Douglas C-1

The Douglas C-1 was the first in the long family of Douglas transport aircraft and was a biplane transport capable of carrying eight passengers or 2,500lb of cargo.

The C-1 was a large biplane, constructed with a welded steel fuselage, covered with aluminium forward of the wing leading edge and fabric on the centre and rear fuselage and the wings, which had a wooden structure. The wings were both straight, with untapered edges and a very slight dihedral.

The crew of two (pilot and co-pilot or flight mechanic) saw side by side in a open cockpit carried in front of the wing. The passenger or cargo cabin was carried in the centre section, mainly between the wings, and was 10ft high, 46in wide and 50in high, with a line of circular windows on each side (resembling port holes). It was normally equipped to carry six passengers, but could take eight with less space each. The seats could also be removed, and up to 2,500lb of cargo loaded through a hatch in the wooden floor. This was enough to allow it to carry a Liberty engine or other similar loads. It was powered by a 435hp Liberty engine.

The first nine C-1s were ordered using money from the 1925 Fiscal Year. The first aircraft made its maiden flight on 2 May 1925 and passed its service trials in the same month. All nine had been delivered by the end of 1925.

One of the original nine aircraft was used for tests as the C-1A. First it was given an epicyclic-geared 420hp Liberty V-1650-5 engine, and was used to test out a number of engine cowlings and other engine installations, as well as being given a ski undercarriage. It was also given a modified tail with an enlarged rudder. It was later returned to the standard C-1 configuration (apart from the tail).

The C1-B was a 1925 project that was never built.

The C-1C was an improved version with increased wing span, a longer fuselage, and a balanced rudder. The Liberty engine had silencing exhaust manifolds installed. The split axle undercarriage was modified. It had a metal floor in the cargo compartment and could carry four stretchers. Nine were ordered in 1926 and another ten using 1927 funds. All 19 were delivered by the end of 1927.

The C-1s and C-1Cs were scattered across the main Army airfield and air depots, mainly operating individually or in very small groups. In 1929 one C-1 was used as a tanker during early in-flight refueling experiments with the Fokker C-2 and the Boeing Hornet Shuttle. Some remained in use well into the mid 1930s.

Engines: Liberty V-1650-1 water-cooled engine
Power: 435hp
Crew: 2
Wing span: 56ft 7in
Length: 35ft 4in
Height: 14ft
Empty weight: 3,836lb
Loaded weight: 6,443lb
Maximum weight:
Maximum speed: 116mph at sea level
Cruising speed: 85mph
Service ceiling: 14,850ft
Rate of climb: 645ft/ min
Normal range: 385 miles
Cargo: 8 passengers or 2,500lb cargo

Engines: Liberty V-1650-1 water-cooled engine
Power: 435hp
Crew: 2
Wing span: 60ft
Length: 36ft
Height: 14ft
Empty weight: 3,900lb
Loaded weight: 7,412lb
Maximum speed: 121mph at sea level
Cruising speed: 85mph
Service ceiling: 15,950ft
Cargo: 8 passengers or 2,500lb cargo or 4 stretchers

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (28 December 2017), Douglas C-1 ,

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