The Douglas C-47: The Greatest Aircraft of Its Time

The C-47 was derived from the DC3 family of commercial planes. The United States military was looking for a good transport plane. The first flight by the C-47 prototype was made from Clover Field (now Santa Monica, CA) at 3 p.m. on 17th December 1935, which just happened to be the 32nd anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight.

Douglas C-47 "Biscuit Bomber"

For half a century the Douglas C-47 and its numerous derivatives has remained the most versatile aviation workhorse the world has ever known, and can arguably claim the title of World's Greatest Aircraft

Born in brassy years of the mid-1930s, the DC-3 became the world's standard airliner, before donning warpaint as the world's standard military transport. Both these and other roles have continued unabated through to current times.

Douglas C-47
Crew: 3
Capacity: 28 troops
Payload: 6,000 lb (2,700 kg)
Length: 63 ft 9 in (19.43 m)
Wingspan: 95 ft 6 in (29.41 m)
Height: 17 ft 0 in (5.18 m)
Wing area: 987 ft" (91.70 m")
Empty weight: 18,135 lb (8,226 kg)
Loaded weight: 26,000 lb (11,793 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 31,000 lb (14,061 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engines, 1,200 hp (895 kW) each
Maximum speed: 224 mph (195 kn, 360 km/h) at 10,000 ft (3,050 m)
Cruise speed: 160 mph (139 kn, 257 km/h)
Range: 1,600 mi (1,391 nmi, 2,575 km)
Ferry range: 3,600 mi (3,130 nmi, 5,795 km)
Service ceiling: 26,400 ft (8,045 m)

The Estrella Warbird Museum, located in Paso Robles, has huge respect for this plane, so much that it located an old C-47, and then lovingly restored it. 

The Estrella Warbird Museum’s C-47 will appear at the Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Half Moon Bay Airport.

It will be a hard display to miss. The aircraft is over 63 feet in length, with a wingspan over 95 feet wide. It has 2 Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engines, which give it an average cruising speed of 160 MPH, and a range of approximately 1600 miles. 

Over the years, the C-47 has been lovingly christened with a lot of nicknames. In the Viet Nam era, it was known as Puff the Magic Dragon. Paratroopers skydiving into Normandy during D-Day called it the Vomit Comet.

When you see this proud and glorious restored aircraft at Dream Machines, you’ll most likely just call it awesome.


Pacific Coast Dream Machines

The Coolest Show on Earth
Half Moon Bay (CA) Airport