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Douglas DC-2 and DC-3 History
1970s - 1980s

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December 17, 2005 was the 70th Anniversary of the first flight of the Douglas DC-3 at the Santa Monica Airport. Here's a collection of photos of DC-2 and DC-3 variants spanning the years 1972 to 1989.

Douglas DC-1 crash Malaga, Spain The Douglas DC-1 suffered an engine failure on take off from Malaga, Spain while operating for Iberia Airlines in December 1940. Rumour has it that parts of the airframe were taken to build a portable alter to carry an effigy of the Virgin Mary around the streets of Malaga on Holy Days. Photo courtesy of the Malaga Airport Museum via Austin Brown.

Army C-47 MASDC, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, February 11, 1972 Army C-47 in storage at the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on Febraury 11, 1972.

Conroy Turbo-Three, Santa Barbara, April 12, 1972 Conroy Turbo-Three, N4700C at Santa Barbara on April 12, 1972. The Douglas construction number of the Turbo-Three was 4903. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-53, 41-20133. Conroy Aircraft acquired it in January 1968.

It was equipped with a pair of 1,600 shaft horsepower Rolls Royce Mk. 510 turboprops from a crashed United Airlines Viscount. The cruise speed of the Turbo-Three was increased from 170 miles per hour to 215 milse per hour. The Turbo-Three made its first flight with the new powerplants on May 13, 1969. It appeared at the Paris Airshow later that month.

AC-47A, Luke Air Froce Base, April 19, 1972 AC-47A on static display at Luke Air Force Base on April 19, 1972.

C-47B, 43-49336, Chanute Air Force Base, August 20, 1972 VC-47B, 43-49336 on display at Chanute Air Force Base on August 20, 1972. Its Douglas construction number is 26597.

FAA DC-3, N40, Oakland International Airport, August 6, 1973 FAA DC-3, N40 at Oakland International Airport on August 6, 1973. Its Douglas construction number is 25824. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as 43-48563, then transferred to the Navy as R4D-6, BuNo 17278.

Unidentified DC-3, Oakland International Airport, August 6, 1973 Unidentified DC-3 at Oakland International Airport on August 6, 1973.

DC-3, N100ZZ, Oakland International Airport, August 6, 1973 DC-3, N100ZZ at Oakland International Airport on August 6, 1973. Its Douglas construction number is 25485. It was ordered by the Army Air Corps as C-47A-30 43-48224. It was delivered to the Royal Air Force as KG808 and was later transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force. The RCAF renumbered it as 12947 in 1970. Maritime Aircraft Overhauk and Repair registered it in Canada as CF-BKY. L Oberturf registered it in the United States as N74139. Transwest Air Express registered it as N100ZZ. Miami Valley Aviation registered it as N982Z. It is currently registered to Michael Hogan of Middletown, Ohio as N982Z. It is operated by Remote Area Medical. It is seen below at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on December 7, 1974.

Marine Corps C-117D, BuNo 50826, Pima County Air Museum, March 31, 1974 Marine Corps C-117D, BuNo 50826 on display at the Pima County Air Museum on March 31, 1974. Its Douglas construction number is 26924. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47B-20, 43-49663 and then transferred to the Navy as R4D-6, BuNo 50826. It was converted to an R4D-8, the Navy equivalent of the Super DC-3. The Super DC-3 had larger wings and tail surfaces than the DC-3, and its main landing gear were fully enclosed. In 1962 it was redesignated C-117D.

Bede Corporation DC-3, Falcon Field, May 4, 1974 Bede Corporation DC-3 at Falcon Field near Mesa, Arizona on May 4, 1974.

Conroy Super-Turbo-Three, N156WC, Santa Barbara Airport, June 12, 1974 The Conroy Super-Turbo-Three, N156WC at the Santa Barbara Airport on June 12, 1974. Its Douglas construction number is 43193. Although very few Super DC-3s had been purchased by the airlines, the Navy and Marine Corps were retiring several R4D-8s in the early 1970s. Note the Viscount engine donor parked at the left.

Unidentified C-117 (R4D-8) used for a test installation of the Dart turboprop engine.

PCA DC-3, N50CE, San Francisco International Airport, August 6, 1974 PCA DC-3, N50CE at San Francisco International Airport on August 6, 1974. Its Douglas construction number is 25409. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47A-30, 43-48148. It was later registered as N104CA and sold to the el Salvador Air Force. It was converted to a Turbo DC-3 and registeres FAS-117. On July 23, 2004 it suffered a hydraulic failure, departed the runway at El Jaguey and its landing gear collpsed. All aboard survived the accident.

PCA DC-3, N50CE, San Francisco International Airport, August 6, 1974 PCA DC-3, N50CE at San Francisco International Airport on August 6, 1974.

