Category Archives: C-47/Dakota Military

Japanese L2D3


When the DC-3 aircraft came along, the Japanese immediately recognized its potential, especially since they had such great success with the DC-2. Great Northern Airways and the Far East Fur Trading Company (another Japanese military front company) purchased at least 21 DC-3s from Douglas between 1937 and 1939. The first intended for KLM as PH-ARA, but canceled, arrived in Japan on December 6, 1937. Continue reading

Gooney Bird Grows Water Wings

The versatile Gooney Bird wore many uniforms. At one point, the C-47 grew a pair of water wings. Initially, planners thought the Navy and Marine island hopping campaign in the Pacific would require an amphibian float plane since they knew many of the islands were without airfields. Continue reading

DC-3s Exported to Japan

Douglas DC-3s exported to Japan
Great Northern Airways

c/n Model Delivery Date Engines Remarks
1979 DC-3-237A 8 Dec. 37 P & W ex-PH-ARA

2009
DC-3-237 23 Nov. 37 P & W
2025 DC-3-237A
23 Nov. 37

Cyclone
2026
DC-3-237A
6 Dec. 37 Cyclone
2037 DC-3-237B 13 Apr. 38 P & W
2038 DC-3-237B 13 Apr. 38 P & W
2039 DC-3-237B 14 May 38 P & W
2040 DC-3-237B 14 May 38 P & W
2041 DC-3-237B 21 May 38 P & W
2048 DC-3-237D 27 Aug. 38 P & W
2049 DC-3-237C 27 Aug. 30 Cyclone
2050 DC-3-237C 26 Aug. 38 Cyclone
2051 DC-3-237C 26 Aug. 38 Cyclone
2055 DC-3-237D (Delivered unassembled)
2056 DC-3-237D (Delivered unassembled)

Far East Fur Trading Company

2096 DC-3-260 17 Jan. 39
2097 DC-3-260 20 Jan. 39
2098 DC-3-260 27 Jan. 39
2099 DC-3-260 11 Feb. 39
2100 DC-3-260 12 Feb. 39
2101 DC-3-260 22 Feb. 39

©Copyright Henry M. Holden, 1996, 2013

For the complete story on the Douglas DC-3 see “Legacy of the DC-3

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C-47 Specifications

Douglas C-47 Specifications

Model C-47A-D* C47E YC-47F (C117-D)
Engines P&W 1830 R-1820 WC R-1820-09-HE
Take-off rpm 1200 1200 1475
Max. speed MPH 220 220 270
Wingspan 95 ft 95 ft 90 ft
Length 64’5″ 64’5″ 67’8″
Height 16′ 11″ 16′ 11″ 18′ 3″
Wing area 987 sq ft 987 sq ft 987 sq ft
Payload: crew 3 3 3
Passengers 21-36 21 21
Weight empty 16,600 lbs – 19,537 lbs
Max. take-off wt. 28,000 lbs
Service ceiling 23,200
Range 1100 mi 1100 mi 1405 mi
@5000 ft @5000 ft @5000 ft
* C-47A had a 24-volt electrical system.
C-47B was intended for use in the China-Burma Campaign and had a gross weight of 30000 lbs and two radial air cooled engines centrifugally supercharged.
C-47C was the amphibian version.
C-47D was like the C-47B except without supercharged engines.