L2D "Tabby"

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The L2D “Tabby” was a version of the Douglas DC-3 built under licence in Japan, and which became the Japanese Navy’s standard transport aircraft during the Second World War. On 24 February 1938 Mitsui and Company Ltd, the American branch of the Mitsui Bussan Kaisha (Mitsui Trading Company) acquired the licence to built and sell the DC-3 in Japan and Manchuria. They also bought thirteen Cyclone powered DC-3s and nine Twin Wasp powered DC-3As, two of which were delivered unassembled.

The first 71 aircraft were built by Nakajima Hikoki KK, but most L2Ds were produced by Showa Hikoki Kogyo KK. They built a total of 414 aircraft during the war, giving a total of 485 Japanese-built and 22 imported aircraft. 

The aircraft was designated as the Navy Type 0 Transport, reflecting its first appearance in 1940, or as the L2D, and was given the Allied codename “Tabby”. It was produced in personnel and cargo transport versions, some of which carried a dorsal turret armed with a single 13mm gun. The L2D was powered by two Mitsubishi Kinsei engines, a Japanese version of the Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp. The Japanese aircraft could be identified by their modified engine cowlings, extra windows, propeller spinners and modified cargo door. 

Designation

Engine

Power

Use

L2D2

Kinsei 43

1,000hp

Personnel transport

L2D3

Kinsei 51

1,300hp

Personnel transport

L2D3a

Kinsei 53

1,300hp

Personnel transport

L2D3-1

Kinsei 51

1,300hp

Cargo transport

L2D3-1a

Kinsei 53

1,300hp

Cargo transport

L2D4

Kinsei 51

1,300hp

Personnel transport with dorsal turret

L2D4-1

Kinsei 51

1,300hp

Cargo transport with dorsal turret

L2D5

Kinsei 62

1,560hp

Personnel transport with dorsal turret

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 November 2008), L2D "Tabby" , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_L2D_Tabby.html

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