DOUGLAS DC-3 / C-47 SKYTRAIN

DC-3 / C-47 SERVICE

Manufacturer: The Douglas Aircraft Co. Inc., Santa Monica, California, USA
Model: DC-3
Designations: C-47; C-41, C-48, C-49, C-50, C-51, C-52, C-53, C-68, C-84,
C-117, C-129, CG-17, R4D, CC-129 (CAF)
Names: Skytrain (C-47); Skytrooper (C-53), Spooky (AC-47D),
Dakota (RAF)
First official flight: (DST) 17/12/1935
Factory production period: 1935 - 1946
Primary service period: 1936 - 1960's
Last official flight: (C-117D) 27/06/1982

DC-3 / C-47 VARIANTS

1935 Model DC-3 DST 21  
1936 Model DC-3 DC-3 266  
1936 Model DC-3A DC-3A 114  
1936 Model DC-3B DC-3B 10  
1937 Model DC-3A DST-A 19 Total: 00430
         
1940 Model DST/-A,
DC-3/-3A
Civil aircraft impressed:
C-48
, C-49, C-50, C-51,
C-52
, C-53, C-68, R4D-2 / -4
151 Total: 00151
         
1938 Model DC-3A-253 C-41 1  
1939 Model DC-3A-253A C-41A 1  
1942 Model DC-3A-360 C-47 965  
1942 Model DC-3A-360 R4D-1 66  
1943 Model DC-3A-456 C-47A 5253  
1944 Model DC-3A-467 C-47B 3232  
1944 Model DC-3A-467 TC-47B 133 Total: 09651
         
1941 Model DC-3A-405 C-53 219  
1943 Model DC-3A-457 C-53D 159 Total: 00378
         
1945 Model DC-3A-1003 C-117A 17 Total: 00017
         
1945 Model DC-3A-1003 DC-3D 28 Total: 00028

Grand Total: 10655


Three Model DC-3A aircraft all in flying condition!
From front to rear are C-47B-30-DK (s/n: 44-76803, ex. RNZAF NZ3543),
C-47A-20-DL (s/n: 43-23424, ex. RAAF A65-9) and C-47B-10-DK (s/n: 43-49219).
All are on the New Zealand civil registry as ZK-AWP, ZK-AMS
and ZK-DAK respectively.

Christchurch, New Zealand, 2000.

DC-3 / C-47 PRODUCTION

Civil Aircraft (pre WW2)

DST / DC-3 / DC-3A / DC-3B / DST-A
Douglas Sleeper Transport and Douglas Commercial-3.
2 (2055, 2056) assembled in Japan in 1939 as Showa L2D1,
US codename: "Tabby". Several other airframes also foreign
assembled.
Produced 1935 - 1941

Douglas Santa Monica, California

DST mixed 1494 to 4129 21  
DC-3 mixed 1545 to 4803 266  
DC-3A mixed 1900 to 4812 114  
DC-3B mixed 1922 to 2028 10  
DST-A mixed 1951 to 4114 19 Total: 00430

Civil to Military Factory Conversions

C-48 / C-49 / C-50 / C-51 / C-53 / C-68
R4D-2
/ R4D-4
Factory impressed commercial airliners,
various differences.
Produced 1940 - 1942

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO) (D)

(DC-3A)
C-48 / A / C
41-7681 / 41-7684
43-38332 / 43-38338
mixed 3256 to 4148
mixed 4170 to 4182
11  
(DC-3)
C-49 / A / B / C / D
J / K
41-7685 / 41-7694
41-7715 / 41-7721
42-65584
43-1961 / 43-2017
mixed 3270 to 4096
mixed 4170 to 4815
3280
mixed 4996 to 6344
75  
(DC-3)
C-50 / A / B / C / D
41-7695 / 41-7694
41-7703 / 41-7705
41-7709 / 41-7713
mixed 4083 to 4122
4109 / 4111
mixed 4131 to 4805
14  
(DC-3)
C-51
41-7702 3289 1  
(DC-3 / DC-3A)
C-52 / A / B / C
41-7701
41-7706 / 41-7708
41-7714
4136
4127, 4128, 4112
4813
5  
(DC-3A)
C-53 / C
43-2018 / 43-2034
43-14404, 43-14405
mixed 4964 to 6347
4960, 4961
19  
(DC-3A)
C-68
42-14297, 42-14298 4173, 4174 2  
(DC-3A)
Undesignated
no s/n applied. mixed 4177 to 4981 12  
(DC-3)
R4D-2
BuNo.4707, 4708 4097, 4098 2  
(DC-3A)
R4D-4
BuNo.07000 / 07003
BuNo.33815 / 33820
mixed 4962 to 6349
6350 / 6355
10 Total: 00151

