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Douglas C-47 Skytrain

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The qualities which made the DC-3 a fine airliner made the C-47 a superb military transport, which served in every theatre of the war. The twin engined C-47 was rugged and reliable, and could fly from primitive airfields in the midst of the war zone, carrying cargo, troops or towing gliders.

The Skytrain was in many respects the most versatile military aircraft ever built and flew in a number of very important operations. The most memorable C-47 mission was the dropping of paratroopers in Normandy in the hours before the 6 June 1944 invasion of Europe by Allied armies.

But the C-47 was everywhere in Burma, an enterprising Skytrain pilot poked a Browning automatic rifle out of his cockpit and shot down a Japanese Zero fighter. In the Aleutin Islands C-47s equipped with skis brought supplies to American soldiers by landing on and taking off from ice covered surfaces.

Many Skytrains survived being hit by gunfire and being attacked by fighters, and were deemed the 'most survivable' of all Allied transport aircraft.

Based on the DC-3, the Douglas C-47 Skytrain became the most widely used transport of the war. This familiar and versatile military transport hauled cargoes, dropped paratroops and towed gliders. No airfield was too close to the front or too rough for the versatile Skytrain. Eisenhower called the C-47 one of the four most important weapons of the war, along with the bazooka, the Jeep and the atomic bomb.


Douglas C-47 Skytrain

Douglas C-47 Skytrain worldwide service cargo, troop or paratroop transport and glider tug Douglas C-47 Skytrain known as floating transport Unsurpassed military transport for Douglas C-47 Skytrain
US Army Air Force personnel nicknamed the C-47 'The Gooney Bird'. A single XC-47C was built with floats and a few aircraft were converted to this configuration in the field. Gliders were too valuable to be used only once and therefore a system of retrieval was devised.

Douglas C-47 Skytrain (Technical Specification)
Role Cargo, troop or paratroop transport and glider tug
Manufacturer Douglas
Maximum Speed 365 kmh (226 mph)
Maximum Range 2,414 km (1,597 miles)
Ceiling 7,070 meters (24,000 feet)
Maximum Takeoff

8,256 kg (18,163 lbs)
11,794 kg (25,947 lbs)
Wing Area

29.11 meters (95 ft 6 in)
19.43 meters (63 ft 9 in)
5.18 meters (17 ft)
91.69 square meters (987 sq ft)
Engines Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp radial engines each providing 895-kW (1,200 hp)
Armament Up to 28 paratroops or 14 stretchers or 4,536 kg (9,979 lbs) of cargo

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