Category Archives: Specs & Stats

Ozark Air Lines Fleet

 By Henry M. Holden

September 26, 1950 to October 26, 1968




128D 4815 Built Sept   3, 1941. Intended for Delta as NC28347, diverted to USAAF as C- 49C (41-7721)   To American Airlines as f/s “Akron”. To Ozark as NC12989, date unk.   Still active as N128D, sale reported (12/95). Continue reading

DC-3 / C-47 Dakota Statistics

Five hundred thousand rivets were used in the manufacture of the Douglas DC-3 airplane. The average size used in the manufacture was approximately 3-8 inches long, and if laid end-to-end, the rivets would cover a distance of 15,625 feet or more than three miles.

The lighting system of each DC-3 plane was sufficient to light an eight room house. More than 90 lights were used in each plane. 1,517 watts are required. To light an ordinary room in those days only 100 watts was required.

Approximately 6,000 men and women were employed in building a DC-3.

3,600 blueprints were turned out by the Engineering Department in the development of the DC-3.They covered approximately 28,000 square feet.

The total length of the control cables used on the DC-3 was over 2,850 feet, more than ½ mile.

Material used for sound insulation in the DC-3 and the DST “Sleeper” weighed 240 pounds. Blankets and mattresses weighed another 195 pounds.

3,900 feet of tubing, 8,000 feet of wire and approximately 13,300 square feet of sheet metal were used in the construction of each DC-3.

The heating and ventilation used in the DC-3 dispensed 1,000 cubic feet of air per minute on a warm day. As it took a little more than 15 hours to fly from Los Angeles to New York , 900,000 cubic feet of air passed through the cabin or 60,000 to 75,000 pounds of air were utilized on the trip, depending on the altitude flown.

More than 120,000 BTUs were delivered to the cabin of a DC-3 on a cold day. On a flight to NY from LA, 1,800,000

BTUs were delivered during the 15 hours the plane was in the air. The boiler weighed 17 pounds and evaporated 15 gallons of water an hour. Approximately 225 gallons of water were evaporated from LA to NY. Only six quarts of water are carried in the heating system where it was continuously evaporated and condensed.

A radiator capable of heating air from 4 degrees F. to 200 degrees F. was installed in every DC-3. The air passed through the radiator at a speed of 3,000 feet a minute and since the radiator was only a foot long it took only 1/50 of a second to heat the air from 4 to 200 degrees. The radiator weighed 36 pounds.

Heating a DC-3 in the air was the equivalent of heating a building in a 200 mph wind at a 35 degree outside temperature .

The DC-3 wing area is 987 square feet

Approximately 700,000 parts were used in the construction of the DC-3. This is exclusive of instruments and engine parts and exclusive also of the 500,000 rivets used on each plane.

The engines powering the DC-3 weighed 1,275 pounds each or a total of 2,550 pounds. This weight alone is a striking contrast to the payload available on some of the early airmail planes flown which was around 250 pounds.

At a cruise speed of 180 mph at 10,000 feet each engine developed 550 hp. Ninety-one gallons of fuel were used each hour giving approximately 2 miles per gallon.

