DC-2
Douglas DC-2.jpg
DC-2 PH-AJU Uiver came second in the MacRobertson Air Race in 1934
Role Passenger & military transport
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
First flight May 11, 1934
Introduction May 18, 1934, with Trans World Airlines
Status Retired
Primary users Transcontinental & Western Air (TWA)
KLM
Pan American Airways
Produced 1934–1939
Number built 198
Developed from Douglas DC-1
Developed into Douglas B-18 Bolo
Douglas DC-3

The Douglas DC-2 is a 14-passenger, twin-engined airliner that was produced by the American company Douglas Aircraft Company starting in 1934. It competed with the Boeing 247. In 1935, Douglas produced a larger version called the DC-3, which became one of the most successful aircraft in history.

Design and development

In the early 1930s, fears about the safety of wooden aircraft structures drove the US aviation industry to develop all-metal airliners. United Airlines had exclusive right to the all metal twin-engine Boeing 247; rival TWA issued a specification for an all-metal trimotor.

The Douglas response was more radical. When it flew on July 1, 1933, the prototype DC-1 had a robust tapered wing, retractable landing gear, and two 690 hp (515 kW) Wright radial engines driving variable-pitch propellers. It seated 12 passengers.

Douglas test pilot Carl Cover flew the first test flight on May 11, 1934, of the DC-2 which was longer than the DC-1, had more powerful engines, and carried 14 passengers in a 66-inch-wide cabin. TWA was the launch customer for the DC-2 ordering twenty. The design impressed American and European airlines and further orders followed. Although Fokker had purchased a production licence from Douglas for $100,000, no manufacturing was done in The Netherlands. Those for European customers KLM, LOT, Swissair, CLS and LAPE purchased via Fokker in the Netherlands were built and flown by Douglas in the US, sea-shipped to Europe with wings and propellers detached, then erected at airfields by Fokker near the seaport of arrival (e.g. Cherbourg or Rotterdam).[1] Airspeed Ltd. took a similar licence for DC-2s to be delivered in Britain and assigned the company designation Airspeed AS.23, but although a registration for one aircraft was reserved none were built.[2] Another licence was taken by the Nakajima Aircraft Company in Japan; unlike Fokker and Airspeed, Nakajima built five aircraft as well as assembling at least one Douglas-built aircraft.[2] A total of 130 civil DC-2s were built with another 62 for the United States military. In 1935 Don Douglas stated in an article that the DC-2 cost about $80,000 per aircraft if mass-produced.[3]

Operational history

Although overshadowed by its ubiquitous successor, it was the DC-2 that first showed that passenger air travel could be comfortable, safe and reliable. As a token of this, KLM entered its first DC-2 PH-AJU Uiver (Stork) in the October 1934 MacRobertson Air Race between London and Melbourne. Out of the 20 entrants, it finished second behind only the purpose-built de Havilland DH.88 racer Grosvenor House. During the total journey time of 90 hours, 13 min, it was in the air for 81 hours, 10 min, and won the handicap section of the race. (The DH.88 finished first in the handicap section, but the crew was by regulations allowed to claim only one victory.) It flew KLM's regular 9,000-mile route, (a thousand miles longer than the official race route), carrying mail, making every scheduled passenger stop, turning back once to pick up a stranded passenger, and even became lost in a thunderstorm and briefly stuck in the mud after a diversionary landing at the Albury race course on the last leg of the journey.[4]

Variants

Civilian

Douglas DC-2
Douglas DC-2
Passengers disembark a pre-war LOT Douglas DC-2 aircraft
Passengers disembark a pre-war LOT Douglas DC-2 aircraft
DC-2
156 civil DC-2s, variously powered by two Wright R-1820-F2 -F2A -F3 -F3A -F3B -F52 -F53 Cyclone radial piston engines varying in power from 710 to 875 hp (529 to 652 kW)
DC-2A
Two civil DC-2s, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet SD-G, S1E-G or S2E-G radial piston engines
DC-2B
Two DC-2s sold to LOT Polish Airlines, fitted with two 750 hp (560 kW) Bristol Pegasus VI radial piston engines[5]
Nakajima-Douglas DC-2 transport
DC-2 transports license built in Japan by Nakajima
Airspeed AS.23
The designation reserved for proposed license-built production by Airspeed Ltd. in Great Britain

Military

Modified DC-2s built for the United States Army Air Corps under several military designations:

The C-32 at Langley Field, 1937
The C-32 at Langley Field, 1937
XC-32
(DC-2-153) One aircraft, powered by two 750 hp (560 kW) Wright R-1820-25 radial piston engines, for evaluation as a 14-seat VIP transport aircraft, one built,[6] later used by General Andrews as a flying command post[7]
C-32A
Designation for 24 commercial DC-2s impressed at the start of World War II[6]
Douglas C-33
Douglas C-33
C-33
(DC-2-145) Cargo transport variant of the C-32 powered by two 750 hp (560 kW) Wright R-1820-25 engines, with larger vertical tail surfaces, a reinforced cabin floor and a large cargo door in the aft fuselage, 18 built[6]
Douglas YC-34
Douglas YC-34
YC-34
(1x DC-2-173 & 1x DC-2-346) VIP transport for the secretary of war, basically similar to XC-32, later designated C-34, two built[8]
C-38
The first C-33 was modified with a DC-3-style tail section and two Wright R-1820-45 radial piston engines of 975 hp (727 kW) each. Originally designated C-33A but redesignated as prototype for C-39 variant, one built.[9]
Douglas C-39 transport, a militarized DC-2
Douglas C-39 transport, a militarized DC-2
C-39
(DC-2-243) 16-seat passenger variant, a composite of DC-2 and DC-3 components, with C-33 fuselage and wings and DC-3-type tail, center-section and landing gear. Powered by two 975 hp (727 kW) Wright R-1820-45 radial piston engines; 35 built.[10]
C-41
The sole C-41 was a VIP aircraft for Air Corps Chief Oscar Westover (and his successor Hap Arnold). Although supplied against a C-39 order it was not a DC-2 derivative but in fact a DC-3-253 fitted with two 1,200 hp (890 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-21 engines. (The sole Douglas C-41A was also a VIP version of the DC-3A)[11]
Douglas C-42
Douglas C-42
C-42
(DC-2-267) VIP transport variant of the C-39, powered by two 1,000 hp (750 kW) Wright R-1820-53 radial piston engines, of 1,000 hp (746 kW) each, one built in 1939 for the commanding general, GHQ Air Force, plus two similarly-converted C-39s with their cargo doors bolted shut were converted in 1943.[11]
Douglas R2D-1 at Langley
Douglas R2D-1 at Langley
R2D-1
(3x DC-2-125 & 2x DC-2-142) 710 hp (530 kW) Wright R-1820-12-powered transport similar to the XC-32, three built for the United States Navy and two for the United States Marine Corps