Air Charter West DC-3, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport, December 7, 1974 Air Charter West DC-3 N100ZZ at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on December 7, 1974.

Army Golden Knights parachute demonstration team R4D-6, BuNo 17276, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, March 16, 1975 Former U.S. Navy R4D-6, BuNo 17276 was transferred to the Army Golden Knights parachute demonstration team. It is seen here at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on March 16, 1975. Its Douglas construction number is 25779. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47A-1, 43-48518. It was subsequently registered as N48159, but its registration was revoked due to "enforcement". It is reported that it was recently sold.

Navy R4D, MASDC, April 27, 1975 Unidentified U.S. Navy R4D at MASDC on April 27, 1975.

Conroy Super-Turbo-Three, N156WC, Mojave Airport, June 20, 1975 The Conroy Super-Turbo-Three, N156WC at the Mojave Airport on June 20, 1975.

NASA C-47H, N817NA, Edwards Air Force Base, November 13, 1977 NASA C-47H, N817NA at Edwards Air Force Base on November 13, 1977. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47A-5, 42-92482 and then transferred to the Navy as R4D-5 BuNo 17136. Its Douglas construction number is 12287. It was registered N817NA on June 23, 1969.

NASA C-47H, N817NA, Edwards Air Force Base, October 28, 1979 NASA C-47H, N817NA at Edwards Air Force Base on October 28, 1979.

C-47, 41-7723 on display at the Pima County Air Museum on December 18, 1979. It was formerly displayed at the Air Force Museum at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Its Douglas construction number is 4201.

Marine Corps C-117D, BuNo 50826, display at the Pima County Air Museum, December 18, 1979 Marine Corps C-117D, BuNo 50826 on display at the Pima County Air Museum on December 18, 1979.

U.S. Department of Agriculture C-47 17252N, Beale Air Force Base, May 31, 1980 U.S. Department of Agriculture C-47 17252N at Beale Air Force Base on May 31, 1980. It distributed flies that had been sterilized by radiation.

Fuselage of DC3, N982Z, el Mirage Airport, November 26, 1980 Fuselage of DC3, N982Z at el Mirage Airport on November 26, 1980. This is a different airframe than N100ZZ seen above.

NASA C-47H, N817NA at Edwards Air Force Base on September 20, 1981.

Unidentified DC-3, Camarillo Airport, December 7, 1981 Unidentified DC-3 at Camarillo Airport on December 7, 1981.

Specialized Aircraft Company Tri-Turbo-Three, Camarillo Airport, December 7, 1981 Conroy Tri-Turbo-Three, N23SA at the Camarillo Airport on December 7, 1981. The original Turbo-Three airframe was converted by John Conroy's Specialized Aircraft Company into the Tri-Turbo-Three. It was equipped with three 1,174-horsepower, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6A-45 turboprops driving five-bladed propellers. Its registration was changed to N23SA. The cruise speed of the Tri-Turbo-Three was increased to 230 miles per hour. The nose engine could be shut down to increase its range at a reduced cruise speed of 180 miles per hour. It made its first flight with three engines on November 2, 1977 and appeared at the 1978 Farnborough Airshow.

Aero Service DC-3, N5000E, Santa Barbara Airport, October 9, 1982 Aero Service DC-3, N5000E at the Santa Barbara Airport on October 9, 1982. Its Douglas construction number is 20475. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47A-90, 43-16009. It was subsequently exported from the United States to South Africa as ZS-LVR.

NASA C-47H, N817NA, NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, January  6, 1983 NASA C-47H, N817NA in the hangar at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base on January 6, 1983.

C-47Bs, 45-0894 (c/n 16897),  43-16156 (c/n 20622), and 43-49786 (c/n 27047), MASDC, December 19, 1984 C-47Bs, 45-0894 (c/n 16897), 43-16156 (c/n 20622), and 43-49786 (c/n 27047) at MASDC on December 19, 1984. 43-49786 was later registered as N376AS. It was exported and flew as ZS-OBU, 5Y-BNK, ZS-OBU, N376AS, and ZS-OBU. 45-0894 was sighted in a storage yard near Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in 2000.

DC-3C, N403JB Pegasus, Santa Barbara Airport, July 1985 DC-3C, N403JB Pegasus at the Santa Barbara Airport in July 1985. Its Douglas construction number is 34202. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47B-45, 45-0940 and later converted to a VC-47D. It is currently registered to Catalina Flying Boats Incorporated of Long Beach, CA.

DC-3C, N403JB Pegasus, Santa Barbara Airport, July 1985 DC-3C, N403JB Pegasus at the Santa Barbara Airport in July 1985.