Military Aircraft

C-41
DC-3A model, VIP version, factory
upgraded from a C-39 (DC-2-243).
Produced 1938

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO)

38-502 2053 1 Total: 00001

C-41A
DC-3A model, 23 seat VIP interior.
Produced 1939

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO)

40-070 2145 1 Total: 00001

C-47
As DC-3A,strengthened deck,
cargo door, astrodome.
Produced 1941 - 1943

Douglas Long Beach, California (DL)

41-7722 / 41-7866 mixed 4200 to 4374    
41-18337 / 41-18699 mixed 4375 to 6105    
41-19463 / 41-19499 6106 / 6142    
41-38564 / 41-38763 mixed 4445 to 6222    
42-5635 / 42-5704 mixed 6223 to 9011    
42-32786 / 42-32923 9012 / 9149    
43-30628 / 43-30639 6059 / 6070 965 Total: 00965
4 to RAAF as A65-1 / A65-4.
2 to RCAF as 650, 652.
1 to RNZAF as NZ3501.

R4D-1
As C-47, version for US Navy,
equipment changes. 34 also
converted from C-47.
Produced 1941 - 1942

Douglas Long Beach, California (D)

BuNo.3131 / 3143 mixed 4204 to 4283    
BuNo.4692 / 4706 mixed 4284 to 4366    
BuNo.01648, 06149 4367, 4368    
BuNo.01977 / 01990 mixed 4433 to 4454    
BuNo.05051 / 05072 mixed 4555 to 4764 66 Total: 00066

C-47A
As C-47, 24-volt electrical system. Some
duplicated DK c/n's with other aircraft,
corrected with new c/n's after delivery.
Produced 1943 - 1944

Douglas Long Beach, California (DL)

42-23300 / 42-24407 9162 / 10269    
42-24408 / 42-24419 13779 / 13790    
42-32924 / 42-32935 9150 / 9161    
42-100436 / 42-101035 18899 / 19498    
43-15033 / 43-16132 19499 / 20598    
43-30640 / 43-30761 13791 / 13912

2954

 
15 to RAAF as A65-5 / A65-19.
13 to RCAF as 651, 653 / 664.

Douglas Oklahoma, Oklahoma (DK)

42-92024 / 42-93158 11779 / 13039 (c/n's ending in "8" skipped).    
42-93160 / 42-93823 13041 / 13777 (c/n's ending in "8" skipped).    
42-108794 / 42-108993 11788 / 13778 (only c/n's ending in "8").    
43-47963 / 43-48262 13779 / 14078 (corrected c/n: 25224 / 25523) 2299 Total: 05253
40 to RAAF as A65-20 / A65-59.
13 to RCAF as 961 / 963, 965 / 974.
14 to RNZAF as NZ3502 / NZ3506,
NZ3516 / NZ3524.

C-47B
As C-47A, high-altitude superchargers,
Duplicated DK c/n's with other aircraft,
corrected with new c/n's after delivery.
Produced 1944 - 1945

Douglas Long Beach, California (DL)

43-16133 / 43-16432 20599 / 20898

300

 

Douglas Oklahoma, Oklahoma (DK)

42-93159 13040    
43-48263 / 43-49962
- 1682 as C-47B-DK.
- 18 as TC-47B-DK.
14079 / 15778 (corrected c/n: 25524 / 27223)    
44-76195 / 44-77294
- 985 as C-47B-DK.
- 115 as TC-47B-DK.
15779 / 16878 (corrected c/n: 32527 / 33626)    
45-876 / 45-1139 16879 / 17142 (corrected c/n: mixed 34134 to 34409) 2932 Total: 03232
65 to RAAF as A65-60 / A65-124.
17 to RCAF as 975 / 991.
34 to RNZAF as NZ3525 / NZ3558.
1405 additional airframes cancelled.


