Flight Craft 21: Douglas DC-3 (Paperback)
The Airliner that Revolutionised Air Transport
No airliner in the history of commercial aviation has had a more profound effect than the Douglas DC-3. It was reliable, easy to maintain and carried passengers in greater comfort than ever before.
Its origins stem from a design by the Douglas Aircraft Company of Santa Monica, California. Known as the Douglas Commercial One, or DC-1, this new aircraft was revolutionary in concept. It was quickly developed into the DC-2, an airliner that lead to Douglas’ domination of the domestic air routes of the United States, and of half the world.
Experience with the DC-2 led to the development of an improved version, the Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST), first flown on 17 December 1935. This in turn evolved into a 21-seat variant, the DC-3, featuring many improvements. The first American Airlines DC-3 entered service in June 1936, and within three years of its introduction the aircraft accounted for a staggering 95 percent of all commercial air traffic in the United States. From commencement of service to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the DC-3 increased domestic revenue passenger miles more than fivefold. Of the 322 aircraft operated by the country’s airlines in December 1941, 260 were DC-3s. At the pre-war peak, 30 foreign airlines operated the DC-3. On the eve of war, the DC-3’s scheduled flights represented 90 percent of international air traffic.
In addition to over 600 civil examples of the DC-3, 10,048 military C-47 variants were built, as well as 4,937 produced under licence in the USSR as the Lisunov Li-2 and 487 built by Showa and Nakajima in Japan as the L2D. After the war, thousands of surplus C-47s, previously operated by several air forces, were converted for civilian use. These aircraft became the standard equipment of almost all the world's airlines, remaining in frontline service for many years. The ready availability of cheap, easily maintained ex-military C-47s, both large and fast by the standards of the day, jumpstarted the worldwide post-war air transport industry.
The full remarkable story of the DC-3, and its ancestor, the DC-2, is told in these pages, providing a wealth of information for the modeller and the enthusiast alike.
Another of the most famous aircraft ever flown and still flying today. This book is a lovely reference both for the aircraft enthusiast alone as well as the modeller. From my own point of view this is again a most useful publication for myself as a modeller and a keen civilian aircraft enthusiast. The book runs through the origins of the aircraft, possible replacements of which the DC-3 has outlived along with a list of kits and builds for the modeller. Fantastic!!Review by Andy Thomson
As featured on Scale Modelling NowScale Modelling Now
That leads on into a section of 8-pages of some very colourful profiles, only a couple of which show any military camouflage though along with civilian markings. Then the final part of the book is filled with Modelling the DC-3 and a Model Showcase. This details and assesses a great variety of models in an equally varied set of scales. From the old original 1./72 Airfix Dakota as well as their new one, as well as 1/144 and 1/48 models, all very neatly finished and accompanied by plenty of modelling tips.Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
Another excellent addition to the FlightCraft series of books from author Robert Jackson.
Read the full review here
One of the things I love about the Flight Craft books are the pages of aircraft profile pictures which show it in the liveries of different operators, both civilian and military, and this DC-3 book is no exception. This is obviously a great help to modellers.Airport Spotting
Two other interesting chapters in the book include one on the DC-3’s current roles under the title ‘Live on Forever’. Its longevity means we’ll easily see DC-3s operating a hundred years after they first flew.
The other interesting chapter is ‘A Pilot’s Story’ and is written by Simon Lannoy, a former DC-3 pilot for Intra Airways who was based in Jersey. It offers some really interesting insights into what it was like to fly the DC-3.
Read the full review here