Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-3 is a propeller-driven airliner, which had a lasting effect on the airline industry in the 1930s to 1940s and World War II.

It was developed as a larger, improved 14-bed sleeper version of the Douglas DC-2.

It is a low-wing metal monoplane with conventional landing gear, powered by two radial piston engines of 1,000–1,200 hp (750–890 kW).

The DC-3 has a cruising speed of 207 mph (333 km/h), a capacity of 21 to 32 passengers or 6,000 lbs (2,700 kg) of cargo, and a range of 1,500 mi (2,400 km), and can operate from short runways.

Military Variants

C-41, C-41A

The C-41 was the first DC-3 to be ordered by the USAAC and was powered by two 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-21 engines.

It was delivered in October 1938 for use by United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) chief General Henry H. Arnold with the passenger cabin fitted out in a 14-seat VIP configuration.

The C-41A was a single VIP DC-3A supplied to the USAAC in September 1939, also powered by R-1830-21 engines; and used by the Secretary of War.

The forward cabin converted to sleeper configuration with upper windows similar to the DC-3B

Various DC-3A and DST models; 36 impressed as C-48, C-48A, C-48B, and C-48C.


1 impressed ex-United Air Lines DC-3A.


3 impressed DC-3As with 18-seat interiors.


16 impressed ex-United Air Lines DST-A air ambulances with 16-berth interiors.


16 impressed DC-3As with 21-seat interiors.


Various DC-3 and DST models;

138 impressed into service as C-49, C-49A, C-49B, C-49C, C-49D, C-49E, C-49F, C-49G, C-49H, C-49J, and C-49K.


Various DC-3 models, fourteen impressed as C-50, C-50A, C-50B, C-50C, and C-50D.


One impressed aircraft originally ordered by Canadian Colonial Airlines, had starboard-side door.


DC-3A aircraft with R-1830 engines, five impressed as C-52, C-52A, C-52B, C-52C, and C-52D.


Two DC-3As impressed with 21-seat interiors.


One impressed DC-3B aircraft.

Dakota II

British Royal Air Force designation for impressed DC-3s.


A single DC-3 supplied for evaluation by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS).


Two Eastern Air Lines DC-3-388s impressed into United States Navy (USN) service as VIP transports, later designated R4D-2F and later R4D-2Z.


Ten DC-3As impressed for use by the USN.


Seven DC-3s impressed as staff transports for the USN.


Radar countermeasures version of R4D-4 for the USN.



for BEA test services, powered by two Rolls-Royce Dart turboprop engines.


A single conversion for the Ministry of Supply, powered by two Armstrong-Siddeley Mamba turboprop engines.

Airtech DC-3/2000

DC-3/C-47 engine conversion by Airtech Canada, first offered in 1987.

Powered by two PZL ASz-62IT radial engines.

Basler BT-67 

DC-3/C-47 conversion with a stretched fuselage, strengthened structure, modern avionics, and powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A-67R turboprop engines.

BSAS C-47TP Turbo Dakota

A South African C-47 conversion for the South African Air Force by Braddick Specialised Air Services, with two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65R turboprop engines, revised systems, stretched fuselage, and modern avionics.

Conroy Turbo-Three

One DC-3/C-47 converted by Conroy Aircraft with two Rolls-Royce Dart Mk. 510 turboprop engines.

Conroy Super-Turbo-Three

Same as the Turbo Three but converted from a Super DC-3.

One converted.

Conroy Tri-Turbo-Three

Conroy Turbo Three further modified by the removal of the two Rolls-Royce Dart engines and their replacement by three Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6s

(one mounted on each wing and one in the nose).

Greenwich Aircraft Corp Turbo Dakota DC-3

DC-3/C-47 conversion with a stretched fuselage, strengthened wing centre section, updated systems, and powered by two Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-65AR turboprop engines.


Douglas-built airframe fitted with Russian Shvetsov ASh-62 radial engines after World War II due to shortage of American engines in the Soviet Union.


Similar to Ts-62, but with Shvetsov ASh-82 radial engines of 1,650 hp.

USAC DC-3 Turbo Express

A turboprop conversion by the United States Aircraft Corporation, fitting Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-45R turboprop engines with an extended forward fuselage to maintain centre of gravity.

First flight of the prototype conversion, (N300TX), was on July 29, 1982.

Military and foreign derivatives

Douglas C-47 Skytrain


C-53 Skytrooper

Production military DC-3A variants.

Showa and Nakajima L2D

Developments manufactured under license in Japan by the Nakajima and Showa for the IJNAS; 487 built.

Lisunov Li-2 and PS-84

Developments manufactured under license in the USSR; 4,937 built.




28 troops


63 ft 9 in (19.43 m)


95 ft 6 in (29.11 m)


17 ft 0 in (5.18 m)

Wing area

987 sq ft (91.7 m2)



NACA 2215


NACA 2206

Empty weight

18,135 lb (8,226 kg)

Gross weight

26,000 lb (11,793 kg)

Max take-off weight

31,000 lb (14,061 kg)


2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C Twin Wasp 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines,

1,200 hp (890 kW) each


3-bladed constant-speed propellers


Maximum speed

224 mph (360 km/h, 195 kn) at 10,000 ft (3,000 m)


1,600 mi (2,600 km, 1,400 nmi)

Ferry range

3,600 mi (5,800 km, 3,100 nmi)

Service ceiling

26,400 ft (8,000 m)

Time to altitude

10,000 ft (3,000 m) in 9 minutes 30 seconds

Wing loading

26.3 lb/sq ft (128 kg/m2)


0.0926 hp/lb (0.1522 kW/kg)

Share on facebook