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Douglas C-53/C-47 "Skytrain"

In 1940, the continued development of the DC-2/C-41 for reliable transport of troops and cargo, spurred the design of the the Douglas C-47. Many of its attributes are directly from the improved C-41, features from development of the DC-2/C-32 since 1932. This allowed a rapid manufacturing response that produced 11,000 "Skytrains" or "Gooney Bird" by WWII 's end in 1945. Built on a larger reinforced frame the aircraft retained is twin engine 1,200 hp engines extending its operating range from 900 to 1,500 miles. A larger reinforced rear fuselage allowed larger cargo doors. Improved cargo cabin flooring with a system of pulleys and anchors allowed larger cargo capacity and room for 28 armed paratroopers.

Created in 1942, the Army Air Corps, Air Transport Command (ATC) utilized the C-47 in all parts of the world as a cargo, troop transport and evacuation roles. Flown by American and British forces the C-47 was essential to the Invasions of North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Europe's military campaigns. Pilots confidence in its capacity, flew the C-47 into rudimentary and hostile airfields throughout WWII and continued its ability to adapt through the Korea War, Cold War and Vietnam undisputed as a most dependable aircraft.










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Christy Butler **** www.shoeboxphotos.net **** **** butts@bcn.net