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), "Tabby" (Japan, US codename),
"Cab" (Russia, NATO codename)
First official flight: (DST) 17/12/1935
Factory production period: 1934 - 1947
Primary service period: 1936 - 1950's
Last official flight: (C-117D) 07/1976

DC-3 / C-47 VARIANTS

1935 Model DC-3 DST 21  
1937 Model DC-3A DST-A 19  
1936 Model DC-3 DC-3 266  
1936 Model DC-3A DC-3A 114  
1936 Model DC-3B DC-3B 10 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
         
1939 Model DC-3-253A C-41A 1  
1941 Model DC-3-360 C-47 965  
1941 Model DC-3 R4D-1 66  
1942 Model DC-3A-456 C-47A 5253  
1942 Model DC-3A-467 C-47B 3232  
1942 Model DC-3A-467 TC-47B 133 Total: 09650
         
1942 Model DC-3A-405 C-53 219  
1943 Model DC-3A-457 C-53D 159 Total: 00378
         
1944 Model DC-3A C-117A 16  
1944 Model DC-3A C-117B 1 Total: 00017
         
1945 Model DC-3A DC-3D 28 Total: 00028

Grand Total: 10654

1940 Foreign built - Japan:
Showa L2D "Tabby"
485  
1940 Foreign built - Russia:
Lisunov Li-2 "Cab"
4937

Grand Total: 05422


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 / DST-A / DC-3 / DC-3A / DC-3B
Douglas Sleeper Transport and Douglas Commercial-3 models.
2 assembled in Japan in 1939 as Showa L2D1 (Naval Type D Transport),
US codename: "Tabby". Several other airframes also foreign assembled.
Produced 1934 - 1941

Douglas Santa Monica, California

DST mixed 1494 to 4129 21  
DST-A mixed 1951 to 4114 19  
DC-3 mixed 1545 to 4803 266  
DC-3A mixed 1900 to 4812 114  
DC-3B mixed 1922 to 2028 10 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-41A
DC-3 model, 23 seat VIP interior, similar to C-39.
Produced 1939

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO)

40-070 2145 1 Total: 00001

C-47
As DC-3, revised fuselage, wing, tail,
reinforced floor, cargo door, astrodome.
Produced

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

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
- 1 to RCAF as 10912.
mixed 4433 to 4454    
BuNo.05051 / 05072 mixed 4555 to 4764 66 Total: 00066

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

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.
14 to RCAF as 651, 653 / 664, 10913.

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-47, engine upgrade, high altitude superchargers,
provision for additional fuel tanks.
DK built airframe c/n's duplicated with other aircraft,
corrected with new c/n's after delivery.
Produced

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.
20 to RCAF as 975 / 991, 10914,
10916, 10917.
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

Douglas Oklahoma, Oklahoma (DK)

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

Total: 00133

C-53 Skytrooper
As C-47, paratroop version, no cargo door.
2 additional aircraft factory impressed
(43-14404, 43-14405) and 1 civil drafted (43-36600).
Produced

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

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO)

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

C-117A
As C-47B, 24 seat passenger interior.
Some later converted to C-117B standard, then VC-117B.
DK built airframe c/n's duplicated with other aircraft,
corrected with new c/n's after delivery.
Produced

Douglas Oklahoma, Oklahoma (DK)

45-2545 / 45-2547 18548 / 18550 (corrected c/n: 34129 / 34131)    
45-2549 / 45-2561 18552 / 18564 (corrected c/n: mixed 34133 to 34318) 16 Total: 00016
114 additional airframes cancelled.

C-117B
As C-117A, superchargers removed, later to VC-117B.
Issued with duplicated c/n, corrected after delivery.
Produced

Douglas Long Beach, California (DL)

45-2548 18551 (corrected c/n: 34132) 1 Total: 00001

Civil Aircraft (post WW2)

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

Douglas Santa Monica, California (DO)

civil reg. 42954 / 42981 28 Total: 00028

 

Grand Total: 10654


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.
Thousands more 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) later to USAF as YC-129 (51-3817)
then USN as R4D-8X (BuNo. 138659).
Hi-Per DC-3 1+ C-47 / civil DC-3, 1952, engine upgrades for high altitude airports.

