⚜ | Inside The Cockpit – C-47 Skytrain/ Dakota/ DC-3 | D-Day Airborne

They filmed Band of Brothers in this one! Sources as always in the description box. Specific references given in brackets [XYZ] in the subtitles. Hello everybody and welcome back to Military Aviation History – I’m your host Bismark – And today we’re going to have a look at a truly remarkable aircraft. First She revolutionized commercial aviation then during World War 2, the Allies used to drop paratroopers behind enemy lines Most notably in Sicily, Normandy and Arnhem But also in Southeast Asia. It even supplied the whole city during the Berlin Airlift and after that it’s saw service in Korea and Vietnam As well as being the airliner off choice for many year. It even landed on the north and south pole Is it any wonder than that? It is remembered as one of the greatest aircraft of all times: the Douglas C-47 Skytrain The story of the Skytrain, or Dakota if you’re Commonwealth, starts way before World War 2 in the golden years of aviation: The interwar years. So before I head inside and show you how she works Let’s quickly go over the history of this aircraft, which somebody once called the plane that changed the world [Ingells] Following the end of the Great War in 1918 aviation was explored not only for its military application but also for commercial enterprises On the one side was transportation of goods or mail And then eventually the ferrying of people from one city to another it remained the prerogative of the rich and powerful but flying Captivated people around the world and where there is a market there will be a product in 1933 the Douglas Aircraft Company had already a line of mail carriers but it entered the field of commercial aviation of the DC-1. DC standing aptly for Douglas Commercial. It did so essentially on the invitation of one of the main airline companies of the time TWA – Transworld Airlines It needed a planer was commercially viable and reliable since after some tragic accidents The field of commercial aviation was under some scrutiny and getting more and more regulated to make sure that safety standards are Adhered to [Davis].The DC-1 was one of the first all-metal no winged twin-engine aircraft of its type of a good range and speed Maintenance to was comparatively easy and the plane was a lot more solidly constructed of previous transporters In fact in one of the early test that doctors conducted on the wings It had one of the senior designers drive over it with a steamroller and the wing survived [Ingells]. Outperforming then it all the competitors It looked positively avant-garde at the same time. Indeed when it said off on its maiden flight in 1933 Its look didn’t fit the timeframe something rather you’d expect out of the 40s and 50s the reason for this is that the DC type aircraft essentially set the gold standard for a future commercial aircraft. The DC-1 provided but a template of what was to come as it had only a production run of One aircraft. Yes one single aircraft. Competing against the Boeing Model 247 Douglas jumped straight to the DC-2 [Ingells] this aircraft took what was the DC-1, scrubbed off the edges, Increased the passenger count from 12 to 14 and it was then ready to hit the commercial market The first order came from TWA for 20 machines [Davis] but that wasn’t the end of the story. Suddenly major airline companies approached Douglas and Donald Douglas himself – who had not expected the commercial market to have such much of a demand – was very surprised. Amongst the big names was Dutch carrier KLM, LOT from Poland, Swiss Air and Spanish Iberia. Production licenses also went to Netherlands and Japan. Final production run of just under 200 aircraft had put Douglas on the map as a forward-thinking and reliable aircraft company The DC-2 had not invented commercial travel, but it was the next step offering air travel that was not only comfortable but also safe, reliable and fast. Foreshadowing what is to come Douglas was now also approached by the military. Around 60 of the 200 build aircraft eventually went to the US Armed Forces These came in various iterations, but one most notable difference was a specific production run of too short dozen C-33s. These aircraft were built specifically for transport with a reinforced interior cabin, large doors at the back and a cable hoist to ease the handling of cargo. With the astonishing success that Douglas had with the DC-2 It wasn’t a surprise that the company decided to continue development of the airframe. Already in ’35 a flying example was already and the maiden flights date was chosen well: the 17th December 1935 exactly on the day thirty-two years after the Wright brothers had made the first powered flight [Fracillion]. it was slightly longer and wider than the DC-2, featured a more powerful version of the already used Wright R-1820 radial engines and it introduced fully featherable propellers and it was – surprisingly – a sleeper aircraft fitted with around 16 bunk beds [Davis]. It was the DST which also become known as the Douglas Sleeper transport In any case the aircraft could also be refitted of normal seats [Davis]. After a handful of DSTs were built, the DC-3 entered the scene with 21 passenger seats. At the time the eventual success of the plane could not have been foreseen. Some experts even questions whether the market could handle any more than 25 DC-3s without becoming oversaturated [Wolfer]. That estimation was off by a wee margin of about a couple hundred aircraft. The DC-3 continued to hold safety and reliability reputation even after a few accidents Apparently the record of this aircraft alone opened up a completely new market for insurance brokers whom for the first time felt safe in Selling travel insurance and work insurance to