C-47A-20-DK Dakota, s/n: 42-93212, was delivered in 1944 to the
RNZAF as NZ3518 and served until 1949. It then flew on the
civil scene until 1980 when the C-47 ended it's days as a movie
prop as seen here in the 1981 film "Race For The Yankee Zephyr".
Queenstown, New Zealand, 1981.


One of the best in existence!, C-47B-45-DK, s/n: 45-960 (RNZAF s/n: NZ3551),
carried Queen Elizabeth II on her 1953 New Zealand tour in VVIP configuartion.
NewZealand operated 49 Douglas C-47 Dakotas from 1943 to 1978.
RNZAF Museum, Christchurch, New Zealand, 1999.

TC-47B
As C-47B, navigational trainers.
Produced 1944 - 1945

Douglas Oklahoma, Oklahoma (DK)

133 mixed with C-47B-DK s/n.

Total: 00133

C-53 Skytrooper
As DC-3A, 28 seat paratroop version. 2
additional aircraft factory were impressed
(43-14404, 43-14405) and 1 civil drafted
(43-36600).
Produced 1941 - 1942

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO)

41-20045 4810    
41-20046 / 41-20136
- 8 delivered as the winterised C-53B.
4816 / 4906    
42-6455 / 42-6504 4907 / 4956    
42-15530 / 42-15569 7325 / 7364    
42-15870 / 42-15894 7387 / 7411    
42-47371 / 42-47382 7313 / 7324 219 Total: 00219

C-53D Skytrooper
As C-53, 24-volt electrical system.
Produced 1943

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO)

42-68693 / 42-68851 11620 / 11778 159 Total: 00159

C-117A
As C-47B, 24 seat passenger interior,
no strengthened deck or cargo door.
Duplicated DK c/n's with other aircraft,
corrected with new c/n's after delivery.
Produced 1945

Douglas Oklahoma, Oklahoma (DK)

45-2545 / 45-2561 18548 / 18564 (corrected c/n: mixed 34129 to 34318) 17 Total: 00017
114 additional airframes cancelled.

Civil Aircraft (post WW2)

DC-3D
As C-117A, surplus airframes completed
as a post WW2 civil variant.
Produced 1945 - 1946

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO)

civil reg. 42954 / 42981 28 Total: 00028

 

Grand Total: 10655


C-47A-30-DK was originally built for the USAAF as 43-48061 and was later
sold to the Turkish Air Force as 6052 (YSL-52). Turkey operated 108
C-47's from 1946 to 1996, one of the few military air forces in
the world to fly Dakotas into the 1990's.
Turkish Air Force Museum, Istanbul, Turkey, 2005.

DC-3 / C-47 CONVERSIONS

Civil Conversions

DC-3C 21 C-47A/B, 1945, post WW2 Douglas conversions for civil airlines.
New c/n: 43073 / 43092, 43154, conversions finished in 1947.
Many hundreds modified in post WW2 years to this standard.
DC-3S (Super DC-3) 5 1 C-47(41-18656) / 4 DC-3, 1949, modified version of DC-3 airliner.
Fuselage / wing / tail redesign, engine upgrade, new c/n: 43158, 43159,
43191 / 43193. First DC-3S (C-47) to USAF 1950 as YC-129 (51-3817)
then USN 1953 as R4D-8X (BuNo. 138659).