Military Conversions

USAAF / USAF

C-47 30 C-47, 1949, refurbished aircraft for Greece, new s/n: 49-2612 / 49-2641.
C-47A 1 R4D-5(17205), US Navy conversion to US Army, assigned s/n: 66-8836.
AC-47A 1+ C-47A, electronics calibration conversions.
(EC-47A) 1+ AC-47A, further conversions for Airways and Air Communications Service.
JC-47A 1 C-47A(42-93177), conversion for temporary testing.
RC-47A 1+ C-47A, used in Korean war, limited reconn. aircraft.
SC-47A 1+ C-47A, air/sea search and rescue conversions.
(HC-47A) 1+ 1962, redesignation of SC-47A.
VC-47A 1+ C-47A, staff transports, later redesignated C-117C.
WC-47A 1+ C-47A, weather reconn. conversions.
AC-47B 1+ C-47B, electronics calibration conversions.
(EC-47B) 1+ Redesignation of AC-47B.
NC-47B 1 C-47B(43-16277), permanent test duties, sometimes: NC-47J.
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, later redesignated as VC-47D, then C-117C.
XC-47C 1 C-47(42-5671), 1943, prototype fitted with amphibious floats.
Some unofficial field conversions as C-47C.
C-47D 1+ C-47B, redesignation of B's after removal of high altitude superchargers.
AC-47D 26 C-47D, 1953, operated by Military Air Transport Service (MATS). 
(EC-47D) 26 1962, redesignation of AC-47D.
AC-47D 53 Spooky
C-47D, 1964-1969, Vietnam gunship conversions, three miniguns.
Original designation was FC-47D.
RC-47D 1+ C-47D, Vietnam photo reconnaissance conversions.
SC-47D 1+ C-47D, search and rescue conversions, ventral lifeboat.
(HC-47D) 1+ 1962, redesignation of SC-47D.
TC-47D 1+ C-47D, trainer conversion.
VC-47D 1+ C-47D, staff transport, later redesignated C-117C.
C-47E 8 C-47A/B, used by Pan American as Airways Check aircraft.
EC-47M 1+ USN C-47H/J, fitted with special electronic equipment in Vietnem war.
EC-47N 1+ C-47A, electronic reconn. aircraft in Vietnam war.
EC-47P 1+ C-47D, electronic reconn. aircraft in Vietnam war.
EC-47Q 1+ C-47A/D, reconn. aircraft in Vietnam, 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.
- Served as Douglas staff transport (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 5 3 C-117A / 2 C-117C, VIP conversions.
C-117C 11 VC-47 / VC-47A, 1953, upgrade to C-117B, later redesignated VC-117A.
(SC-117A) 1 C-117C(43-16097), air/sea rescue conversion.
YC-129 1 DC-3S, 1950, designation for Super DC-3 evaluation, s/n: 51-3817.
Later redesignated as YC-47F, then to USN as R4D-8X (BuNo. 138659).
XCG-17 1 C-47(41-18496), Glider conversion with engines faired over.

US Navy

R4D-1 35 C-47, 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 C-53, 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, conversions as staff transports.
Assigned BuNo. 33615 / 33621.
R4D-5 238 C-47A, 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) Arctic / Antarctic ops.
R4D-5Q (EC-47H) Radar countermeasures.
R4D-5R (TC-47H) 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, 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) Arctic / Antarctic ops.
R4D-6Q (EC-47J) Radar countermeasures.
R4D-6R (TC-47J) 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, 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.
R4D-8X 1 YC-47F, 1953, US Navy Super DC-3 evaluation, assigned BuNo. 138659,
but actually used BuNo. 138820.
R4D-8 100 R4D-5/6/7, 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) Winterised transports.
R4D-8T (TC-117D) Trainers.
R4D-8Z (VC-117D) Staff transports.