©Copyright Henry M. Holden 1996 20013

C-47 By Any Other Name

For every use found for the C-47, someone discovered there was usually a new nickname. Many were affectionate names, and a few were unglamorous ones. It accumulated more than two dozen nicknames rivaling someone on the FBI’s “Wanted List.”
Americans called it the “Gooney Bird,” “Doug,” “ Dumbo ,” “Old Fatso”. “Charlie 47,” “ Skytrain ,” “ Skytrooper ,” and “Tabby.” The British called it the “Dakota” and the “ Dak .” The RCAF called one squadron of Dakotas , “The Flying Elephants.” The Russians called it the “PS-84,” and the “Li-2.” The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) gave the Russian Li-2, the code name, “CAB.” The French Navy called it, “The Beast.” It even enjoyed the fleeting nickname, “Biscuit Bomber,” after dropping 5,000 cases of rations to General Patton’s troops in France .
Civilian pilots called it the “Three,” “Old Methuselah,” “The Placid Plodder, “The Dowager Dutchess ,” “The Flying Vagrant,” and the “Dizzy Three.” In Vietnam , it earned the sobriquets “Puff the Magic Dragon,” “Puff,” “Spooky,” and “The Dragon Ship.”
In October 1941, the U.S. government adopted the British practice of identifying airplanes with a name. The C-47 was the first airplane given a name by the Army “ Skytrain .” The intention was to mask the development information of a new type from getting into the enemy’s hands. Of course most war-time names for the C-47 were forgotten.
Most people remember and still call it the “Gooney Bird.” There are several versions of how it got that name. Some say the name came from the South Pacific where small atolls were the home of the wandering albatross, the giant seagull-like bird noted for its powers of flight, and sometimes unflattering but safe landings. Some GIs said the C-47 looked like the bird, with a heavy body and long wings, and mimicked the bird in its struggle to get off the rain-soaked dirt fields.
The Albatross, aerodynamically should not be able to get off the ground. People say the bird is so stupid, it doesn’t realize this and flies anyway.
Others say “Gooney Bird” comes from the definition of stupid, or goon. Pilots called the C-47 stupid, because they said it didn’t know it wasn’t supposed to be able to do the things it did.
Another source claims long before the C-47 lifted off the ground, the C-39s were nicknamed Gooney Birds by the Tenth Transport Command, at Patterson Field, in Dayton , Ohio.
©Copyright Henry M. Holden 1996 2013

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

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DC-3 Specifications

DC-3 Specifications:

First flight: December 17, 1935

First deliveries:
DST:* June 7, 1936 (AA)
DST: June 30, 1937 (UAL)
Std:** August 8, 1936 (AA)
Std: November 25, 1936 (UAL)

Super DC-3 July 30, 1950 (Capital) Engines (2):

DST:Wright SGR-1820-G2 (1,000 hp)
DST:P&W SB3G (1,000 hp)
Std:Wright R1820 (1,200 hp)
Std:P&W R-1830 (1,20(1 hp)
Super DC-3:Wright R 1820 (1,475 hp)

Max. gross weight: From 25,000lbs (11,340 kg) to 36,800168 (16,692 kg)

Max. payload: From 13,135 Ibs (5,958 kg) to 12,900 Ibs (5,851 kg) depending on model.

Passengers: 14 to 28
Landing speed: 64 mph
Rate of climb: 1,050 FPM-one engine 375 FPM
Take off distance: 900 ft
Landing distance: 1,640 ft

Cargo space: 250 to 293 cu ft (7.08 to 8.29 cu m) passenger or 1,244 cu ft (35.23 cu m) cargo

Operating altitude: 10,000 ft (3,048 m)
Absolute ceiling: 24,000 ft Cruise speed:

DST & Std: 180 mph (309 km/hr) 167 kts
Super DC-3: 218 kts (404 km/hr) Range (max fuel):

DST: 1,200 nm (2,224 km)
Std: 1,300 nm (2,409 km)

Super DC-3 1,900 or (3,521 km) Aircraft dimensions:

Length: DST & Std 64ft, 5 I/2in (19.65 m) Super DC-3 67ft, 8 I/2in (20.64 m)
Wingspan: DST & Std 94 ft, 7 in (28.81 m) Super DC-3 90 ft, (27.43 m)
Height: DST & Std. 16 ft, I I in (5.16 m) Super DC-3 17 ft, I1 in (5.46 m)
*DST – Douglas Sleeper Transport
**Std – Standard Passenger or Cargo Aircraft

DC-3C: Post-war designation given to C-47s later converted for civilian use. Usually had cargo door replaced with standard door, eliminated navigator’s astrodome, and installed DC-3 tail cone over glider tow hook. Many had variations in cabin window count, depending on passenger configuration. Twenty-one C-47s were converted and assigned new serial numbers but they were not added to the airframe total.

DC-3: This designation was assigned to the 28 civilian DC-3s completed in the Oklahoma City facility from parts of the Army’s

C-117 order cancelled after VJ Day. These were the last DC-3s manufactured and were included in the airframe total.

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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