Discussion in 'The Golden Era' started by Tiki Tom, Mar 2, 2016.
Believe it or not, it is possible to make a DC3 ugly!
Golden Era adventure time! The dashing crew of this classic DC-3 is attempting to set a new world record. At 77 years old, this DC-3 Dakota will be the oldest plane to circumnavigate the globe. How I would like to take part in that jaunt. (Am in the market for a good mid-life crisis activity. )
I remember watching A Bridge Too Far with my Dad. He was involved in D-Day and Operation Market Gordon. He said this seen was the closest to what he remembered. He kept thinking, "if one of those guys up front cracks up, we've all had it!"
That is an amazing clip. I doubt they would allow such tight intervals these days.
And another cool DC-3 clip...
Took this photo in Upland, CA. Cable Airport.
A few years ago, I was touring Boeing's gigantic parts warehouse on a business trip when one of my hosts remarked that they stocked a complete line of spares for every aircraft type they ever made which had at least one example still in commercial service. I asked about the DC-3 (McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in the late '90s). Sure enough, they kept the DC-3 spares fully stocked. It's likely they will be carrying those parts after the aircraft passes its century mark.
With all due respects, the DC 3 pales in comparison to the DC 2 1/2.
The DC 2 1/2 was flown by CNAC, which basically was Pan Am in Chiang Kai-shek's China.
At a certain point, CNAC was in a tight spot, so they joined a DC 2 wing to the fuselage of a DC 3. It actually flew. Reportedly, this is how it happened:
We had a DC-2 going through overhaul. As I looked at one of the wings, I couldn't help but wonder. it was certainly worth a try and a trial. we had a DC-3 on the line being serviced, so I ordered it into the hanger and directed that the right wing be removed. it was but a very short time later that we were fitting a DC-3 with a DC-2 wing to its center section. We bolted it in place, hooked up all the control cables, electric lines, etc. It seemed too good to believe! I called a meeting of our Chinese engineer,Loy Locke; our highest ranking American Supervisor, Arnold Weier
and our Chinese forman and lead mechanics. I explained to them that here we had a substitute wing, but no time to spare. I told them that I had Hal Sweet coming out to talk to him about flying the wing into Suifu. Eyes were big with disbelief and questions were many and varied. However, I had the whole thing planned in my head, and once I explained my plan, all agreed that it should work. Of course there were quite a few "bugs" to iron out. We removed the DC-2 wing from the DC-3, removed the tip and we had to remove the trailing edge to butt to the rear spar. As we did that, we made up a Kit so that it could be readily reassembled. I kept P.Y. informed of our plans and progress.
I might clear up a point at this time which has been very much disputed about the attach angle fitting the DC-2 and DC-3. By sheer accident and Donald Douglas' Scoth thrift, he used the DC-2 wing butt and center wing butt jigs, to form the DC-3 angles; however his design engineers called for a heavier angle with a wrap around plus double the attach bolts for the 3 -- so they drilled additional holes between the DC-2 holes; thus we filled all the DC-2 holes and skipped every other in the DC-3 center wing. Douglas built them strong.
This is part of a much longer yarn, recorded here http://cnac.org/aircraft02.htm
Here's a photo:
As I recall, the DC-3 was also a glider tow plane in Europe during WWII.
It was - at all of the major airborne operations (Normandy, Market-Garden, and Operation Varsity (Rhine crossing)).
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