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 54 C-47 / R4D-1, 1943, aircraft serving with the RAF.
Assigned RAF s/n: FD768 / FD818, FG857,
HK893 (built from spares), HK993.
Dakota Mk. II 9 C-53, 1942, aircraft serving with the RAF.
Assigned RAF s/n: FJ709 / FJ712, HK867, MA928, MA929,
TJ167, TJ170.
Dakota Mk. III 963 C-47A, aircraft serving with the RAF.
Assigned RAF s/n: FD819 / FD967, FL503 / FL652,
FZ548 / FZ698, KG310 / KG809, TP187, TS422 / TS427,
TS431 / TS436.
Conversion: GT.Mk. IV (TP187).
83 to RCAF with 8 as 960, 964, 992, 993, 994, 10910,
10911, 10918.
Dakota Mk. IV 895 C-47B, aircraft serving with the RAF.
Assigned RAF s/n: KJ801 / KJ999, KK100 / KK220,
KN200 / KN701, KP208 / KP279, TP181.
35 to RCAF with 3 as 1000, 10915, 14995.
C-49D / G / H 6 Assigned RAF s/n: LR231 / LR233, LR235, MA925, MA943.
C-53 1 Assigned RAF s/n: LR234.
C-68 1 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.

FOREIGN MILITARY / CIVILIAN SERVICE
 - Just about every country in the world used the DC-3 / C-47 at some
   point during and post WW2, in either a civil or military capacity.
 - Thousands sold on the civil market as business ventures, transports, sprayers etc.
   with many aviation manufacturers offering turbo engine upgrades such as the

   Mamba Dakota (1949), RR Dart Dakota (1950), Conroy Turbo Three (1969),
   Conroy Tri-Turbo Three (1977), USAC Turbo Express (1982),
   AMI Cargomaster (1986) and Basler Turbo 67 (1988).


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.

DC-3 / C-47 FOREIGN MANUFACTURE

JAPAN
Showa L2D "Tabby"
(Naval Type O Transport)
Japanese version of the DC-3 / C-47, licence obtained
in 1938 by Mitsui Bussan Kaisha KK, Japan.
Produced 1940 - 1945

Showa Hikoki Kogyo KK, Tokyo, Japan

L2D2 1941, Model 11, personnel transport.    
L2D2-1 Model 11, cargo transport.    
L2D3 Model 22, personnel transport.    
L2D3a Model 22, personnel transport.    
L2D3-1 Model 22, cargo transport.    
L2D3-1a Model 22, cargo transport.    
L2D4 Model 32, armed personnel transport.    
L2D4-1 Model 32, armed cargo transport.    
L2D5 Model 33, personnel transport of part
wood and steel contruction.

414

 

Nakajima Hikoki KK, Tokyo, Japan

L2D2 1940, Model 11, personnel transport.

71

Grand Total: 0485

RUSSIA
Lisunov Li-2 "Cab"
Russian Licence built version of the DC-3 / C-47.
Original designation was PS-84, changed to Li-2 in 1942.
Produced 1939 - 1954

Lisunov Aircraft Co., Moscow, Russia

Li-2 Salon, VIP transport.
Polyarnyi, Arctic transport.
   
Li-2D Aux. fuel tanks.    
Li-2F Photography duties.    
Li-2FG Mapping and surveying version.    
Li-2G Standard freight version.    
Li-2GP Freight / troop convertible.    
Li-2LP Forest patrol, fire-bomber.    
Li-2M Meteorological version.    
Li-2P Standard personnel transport version.    
Li-2RP Coastal patrol version.    
Li-2RT Radio relay version.    
Li-2SKh Spraying and dusting version.    
Li-2UT Navigational trainer.    
Li-2V High-altitude version.    
Li-2VP Armed multi-role version.

4937

Grand Total: 4937

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