DC-3, N25CE Puff, Santa Barbara Airport, October 1985 DC-3, N25CE Puff taxies past Goodyear Blimp, N4A Columbia at the Santa Barbara Airport in October 1985.

DC-3, N25CE Puff, Santa Barbara Airport, October 1985 DC-3, N25CE Puff at the Santa Barbara Airport in October 1985. Its Douglas construction number is 12476. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47A-10, 42-92652. N25CE was subsequently exported to Venezuela and registered YV-761C. On December 17, 1994, it clipped trees on a hillside while on approach to Cerro Aicha and crashed. Seven of nine aboard were killed in the crash.

Link to the Aviation Safety Network page about the crash of YV-761C.

DC-3, N25CE Puff, Santa Barbara Airport, October 1985 DC-3, N25CE Puff at the Santa Barbara Airport in October 1985.

DC-3C, N403JB Pegasus, Santa Barbara Airport, October 16 1985 DC-3C, N403JB Pegasus at the Santa Barbara Airport on October 16 1985.

DC-3C, N403JB Pegasus, Santa Barbara Airport, October 16 1985 DC-3C, N403JB Pegasus at the Santa Barbara Airport on October 16 1985.

DC-3, N760 Spirit of Seventy Six, Los Angeles Exposition Park, November 28, 1986 DC-3, N760 Spirit of Seventy Six at Los Angeles Exposition Park on November 28, 1986. Its Douglas construction number is 3269. It was delivered to TWA as NC1944. Union Oil Company bought it in 1956 and registered it as N760. It is now at .

TWA DC-3, NC1944, Lunkin Airport, June 30, 1944 TWA DC-3, NC1944 was photographed taking off from Lunkin Airport in Cincinnatti on June 30, 1941 by Nelson Ronsheim. Photo courtesy Michael Smith.

DC-2 NC1934D, Chino Airport, October 18, 1987 Douglas Historical Foundation DC-2-118B NC1934D at the Chino Airport on October 18, 1987. Its Douglas construction number is 1368. It was delivered to Pan American Airways as NC14296 on March 16, 1935. It was later operated in Mexico as VA-BJL and in Guatemala as LG-ACA and TG-ACA. It returned to the United States civil registry as N4867V. It is now in the collection of the Seattle Museum of Flight, although it may still be at the Long Beach Airport.

DC-2 NC1934D, Chino Airport, October 18, 1987 DC-2 NC1934D at the Chino Airport on October 18, 1987.

DC-2 NC1934D, Chino Airport, October 18, 1987 DC-2 NC1934D at the Chino Airport on October 18, 1987.

Former FAA DC-3 N58, Chino Airport, October 18, 1987 Former FAA DC-3 N58 at the Chino Airport on October 18, 1987. Its Douglas construction number is 9486. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47A-30, 42-23624 and then trasnsferred to the Navy as R4D-6, BuNo 12429. Subsequently it was converted to a Turbo DC-3 and registered N78125.

Former FAA DC-3 N58 at the Chino Airport on October 18, 1987.

Naval Arctic Research Laboratory R4D-8L, N31310, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, April 16, 1988 Naval Arctic Research Laboratory R4D-8L, N31310 at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake on April 16, 1988.

Naval Arctic Research Laboratory R4D-8L, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, April 16, 1988 Naval Arctic Research Laboratory R4D-8L at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake on April 16, 1988.

DC-2-118B NC1934D, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, April 16, 1988 Douglas Historical Foundation DC-2-118B NC1934D at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake on April 16, 1988.

Salair DC-3C, N3FY, Santa Barbara Airport, May 10, 1988 Salair DC-3C, N3FY at the Santa Barbara Airport on May 10, 1988. Its Douglas construction number is 20562. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47A-90, 43-16096. It crashed in thick fog and rain in mountainous terrain near Quetzaltenango Airport, Guatemala on November 1, 1998. 11 of the 18 on board were killed.

Link to the Aviation Safety Network page about the crash of N3FY.

Salair DC-3C, N3FY, Santa Barbara Airport, May 10, 1988 Salair DC-3C, N3FY at the Santa Barbara Airport on May 10, 1988.

FAA DC-3C, N34, Brown Field, May 22, 1988 FAA DC-3C, N34 at Brown Field near San Diego on May 22, 1988. Its Douglas construction number is 33359. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as TC-47B-35, 44-77027 and then transferred to the Navy as R4D-7, BuNo 99856.

Link to the DC-3/Dakota Historical Society Page about N34.

FAA DC-3C, N34, Brown Field, May 22, 1988 FAA DC-3C, N34 at Brown Field near San Diego on May 22, 1988.

