Douglas C-47B Skytrain

The Douglas C-47B was designed for high altitude operations on the “Hump” – the aerial route between India and China that for most of the Second World War was the only way for the Allies to get military supplies into China. The most important difference from the C-47A was the use of R-1830-90C engines with two stage superchargers, which were designed to give better performance in the thin air at higher altitudes. The C-47B was also given more powerful cabin heaters, to compensate for the extreme cold above the Himalayas.

The two-stage superchargers are normally said to have been disappointing in performance, and many C-47Bs had them removed, turning them into C-47Ds, but it is worth noting that the last C-47 to be delivered to the Air Force was a C-47B built at Oklahoma City, handed over on 23 October 1945, and the C-47B completed replaced the C-47A on the production lines early in 1943. 300 were built at Long Beach (C-47B-DL) and 2,932 at Oklahoma City (C-47B-DK), a total production run of 3,232 aircraft.

At Oklahoma the standard C-47B was produced alongside 133 TC-47Bs, a navigational trainer.

Engines: 2x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C Twin Wasps
Power: 1,200hp each
Wing span: 95ft 6in
Length: 63ft 9in
Height: 17ft 0in
Empty weight: 18,135lb
Loaded weight: 26,000lb
Maximum weight: 31,000lb
Maximum speed: 224mph at 10,000ft
Cruising speed: 160mph
Service ceiling: 26,400ft
Normal range: 1,600 miles
Maximum range: 3,600 miles

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 November 2008), Douglas C-47B Skytrain , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_douglas_C-47B_skytrain.html

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