Military Conversions

USAAF / USAF

C-47 30 C-47, 1949, refurbished aircraft for Greece, new s/n: 49-2612 / 49-2641.
VC-47 1+ C-47, staff transports.
AC-47A 1+ C-47A, electronics nav-aid calibration conversions.
(EC-47A) 1+ 1962, redesignation of AC-47A.
JC-47A 1+ C-47A, conversions for temporary testing.
NC-47A 1+ C-47A, permanent conversions for tests.
RC-47A 1+ C-47A, reconnaissance and other duty conversions.
SC-47A 1+ C-47A, air/sea search and rescue conversions.
(HC-47A) 1+ 1962, redesignation of SC-47A.
TC-47A 1+ C-47A, trainer conversions.
VC-47A 1+ C-47A, staff transports.
WC-47A 1+ C-47A, weather reconn. conversions.
AC-47B 1+ C-47B, electronics nav-aid calibration conversions.
(EC-47B) 1+ 1962, redesignation of AC-47B.
JC-47B 1+ C-47B, conversions for temporary testing.
NC-47B 1 C-47B, permanent test duties, sometimes as NC-47J.
RC-47B 1+ C-47B, reconnaissance and other duty conversions.
SC-47B 1+ C-47B, air/sea search and rescue conversions.
(HC-47B) 1+ 1962, redesignation of SC-47B.
VC-47B 1+ C-47B, staff transports.
XC-47C 1 C-47(42-5671), 1942, prototype fitted with amphibious floats. Some
unofficial field conversions as C-47C.
C-47D 1+ C-47B, high-altitude superchargers removed.
AC-47D 26 C-47D, 1953, electronics nav-aid calibration conversions.
(EC-47D) 26 1962, redesignation of AC-47D.
FC-47D 26 C-47D, 1965-1966, Vietnam gunship conversions, 10 machine guns.
AC-47D 56 Spooky
24 FC-47D / 32 C-47D, 1964-1969, Vietnam gunship conversions with 3
miniguns, additional equipment. 3 FC-47D not redesignated as AC-47D.
GC-47D 1+ C-47D, ground instructional conversions.
JC-47D 1+ C-47D, conversions for temporary testing.
RC-47D 1+ C-47D, reconnaissance and other duty conversions.
SC-47D 1+ C-47D, search and rescue conversions, ventral lifeboat.
(HC-47D) 1+ 1962, redesignation of SC-47D.
TC-47D 1+ TC-47B, trainer conversions to C-47D standards.
VC-47D 1+ C-47D, staff transports.
C-47E 9 C-47A/B, engine upgrade, Pan American airways check aircraft.
C-47G - Not used.
C-47I - Not used.
C-47L - Not used.
RC-47N 25 C-47A, 1966-1967, electronic reconn. aircraft in Vietnam War.
(EC-47N) 25 1967, redesignation of RC-47N. Most to S. Vietnam AF by 1973.
C-47O - Not used.
RC-47P 28 C-47D, 1966-1967, electronic reconn. aircraft in Vietnam War.
(EC-47P) 26 1967, redesignation of RC-47P. Most to S. Vietnam AF by 1973.
EC-47Q 16 8 C-47A / 8 C-47D, 1968-1975, reconn. aircraft in Vietnam War, engine upgrade.
Civil DC-3 models converted after airline delivery / service:
(DC-3A / DST-A) C-48B / C
Assigned s/n: 42-38258, 42-38259,
42-38324 / 42-38327, 42-56089 / 42-56091,
42-56098 / 42-56102, 42-56609 / 42-56612,
42-56629, 42-78026 / 42-78028, 44-52990,
44-52991.
- 42-38259 briefly operated as 42-33642.
24  
(DC-3 / B / DST) C-49D / E / F / G / H
Assigned s/n: 42-38250 / 42-38257,
42-38328 / 42-38331, 42-43619 / 42-43624,
42-56092 / 42-56097, 42-56103 / 42-56107,
42-56613 / 42-56618, 42-56620, 42-56621,
42-56623, 42-56625 / 42-56628,
42-56630 / 42-56637, 42-57506,
42-65580 / 42-65583, 42-68687 / 42-68689,
42-68860, 42-107422, 44-52999, 44-83228,
44-83229.
63  
(DC-3A) C-52D
Assigned s/n: 42-6505.
- Later to C-48C, new s/n: 42-38260.
1  
(DC-3A) C-53
Assigned s/n: 43-36600.
- Douglas staff transport 1941-46 (NC30000).
1  
(DC-3B) C-84
Assigned s/n: 41-57157, 42-57511 / 42-57513.
4 Total: 93
VC-53 1 C-53, conversion as a VIP transport.
XC-53A 1 C-53(42-6480), 1943, factory conversion with slotted flaps, hot-air de-icing.
C-53B 8 C-53, 1942, factory converted with extra fuel, winter equipment for Arctic.
ZC-53D 1+ C-53D, 1948, redesignation as "obsolete".
VC-117A 8 C-117A, 1948-1951, VIP staff transports, 1 served until 1970.
C-117B 8 C-117A, 1946-1973, high-altitude superchargers removed.
(VC-117B) 5 C-117B, 1948-1951, VIP staff transports, 1 served until 1968.
C-117C 10 3 VC-47 / 7 VC-47A, 1953-1970, staff transports acquired from civil based
Pioneer Airlines Inc. 1 additional may have been an SC-117A.
YC-129 1 DC-3S, 1950, designation for Super DC-3 evaluation, s/n: 51-3817.
Later redesignated as YC-47F, to USN 1953 as R4D-8X (BuNo. 138659).
XCG-17 1 C-47(41-18496), glider conversion with engines faired over.