Salair DC-3C, N3FY, Santa Barbara Airport, May 23, 1988 Salair DC-3C, N3FY takes off from the Santa Barbara Airport on May 23, 1988.

Salair DC-3C, N3FY, Santa Barbara Airport, May 24, 1988 Salair DC-3C, N3FY takes off from the Santa Barbara Airport on May 24, 1988.

Salair DC-3C, N3FY, Santa Barbara Airport, May 25, 1988 Salair DC-3C, N3FY takes off from the Santa Barbara Airport on May 25, 1988.

Salair DC-3C, N3FY, Santa Barbara Airport, May 26, 1988 Salair DC-3C, N3FY is loaded with Fedex packages at the Santa Barbara Airport on May 26, 1988.

DC-3C, N541GA, Santa Barbara Airport, March 1989 DC-3C, N541GA at the Santa Barbara Airport in March 1989. Its Douglas construction number is 34370. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47B, 45-1100. Clay Lacy later purchased it and registered it as N814CL.

DC-2-118B NC1934D, Marine Corp Air Station el Toro, April 29, 1989 Douglas Historical Foundation DC-2-118B NC1934D in TWA livery at Marine Corp Air Station el Toro on April 29, 1989.

Marine Corps C-117D, BuNo 50835, Marine Corps Air Station el Toro, April 29, 1989 Marine Corps C-117D, BuNo 50835 at Marine Corps Air Station el Toro on April 29, 1989. Its Douglas construction number is 26998. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47B-20, 43-49737, then transferred to the Navy as R4D-6, 50835. It was converted to R4D-8 and later redesignated C-117D in 1962.

C-53B, Frankfurt-Main Airport, June 21, 1989 C-53B on the roof of the Frankfurt-Main Airport on June 21, 1989 is wearing the fictitious registration N569R. Its Douglas construction number is 4828. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as 44-20058 on November 3, 1941. It has been restored in Swiss Air colors and is displayed in Munich.

Swiss Air DC-3, HB-IRN, Swiss Transportation Museum, Lucerne, June 26, 1989 Swiss Air DC-3, HB-IRN at the Swiss Transportation Museum in Lucerne on June 26, 1989. Its Douglas construction number is 33393. It was delivered to the Army Air Corps as C-47B-35, 44-77061.


More Douglas DC-2 and DC-3 History

1990 - 2005

Douglas DC-2 and DC-3 History: 1990 - 2005 Here's a collection of photos of DC-2 and DC-3 variants taken between 1990 and 2005.

2006 - present

Douglas DC-2 and DC-3 History: 2006 - present Here's a collection of photos of DC-2 and DC-3 variants taken between 2006 and the present.


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Douglas DC-2 NC1934D

2017 Calendar

You can buy a 2017 calendar featuring my photographs of Douglas DC-2 NC1934D.

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Douglas DC-2 NC1934D

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Douglas DC-2 NC1934D

A dozen photos of Douglas DC-2 NC1934D. Locations of the photos include:

Chino October 18, 1987
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake April 16, 1988
Marine Corps Air Station el Toro April 29, 1989
George Air Force Base November 11, 1991
Santa Maria August 25 - 26, 2006

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Douglas DC-3 Variants

2017 calendar

You can buy a 2017 calendar featuring my photographs of Douglas DC-3 Variants.

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Douglas DC-3 Variants

Lockett Books Calendar Catalog: Douglas DC-3 Variants

A dozen photos of variants of Douglas DC-3s, taken over a span of thirty years. DC-3s pictured include:

PCA DC-3 N50CE, San Francisco International Airport, August 6, 1974
DC-3 N25CE Puff, Santa Barbara Airport, October 1985
DC-3C N403JB Pegasus, Santa Barbara Airport, October 16, 1985
Salair DC-3C, N3FY, Santa Barbara Airport, May 10, 1988
Douglas Historical Foundation DC-2-118B NC1934D in TWA livery Marine Corp Air Station el Toro, April 29, 1989
Lisunov Li-2T Yellow 03, Zhukovsky, Russia, September 5, 1993
Royal Air Force Dakota, Farnborough Airshow, September 11, 1994
DC-3-253 NC41HQ (C-41 38-0502), Nellis Air Force Base, April 25, 1997
DC-3 N20TW, Edwards Air Force Base, August 19, 2005
DC-3C N814CL Mainliner O'Connor, Camarillo, June 12, 2006
C-53D Skytrooper N45366 D-Day Doll, Gillespie Field, June 15, 2007
C-47A Dakota N53ST, Phoenix-Mesa Gateway, March 9, 2012

Buy my Douglas DC-3 Variants: 2017 calendar at Lulu! Put a copy of the Douglas DC-3 Variants: 2017 calendar in your Lulu.com shopping cart for $14.95.

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