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Tigers: Tracking a Legend
Douglas C-47 Skytrain
The Douglas C-47 Skytrain could endure a great deal of battle damage and like its civilian counterpart, the DC-3, it could fly on one engine. It could withstand mid-air collisions and ground loops. It could even land on its belly with minimal damage because the tires, when fully retracted, still extended beneath the cowl. Though not designed for them, the plane could survive terrifying dives, snap rolls and tail spins.
Did You Know?
- The cost of the DC-1 (first civilian version of the C-47) was to be $125,000, to be paid in gold bullion! Any overruns would be made up by Douglas. The prototype cost $307,000.
- When the DC-1 rolled out, she was 1,000 pounds overweight with a bare interior.
- The DC-2 could fly from New York to Los Angeles in 18 hours.
- The DC-3 was such an impressive aircraft that insurance companies would sell travelers a $5,000 policy for 25 cents-the same rate applied to trains and ships.
- Within two years of its initiation into service, the DC-3 was hauling 98 percent of the world's air commerce.