1/72 Douglas C-47 Skytrain

Airfix

Famed for its part in the D-Day assault into Northern France and folklore status in civil aviation history, the C-47 first flew in civilian guise in 1935 as the DST on the request of a sleeper aircraft for American Airlines based on the successful DC-2. The primary purpose for the aircraft was to provide East-West flights across the US in less than 24 hours. The DST became more famously known as the DC-3 when the sleeper arrangement was replaced by seats. Only one year later, KLM were taking the DC-3 from Amsterdam to Sydney, Australia to replace its DC-2’s on that route. Production of the DC-3 surprisingly ended in 1942 with only 600 airframes; however the demand for the aircraft was overtaken by the military for the transport role due to its excellent capacity and cabin uninterrupted by the wing spar due to the low wing layout. Only minor modifications were made to the C-47 including a reinforced floor and cargo door allowing wider loads to be carried. It could carry 6000lb of load such as a Jeep, a 37mm cannon, 28 fully loaded soldiers or 14 stretchers and medical staff. With this incredible flexibility, over 10,000 C-47 & C-53’s were built with production ending in 1945. Attempts were made later on to introduce a Super C-47, but the huge number of ex-military aircraft after the war meant that there were affordable alternatives for the airlines to purchase. To summarise the incredible career of this aircraft that still flies today, over 50 versions were built and it’s been operated by around 100 hundred nations in every corner of globe.


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