Is this a C-47 or DC-3?

CARNAC

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Knowing the C47 was the military version of the DC3...

I'm no absolute expert on this.

I think this is a DC3 but would need a photo of the back of the fuselage of the entry door and if possible the interior. Neither of these are still 100%. The interior and the doorway may have been retrofitted.
 

gmayor

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Don't know if it is accurate, just remember flying from Fort Polk to Dallas in a DC-3. I said something about is this a C-47 and one of the airline people said no. DC-3 is the civilian version and has tricycle landing gear. The plane I was in had the tricycle landing gear and was a regional carrier. It was silver on the outside also.
 

Floyd

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Both the DC-3 and the C-47 were tail draggers. You really need shots of the rear entry door and even then some of the Military aircraft were converted to the civilian style door.

Floyd
 

jds15151

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I'm not sure now. The area where the cargo door would be was a different color/shade and the tail looked like it had the remains of old OD Green. Oh well, thought someone would enjoy seeing it.
 

maybefixit

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If you have access to the plane, there should be a manufacturer's data plate on the outside of the fuselage, near the tail. The tail of an airplane often breaks away from the fuselage in a crash, and also there is (usually) less / no fuel in that area. This means the tail may survive a post-crash fire, even if it does not break away.
The N number should be six digits, 'N' denotes United States aircraft, then 5 numbers/letters. Numbers can't follow letters, so N12A45 would not be a issuable 'N number'.
The N number should also be printed / placarded in the cockpit area on the instrument panel. This is so the pilot can jump in a plane and know how to ID themselves to air traffic control.

Apparently the C47 had stronger landing gear, beefed up flooring, and the large door. As I recall, the DC-3's at Middletown (Miami Valley Aviation) had the wide cargo doors retrofitted to them. Their mission was carrying auto parts to factories to make up for missing/out of spec/broken parts, because the auto factories had gone to Just In Time manufacturing. The planes had small winches (electric ~4000 lb) mounted to the floor at the front to help pull pallets up the floor. With the taildragger arrangement, the cargo area is like a big ramp in there.

The C47's parts can often be used to install on the DC-3's. I don't think that the FAA allowed a C47 to be 'reclassified' as a DC3, but I'm not sure. I noted an article where the factory was able to sell some C47 airplanes as DC-3's, but they'd be able to do that as the manufacturer, by registering them as DC-3's from the outset.

Without the data plates, I think it'd be as hard to tell the DC-3 from a C47 as it would a K5 Blazer and CUCV (after a repaint).

I'd guess DC-3 in that case, with the small rear door. I'd expect that more people would want to add the large door to a DC-3 than to completely eliminate the large door on a C-47. The repair to the skin by the cockpit is pretty obvious, I'd think such a large change in back would be pretty obvious too.
 

DDoyle

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The first thousand or so C-47 Skytrains did not have the large cargo door in the rear fuselage - the later C-47A introduced the big cargo doors. The C-47B introduced the supercharged R-1830 engine to the design. The 36 DC-3As taken over from the airlines by the military were designated C-48.

Hope this helps,
David
 

croftonaviation

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Chances are it is a C-47 bought by an airline that had the cargo door removed and a passenger door installed on the r/h side. Several airlines did this. A C-47 can be converted to a DC-3c. It is a little paperwork and mostly a conformity thing. Several years ago I helped do the paperwork for an ex-IAF C-47 that was bone stock. It went well exept for finding someone who could read technical hebrew. Also there is no word the the color violet in hebrew so this plane has a "ultra purple" Light. Most of the DC-3's you see still around are actually C-47's. All Of the planes we flew for Miami Valley were converted in this way. The original dc-3 has lighter skin in some places and most were delivered to the airlines with a Wright 1820. The military used the Pratt R1830 because the 1820's were needed for B-17 production.
The C-47 gear allows for a max gross weight of 26,900 LBS. It is rare to see DC-3 gear, which has a max load of 25,500 (according to my Pedmont airlines book.) Anyway it looks like she was stripped and left for dead. If It is a C-47 and not to corroded, give it time and Basler will end up with it for a turbine conversion.
One more interesting note is that the military did ny a number of These planes with no cargo door for executive transports. I don't recall the military designator but there were several varriants. The Navy called them A R-4D and the plane had a different overhead pannel in the cockpit.

Tom
 
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spicergear

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Shame the Pratt & Whitney radial are gone. I run and keep up on a pair of R2800 'Double Wasp' engines at work. Awesome engines for their time!
 
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vtdeucedriver

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It was delivered as 42-68745 on April 10th, 1943 to the USAAF. It was registered NC49543 and was named "Mainliner New Jersey" while operating with United Airlines from 1945. It was actually bought by United in 1949 and renamed "Mainliner Youngstown". In 1955 it went to IBM Corporation and was reregistered as N705M. At some time it went to Freeport Sulfur Co. and again changed the identity, this time to N400S. In 1965 it was bought by Pan Air Corporation in New Orleans,LA and was issued its present tailnumber N4003 two years later. It was cancelled from the U.S. Register in 1976


Jeese................took me 4 min to find that one!!!!! Gotta know where to look;-)
 
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