travelers stewardesses and pilots [Pearcy]. And as we know now, the Douglas Aircraft became so closely embedded in the explosion of commercial aviation in the mid to late 1930s that especially in America, there was no way of getting around this aircraft. The DC-3 airplane so perfectly encapsulates the spirit of commercial aviation. It was the carrier of its time, whether for cargo, passengers or the military. Again just like with the DC-2, the military actually had a plethora of versions, each under another designation [Davis]. For example When the Army Air Corps put in their initial order of one aircraft They designated as the C-41 [Fracillion]. Once the Army Air Force appeared on the scene and the budget opened up a little bit, things started to look very different. Eventually, the main contender was the plane we now know as the C-47. A few hundreds had been produced for commercial use but this was just a fraction of the actual total production run – over 10,000 C-47 variants have been built by the United States with another three to five thousand build Under license in the Soviet Union. Sources vary on the exact number there. [Davis] These were known as the Lisunov Li-2. The Soviets variants also had a defensive turret in the top and additional windows in the rear for optional firing positions. American or British C-47 generally only added offensive firepower in special circumstances for example in their supply drops over Burma [Haynes]. 400 [Davis] DC-3 type aircraft were built in Japan. Yes, You heard right Japan. In 1938 Nakajima Aircraft Company actually purchased a license for the DC-3. Initially producing these for the civilian market as in the US. These aircraft were later onseized by the Armed Forces or modified into a separate production one and they became known as the L2D Type 0 Transport – or as the Allies called them: ‘TABBY’. Just like in the armies of the United States the Soviet Union and Britain, the L2D Type 0 was an absolutely crucial instrument in ferrying supplies for the Armed Forces just that it flew on the other side. And while we are on the topic, Germany too operated a handful, either by impressing them from civilian airliners or by capturing them on the battlefield. Now with some quick rule of thumb math here, we arrive at a spectacular production run of fifteen to sixteen thousand aircraft. 16,000 of these! That’s about the production one of the P-51 fighter and if that doesn’t explain the significance of this aircraft I don’t know what will. We will head inside in just a minute but it serves to quickly go over why the C-47 became so important. Initially the United States Army hadn’t really foreseen a need for dedicated Transporter, since lacking defensive firepower it was vulnerable and just another burden on the budget. The initial idea was to just use bombers in a transport role and call it a day. It’s transpired that that wasn’t the best of ideas the internal layout between a bomber and Transporter was vastly different even if the actual space on paper seemed the same [Isby]. The Marine Corps especially realized the importance of a dedicated transporter in their deployments to Latin America. But this was mainly based around for logistics and medical transports. You could argue that It was the German offensive Into the Low Countries (and Denmark/Norway) in 1940 where airborne units were successfully used and rapidly relocation of logistical resources was required, that provided an operational example that a transport aircraft also capable of delivering Paratroopers was perhaps of benefit to the United States [Isby]. Had the US among our nations looked more closely at the 2nd Sino-Japanese War of 1937 in which China was actually the first to use DC-2s in logistical support roles Perhaps this realization could have come a little bit sooner [Isby]. It’s somewhat peculiar how a Japanese company actually bought a production license to the DC-3 following the outbreak of that war. In any case Douglas was approached to convert the airliner into what would be the C-47 based on the early Experiments already mentioned. The C–47 had reinforced flooring a large cargo door as well as the addition of military spec equipment those aircraft going to the Navy were known as the R4Ds. Another version was the C-53 which retained the smaller airliner door at the back instead of the cargo configuration. the B-18 Bolo bomber can also check its lineage to the DC-3. The C-47 would start to ferry men and materiel in the US Pacific and Southeast Asia. Especially in the latter area the Allies became reliant on air transport to supply cutoff troops. The stories accompanying these deployments speak highly of the resilience, Versatility and reliability of the C-47 and it became the quintessential logistical support aircraft of the Allies. As one pilot once put it you can wreck a duck, but you can’t wear it out it [Rowley]. It operated in all theaters and not only by the Americans the British and Commonwealth forces received about 2,000 and as always gave her a new name: Dakota The C-47 would eventually be used for anything and everything but during World War 2. It also became noteworthy for its airborne role dropping paratroopers behind enemy lines notably in Normandy, Arnhem and Sicily. On the (5th-)6th of June 1944, round about 800 C-47 dropped more than 13,000 US paratroopers into Normandy with Dakota’s brigning in part of the British contingent either themselves or by gliders [Rowley]. Just under 1000 of these aircraft were used to drop airborne units into from Kick-starting the liberation of Europe in the ensuing chaos few things went according to plan but German general Karl Student – Himself a authority on airborne operations – commented that the Allied airborne units contributed substantially to the success