Douglas C-47 Skytrain

C-47 Skytrain
C-53 Skytrooper
Dakota
C47 Skytrain - Duxford D-Day Show 2014 (cropped).jpg
A C-47 over Duxford D-Day Show 2014
RoleMilitary transport aircraft
National originUnited States
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
DesignerDouglas Aircraft
First flight23 December 1941[1]
StatusIn service in Colombia, Greece, El Salvador and South Africa
Primary usersUnited States Army Air Forces
Royal Air Force
United States Navy
Royal Canadian Air Force
See operators
Number built10,174
Developed fromDouglas DC-3
VariantsDouglas XCG-17
Douglas AC-47 Spooky

The Douglas C-47 Skytrain or Dakota (RAF designation) is a military transport aircraft developed from the civilian Douglas DC-3 airliner. It was used extensively by the Allies during World War II and remains in front line service with various military operators.[2]

Design and development

The C-47 differed from the civilian DC-3 in numerous modifications, including being fitted with a cargo door, hoist attachment, and strengthened floor, along with a shortened tail cone for glider-towing shackles, and an astrodome in the cabin roof.[3][4]

The specialized C-53 Skytrooper troop transport started production in October 1941 at Douglas Aircraft's Santa Monica, California plant. It lacked the cargo door, hoist attachment and reinforced floor of the C-47. Only a total of 380 aircraft were produced in all because the C-47 was found to be more versatile.

During World War II, the armed forces of many countries used the C-47 and modified DC-3s for the transport of troops, cargo, and wounded. The U.S. Naval designation was R4D. More than 10,000 aircraft were produced in Long Beach and Santa Monica, California and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Between March 1943 and August 1945 the Oklahoma City plant produced 5,354 C-47s.[2][5]

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