US Navy / USMC

R4D-1 35 C-47, 1942, aircraft in service with the US Navy.
Assigned BuNo. 12393 / 12404, 30147,
37660 / 37680, 91104 (ex-RAF FD797).
30 additional conversions cancelled.
R4D-2F 2 R4D-2, conversion to a VIP transport.
(R4D-2Z) 2 Redesignation of R4D-2F.
R4D-3 20 18 C-53 / 2 "impressed" C-53C, 1942, personnel transports for
US Navy. Assigned BuNo. 05073 / 05084, 06992 / 06999.
R4D-4Q 1+ R4D-4, modifications for ECM testing.
R4D-4R 7 Civil DC-3, 1943, conversions as staff transports.
Assigned BuNo. 33615 / 33621.
R4D-5 238 C-47A, 1943, aircraft in service with US Navy.
Assigned BuNo. 12405 / 12446, 17092 / 17248,
39057 / 39095.
Modifications with 1962 C-47H redesignations:
R4D-5 (C-47H) Base model.
R4D-5E, Electronic ops. 
R4D-5L (LC-47H) 6, 1947-1948, skis fitted, not redesignated.
                                8, 1955-1969, Antarctic ops.
R4D-5Q (EC-47H) Radar countermeasures.
R4D-5R (TC-47H) Trainer / personnel transports.
R4D-5S (SC-47H) Air-sea warfare training.
R4D-5T, Navigation training.
R4D-5Z (VC-47H) Staff transports.
R4D-6 152 C-47B, 1944, aircraft in service with US Navy.
Assigned BuNo. 17249 / 17291, 39096 / 39098,
39100, 39109, 50740 / 50839, 150187 / 150190.
Modifications with 1962 C-47J redesignations:
R4D-6 (C-47J) Base model.
R4D-6E, Electronic ops.
R4D-6L (LC-47J) 3, 1962-1966, Antarctic ops.
R4D-6Q (EC-47J) Radar countermeasures.
R4D-6R (TC-47J) Trainer / personnel transports.
R4D-6S (SC-47J) Air-sea warfare training.
R4D-6T, Navigation training.
R4D-6Z (VC-47J) Staff transports.
R4D-7 45 TC-47B, 1945, aircraft in service with US Navy.
Assigned BuNo. 39099, 39101 / 39108, 39110, 39111,
99824 / 99857. 5 later converted to R4D-6 standard.
155 additional airframes cancelled.
(TC-47K) 39 1962, redesignation of R4D-7.
(NC-47K)) 1 R4D-7(39103), 1958-1972, transfer to US Army for tests, also NEC-47H.
R4D-8X 1 YC-47F, 1953, US Navy Super DC-3 evaluation, assigned BuNo. 138659,
but actually used BuNo. 138820. To R4D-8 standard 1954.
R4D-8 100 R4D-5/6/7, 1951-1982, conversions to Super DC-3 standards.
Original BuNo.'s retained. New c/n: 43301 / 43400.
Modifications with 1962 C-117D redesignations:
R4D-8 (C-117D) Base model.
R4D-8L (LC-117D) 6, 1957-1968, Antarctic ops.
R4D-8T (TC-117D) 8, 1951-1978, Trainers.
R4D-8Z (VC-117D) 4, 1951-1976, Staff transports.
C-47A 1 C-47H(17205), 1965-1974, US Navy transfer to US Army. Assigned s/n: 66-8836.
NC-47H 1+ C-47H, permanent conversions for tests, some to US Army.
EC-47M 1+ C-47H/J, 1962, special electronic equipment for Vietnam War.