of D-Day [Haulman]. C-47s would then also later be used to drop 1400 net tonnage of supplies into Normandy until the coast side forces could finally link up of the Paras. From June 13 onwards they were also involved in the first medical evacuations by air from the French mainland flying out numerous wounded men tended by WAAF air Ambulance nurses [Rowley]. And thus we return to the aircraft behind me This is a C-47 Dakota IV or C-47B if you like. 19.4m in length She has a wingspan of 29.4 meters and stands at 5.2 meters Operated by a crew of four the pilots to copilot navigator and radio operator and she is powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1830’s 14-cylinder radial engines equipped with a two-speed supercharger these produce around about 1200 horsepower each and propel the aircraft to a speed of around 220 miles an hour that is roughly three on a 50 kilometres an hour at 10,000 feet 3000 meters She’d cruise at about 160 miles an hour. That’s 250 kph, of course as a transport aircraft operational range is important and 1,600 miles 2,600 kilometers is nothing to be ashamed about although this could even be extended of additional internal fuel tanks She would also carry 28 paratroopers a cargo Airborne equipment or a mixture They’re off to a maximum weight of six thousand pounds or two thousand four hundred kilograms I actually found a really neat file recently in the archives showing all the tests I did with the different equipment to be carried riveting stuff, really you had assembled jeeps and the aircraft guns anti-tank guns motorbikes and a lot in any case the c-47 was a Fantastic transporter and compares very very favorably to the slightly older german army’s equivalent the Junkers Ju 52 now Let’s hop inside. This aircraft was delivered to RAF ferry command in 1942 it’s actually quite space taxer because she saw service around the world, Australia Cylon, Egypt and the Middle East and she was donated to the museum in 2001 who still spool up the engines here for visitors doing? Special events, and of course, she was also used in the series ‘Band of Brothers’ were filming taking place inside the actual aircraft Let’s get inside We find ourselves in the passenger or cargo Compartment this year were up to 28 paratroopers dressed and folk it would be way to de jump into enemy territory The seats over there are actually original. So if you come to the museum Please don’t sit on them Whereas the plastic seats you see all around the aircraft where I’m sitting on were actually installed for the filming of Band of Brothers The interior here is as it should be during an airborne assault You can see the static lines. You can of course see the seeds and all the equipment Just as it would be if you were jumping into Normandy on him or anywhere else really now Let’s go into the part that you usually won’t see the cockpit and the crew stations here We have the radio operators position He is of course a critical member of the crew keeping in touch with the flight ground-based installations But also he would be the one homing in on radio signals. So keep the aircraft well on course when the Allies jumped into Normandy they did so during a very cloudy night to make sure that the aircraft was well on course and the radio operators followed the Pathfinder beacon set by some specialized teams, they jump well, They jumped a couple of hours before the main invasion in an attempt to get as close as possible then to the target zone That didn’t always work out But you know, you got to remember that only about a third of the Pathfinders actually managed to find a target location So as long as you flew self – what’s France you’d arrive in the right postcode talking about navigation Here is the navigators position He asked what you’d expect a table for a map and his instruments of a lamp here together with the radio operator He’d assist navigation and make sure that the plane goes word is supposed to go He also helps with calculating fuel consumption again His station is a relatively comfortable one this we used to be the kind of the mail compartment of the dc-3 And we can see here. There is still that auxilary door up front that would have been used for Putting mail off the aircraft you can still see it in the military variants But it’s not being used the Navigator here also has an observation dome up top But yeah That’s pretty much his position and let’s go up to the cockpit. Right the pilot together with the copilot operate a C-47 The engine controls are in the middle and flight instruments are of course up front with an electrical panel up top You’ll also find some auxilary systems all around the cockpit Now the thing to remember with this aircraft is that it had a career post-war So the crew stations and the way we see the dials right now actually reflect that Usually the copilot would have more dials relating to the engine and the engines operation Whereas here his his his instruments are more or less mirrored to the ones that he has with the pilot So if we get in here a little bit Of course half the pedestal with the red igniting the mixture control We have the throttle and we have the proper pitch. We’ve got the fuel cocks to either side and Once we swing over that you can actually see some of the gauges Relating to the engine. So we’ve got oil pressure over here we’ve got RPMs we’ve got a manifold pressure and a fuel pressure to the left and on the pilot side We’ve got of course a important clock we’ve got speed and an artificial horizon We’ve got the altitude. We’ve got a Turn and Bank. We’ve got a climb descent [variometer]. We’ve got a navigational directional gyro Got a compass and then we’ve also got the de-icing pressure. Of course which you would use now in the in the manual actually does say for