The Douglas C-47 Skytrain is a military development of the civilian DC-3 aircraft. It was a military transport used widely by the Allies of World War II and had been in service with different military operators for several years.
The C-47 was adapted from the twin-engine civilian DC-3 but differed in various modifications such as being configured with a large cargo door incorporating a hoist, reinforced floor for weighty loads, and more powerful engines.
On December 23, 1941, the aircraft conducted its maiden flight. In January 1942, the production of C-47 began. In 1945, the production ended with a total of more than 10,000 aircraft built. Throughout the Second World War, the military forces of different countries employed the C-47 and converted DC-3s to carry heavy cargo, transport troops, and as an air ambulance.
Several variants were built for different purposes such as for search and rescue (SC-47), for photographic reconnaissance and electronic intelligence missions (RC-47), for VIP transport (VC-47), for gunships, for test roles, and a few more versions for different missions around the world.
The C-47B version was powered by two Pratt and Whitney R-1830-90C Twin Wasp engines. It is a two-row, fourteen-cylinder, air-cooled, radial type with seven cylinders on a row. Each engine produces a maximum thrust of 1,200 horsepower. It is also equipped with three-bladed constant-speed propellers.
The aircraft had a maximum speed of 195 knots at 10,000 feet, a range of 1,400 nautical miles, and a ferry range of 3,100 nautical miles. The service ceiling is 26,400 feet and the rate of climb is 1,130 feet per minute. The maximum takeoff and landing weights are 14,061 kg and 12,227 kg respectively.
It has an empty weight of 8,226 kg, a gross weight of 11,793 kg, and a maximum payload of 2,721 kg. The fuel capacity is 882 gallons. The C-47B has a wingspan of 29.1 meters, a wing area of 91.7 square meters, and a wheelbase of 10.5 meters.
The exterior length is 19.4 meters, the exterior height is 5.18 meters, the tail height is 4.1 meters, and the fuselage diameter is 2 meters. It could accommodate four crew members including the pilot, co-pilot, navigator, and radio operator, and up to twenty-eight troops.