Antarctic bound Douglas LC-47H BuNo. 17221 "Kool Kiwi" on a
fuel stop at Dunedin Airport, New Zealand on 25 October, 1966.


Panoramic view of US Navy Douglas LC-47H BuNo. 17221, nicknamed "Kool Kiwi".
Originally built as C-47A-25-DK, s/n: 42-92410, this aircraft was assigned to the
US Navy as an R4D-5L for Antarctic Operation Deep Freeze from 1955 to 1966.
It was redesignated as an LC-47H in 1962 and is one of only
two such conversions left in the world today.
Christchurch, New Zealand, 1996.

British RAF

Dakota Mk. I 53 C-47 / R4D-1, 1942, aircraft serving with the RAF.
Assigned RAF s/n: FD768 / FD818, FG857 (?), HK983.
Dakota Mk. II 9 C-53, 1942, aircraft serving with the RAF.
Assigned RAF s/n: FJ709 / FJ712 (first 2 re-serialled MA928,
MA929), HK867, HK893 (built from spares), LR234, TJ167,
TJ170 (?).
Dakota Mk. III 963 C-47A, 1943, aircraft serving with the RAF.
Assigned RAF s/n: FD819 / FD967, FL503 / FL652,
FZ548 / FZ698, KG310 / KG809, TP187, TS422 / TS427,
TS431 / TS436.
Many to RCAF with 5 as 960, 964, 992 / 994.
Dakota Mk. IV 895 C-47B, 1944, aircraft serving with the RAF. Many to RCAF.
Assigned RAF s/n: KJ801 / KJ999, KK100 / KK220,
KN200 / KN701, KP208 / KP279, TP181 (?).
C-49D / G / H 6 1942. Assigned RAF s/n: LR231 / LR233, LR235, MA925, MA943.
C-68 1 1942. Assigned RAF s/n: LR230.
DC-3 4 Civil DC-3, 1939-1940, aircraft impressed into service with
RAAF s/n: A30-1 / A30-4.

Foreign Conversions

CC-129

71

RCAF Dakota, 1968-1989, redesignation after the RCAF
became the Canadian Armed Forces.
Assigned CAF s/n: 12901 / 12971.
11 ordered post WW2 with s/n: 1000, 10291, 10910 / 10918.

FOREIGN MILITARY / CIVILIAN SERVICE
 - Showa L2D2 'Tabby', 485, 1941, license built version of the DC-3 in Japan by
   the Showa Hikoki Kogyo KK from 1940-45.
 - Lisunov Li-2 'Cab', 4937, 1939, license built version of the DC-3 in Russia by
   the Lisunov Aircraft Co. from 1939-54.
 - Just about every country in the world operated the DC-3 / C-47 at some point
   during and post WW2, in either a civil or military capacity.
 - Civil modifications included the Pan Am Hi-Per DC-3 with engine upgrade,
   Transair Dakmaster (1955) with engine and u/c upgrades, Viewmaster DC-3
   with panoramic windows and the similar NZ NAC DC-3 Skyliner.
 - UK turboprop conversions were the Mamba Dakota (1949, 1 built) and RR
   Dart Dakota (1950, 3 built).
 - US turboprop conversions were the Conroy Turbo-Three (1969, 1 built),

   Conroy Super Turbo Three (1974, 1 built), Specialised Aircraft Tri-Turbo
   Three (1977, 1 built), USAC Turbo Express (1982, 2 built), Aero
   Modifications DC-3-65TP Cargomaster (1986, 8 built with 34 kits to SAAF
   as the C-47TP) and the Dodson TurboDak (1990s, 22+ built) using
   ex-SAAF aircraft.
 - Best known US turboprop conversion is the Basler Turbo-67 (BT-67) (1988,
   1 prototype and 50+ built) for civil and military customers.


The classic engine console with trim wheel on a DC-3 / C-47,
represented here by C-47A s/n: 42-93579 / ZK-AMY.
Christchurch, New Zealand, 2006.

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