the de-icing that it’s important to use the heaters first and then the de-icing system now if you shuffle over to the navigators position main gauges that are different are Related to temperature of the cylinder head and the oil He also got some of the fuel gauges right here before we go to the electrical systems up top It’s serves mentioning really that the position in itself For me as somebody who is about one meter 90 that six foot two, maybe It’s relatively Okay But I can see myself being a little bit cramped in here With actual gear on especially if you know if I’ll be flying into Normandy with of protection at rest and so on Clearance to the rudder is a little bit cramped for myself. I can adjust the seat somewhat But it’s not going to be helping all that much So for my size a little bit cramped, um, the armrest is a nice little touch. There we go So yeah, let’s shuffle up to the electrical system a navigational lighting or landing light. We’ve got navigational lights then we’ve got of course the De-icer we’ve got a pitot tube and the heaters. I’ve got a starter the engine primer had booster pumps Once again the eyes ER and cockpit lights. Yeah, that’s pretty much the the important bits and bobs We’ve got the inverters, of course here. And of course the prop ever right there as you can see, for example Also, the radio equipment here is relatively modern alright starting her up now assuming we’ve followed all the Preliminaries we prepare to of course and start the engines with the auxiliary battery Card connected we would be using of course that power source Otherwise we would be using the onboard power supply now. It is c-47. Sometimes they cooked of cross-feed in that case That should be turned off and after that the right engines fuel tank the main fuel tank should be selected right here now in the C-47 it is it is somewhat of a tradition to start with the starboard the right engine first That’s number two in the dc-3 when passengers were boarding in the rear of the aircraft. They were coming from the port side So with that engine running, that would be extremely inconvenient and you would probably not get any good reviews on Trip Advisor So the pilot instead would be starting number two Which is out of the way and that also speeds up ten Departure because once all the passions were amusing you just have to start up number one, and that’s it We make sure also that the left tank which we find over here is turned to off after that. We will open the throttle Forward we will have the mixture on idle cutoff just in the position at this right now We’d also move the propeller pitch fully forward at this point You make sure that the carburetor Air intake is set to cold and the cowl flaps for the right engine for the one you’re sweating up. I Set to open now. The propeller should essentially be rotated by hand three or four times full revolutions By the ground staff and obviously the copilot and the pilot will keep an eye on that as they’re doing it the fuel booster pumps should be to on and After that, you will raise the fuel pressure To roughly two to three pounds to square inch with the hand pump then you well You have the window open you child clear so that the ground crew will get away from the propeller and nothing interferes the main ignition should be switched to on for the right engine and After that, we hold down the Energizer or we would hold down the Energizer right here to flee twenty seconds And we prime if need be and then hit the mesh and once it catches really you release those levers Move the mixture up to auto rich at this point Continue to operate a hand pump until the engine really runs smoothly if need be as well as that you keep generally The engine on a relatively idle setting of 600 to 800 rpms you will obviously check that on the on the dials and You keep an eye on the oil pressure Once everything has stabilized you can go up to roughly a thousand rpms and you keep the engine nice running nice and inner smoothly At a low pitch setting you don’t go over 240 degrees Celsius on the cylinder heads But before you take off in taxi, you should have the oil above 40 degrees once you have all done all that and the second engine is running smoothly you essentially select the left fuel tank to the main and Then you do the same process with the second engine And once you’ve done that you’re ready to taxi World War 2 was not the end of the C-47s career It went on to resupply Berlin during the airlift. It was used in Korea and in many subsequent conflicts in Vietnam She actually became a gunship brought this time. She was called many names skytrain Dakota Cooley worked spooky Puff the Magic Dragon, but at the end of the day He was just an honest easy free and she would fly in fly and fly no matter how you wrecked her And of course the last production order meant that the vast supply of airframes was available and that mainly Airlines and military organizations Jumped at the chance to acquire some post-war In fact the Douglas Aircraft proliferated to the point where while the list of countries operating such aircraft might very well outstripped that of those countries that didn’t and now in 2019 Just about 200 are still in flight were conditioned. What a machine Thank you very much for watching. And if you enjoyed this content, please consider supporting future videos via patreon or PayPal It’s extremely important and helpful in order to allow me to produce this kind of content Please also share this video far and wide and I want to thank the Yorkshire air museum For allowing me to get close with their exhibit and showing it to all of you guys and of course you can visit it here In York as always have a great day good hunting and see you in the sky


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *