-47 and Douglas Dakota as military versions) is a type of aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1935 onward, of which 10,655 were original and 5,424 were built under license, some of which are still in commercial service today. A total of 16,079 were produced (607 civil and 15,472 military); the highest number for a passenger or transport aircraft to date.
The military versions Douglas C-47 (US Air Force) or Douglas Dakota (Royal Air Force) became known in Germany as one of the aircraft types nicknamed “raisin bomber” during the Berlin Airlift.
The Douglas DC-3 was originally designed to allow passengers to sleep during flight. Thus, couches were initially installed in the DC-3 to ensure this. This system was initially called DST (Douglas Sleeper Transport). After seats were reinstalled in the DST, the aircraft got its name: Douglas DC-3. Passenger capacity was first 28, later up to 35 passengers.
During World War II, the DC-3 was used as a transport, tow plane, air ambulance and passenger aircraft. In the American armed forces, it had many names and designations: C-41, C-47, C-48, C-49, C-50, C-51, C-52, C-53, C-68, C-84, C-117, Skytrain or Skytrooper; in the U.S. Navy it was called R4D. The aircraft was used by the Royal Air Force under the designation “Dakota”.
DC-3s still in service today fly on the Yellowknife to Hay River route in the Northwest Territories of Canada, served by Buffalo Airways.
A DC-3 will be on static display at AIRPOWER22.