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DC-3/C-47 Dakota

The US-based Douglas Aircraft Corporation produced a winner with their DC-3 in its many versions, including the military variants. "Dakota" is the name adopted for the Douglas DC-3 aircraft supplied to the RAF under the Lend-Lease Agreement during World War II. World War II was also responsible for the legendary status of the aircraft when the type became the mainstay of the Allies' air transport effort. After the war many of these very reliable aircraft were taken up by civilian operators and in this way the DC-3 contributed significantly to the beginnings of air transport in the majority of the world's more remote regions. The era of modern air travel was heralded in by the prototype of the series - the Douglas DC-1 - which first flew in July 1933. The 24-passenger DC-3 evolved from the Douglas Sleeper Transport which first flew in December 1935. The type was produced in many variants. In the US alone 10349 were manufactured, whilst at least 2000 - as the Lisunov Li-2 - were produced under licence in the USSR, and a further 485 in Japan as the Showa (Nakajima) L2D. The Douglas DC-3 was produced in five series with the standard engine being either the Wright SGR-1820 Cyclone, or the Pratt & Whitney R1830 Twin Wasp radial engine. Many variants were produced from the new-build C-47 (transport/cargo), C-53 (paratrooping), C-117 (glider-towing) and R4D (US Navy) series. The Dakotas which served with SAAF were all of the C-47A or C-47B variant, a version with a supercharged engine for arduous flights.

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ab.WeightEmpty weight: 18,135 lb (8,226 kg); Gross weight: 26,000 lb (11,793 kg); Max takeoff weight: 31,000 lb (14,061 kg)
ac.Length63 ft 9 in (19.43 m)
ad.WidthWingspan: 95 ft 6 in (29.11 m)
ae.Height17 ft 0 in (5.18 m)
af.Crew4 Crew (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, radio operator) + 28 Troops
ah.Primary ArmamentNone
ai.Secondary Armamentnone
aj.Engine2 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C Twin Wasp 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 1,200 hp (890 kW) each
ak.Power/Weight0.0926 hp/lb (0.1522 kW/kg)
as.Operating Range1,600 mi (2,600 km, 1,400 nmi); Ferry range: 3,600 mi (5,800 km, 3,100 nmi)
at.Speed-OffroadMaximum speed: 224 mph (360 km/h, 195 kn) at 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
av.Fuel Capacity 
aw.Fuel Consumption 
ax.Fuel Type 
ba.Side Slope 
bb.Vertical Step 
ca.Propellers3-bladed constant-speed propellers
cc.Service Ceiling26,400 ft (8,000 m)
cd.Rate Of Climb 
ce.Wing Area987 sq ft (91.7 m2)
cf.Aspect Ratio 
cg.Airfoilroot: NACA 2215; tip: NACA 2206
ch.Wing Loading26.3 lb/sq ft (128 kg/m2)
ci.Take-off Run 
cj.Landing Run 
ck.Time to Altitude:10,000 ft (3,000 m) in 9 minutes 30 seconds
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