Operators

♠ = Original operators

Civil operators

 Australia
 Brazil
 Republic of China
 Colombia
 Czechoslovakia
 Dutch East Indies
 Finland
 Honduras
 Germany
 Kingdom of Italy
 Japan
 Manchukuo
 Mexico
 Netherlands
 Poland
Spain Spanish Republic
 South Africa
  Switzerland
 United States
 Uruguay

Military and government operators

 Argentina
 Australia
 Austria
 Finland
 France
 Germany
 Kingdom of Italy
 Japan
Spain Spanish Republic
 United Kingdom
 United States

Incidents and accidents

December 20, 1934
A KLM DC-2-115A (PH-AJU, Uiver) crashed at Rutbah Wells in Iraq, killing all seven on board. The aircraft was operating a flight from Schiphol to Batavia.[17][18] This was the first loss of a DC-2 and the first fatal accident involving the DC-2.[citation needed]
May 6, 1935
TWA Flight 6, a DC-2-115 (NC13785), hit terrain and crashed near Atlanta, Missouri while flying low in poor visibility to reach a landing field before running out of fuel; this killed five of thirteen on board, including New Mexico Senator Bronson M. Cutting.[19]
July 20, 1935
A KLM DC-2-115E (PH-AKG, Gaai) crashed on landing at Pian San Giacomo in bad weather, killing all 13 on board.[20]
October 6, 1935
A Standard Oil Company DC-2A-127 (NC14285) crashed into Great Salt Lake, Utah; the three crew survived the crash, but drowned while trying to swim to safety.[21]
January 14, 1936
American Airlines Flight 1, a DC-2-120 (NC14274), crashed into a swamp near Goodwin, Arkansas for reasons unknown, killing all 17 on board.
April 7, 1936
TWA Flight 1, a DC-2-112 (NC13721), crashed into Chestnut Ridge near Uniontown, Pennsylvania in fog due to pilot error, killing 12 of 14 on board.
October 10, 1936
A Pan American-Grace Airways DC-2-118B (NC14273) struck the side of a mountain near San Jose Pinula while being ferried from San Salvador to Guatemala City, killing the three crew.[22]
December 9, 1936
A KLM DC-2-115E (PH-AKL, Lijster) crashed on takeoff at Croydon Airport killing 15 of the 17 passengers and crew on board. The aircraft was operating a flight from London to Amsterdam. Juan de la Cierva, inventor of the autogiro, was among the dead.
March 25, 1937
TWA Flight 15A, a DC-2-112 (NC13730), crashed into a small gully near Clifton, Pennsylvania due to icing, killing all 13 on board.[23]
July 28, 1937
A KLM DC-2-115L (PH-ALF, Flamingo) crashed into a field near Belligen, Belgium after takeoff due to an in-flight fire, killing all 15 on board.[24]
August 6, 1937
An Aeroflot DC-2-152 (URSS-M25) exploded in mid-air and crashed near Bistrita, Romania, killing all five on board.[25]
August 10, 1937
Eastern Air Lines Flight 7, a DC-2-112 (NC13739), crashed on takeoff at Daytona Beach Airport after striking a power pole, killing four of nine on board.[26]
August 23, 1937
A Pan American-Grace Airways DC-2-118A (NC14298) crashed and burned 20 mi north of San Luis, Argentina in dense fog, killing all three on board.[27]
November 23, 1937
A LOT DC-2-115D (SP-ASJ) crashed in the Pirin mountains, killing all six occupants. The aircraft was operating a flight from Thessaloniki to Bucharest.[28]
March 1, 1938
TWA Flight 8, a DC-2-112, crashed in Yosemite National Park due to severe weather, killing all nine on board; the wreckage was found three months later.
July 19, 1938
A Pan American-Grace Airways DC-2-118A (NC14272, Santa Lucia) crashed into Mount Mercedario, killing all four on board; the wreckage was found in early 1941.[29]
August 24, 1938
Kweilin Incident in China. The first commercial airplane in history to be shot down.[30]
October 25, 1938
An Australian National Airways DC-2-210 (VH-UYC, Kyeema) crashed into Mount Dandenong due to weather and navigation errors, killing all 18 on board.
December 8, 1938
An Imperial Japanese Airways Nakajima/Douglas DC-2 (J-BBOH, Fuji) crashed in the East China Sea off the Kerama Islands due to engine failure, killing 10 of 12 on board; the survivors were rescued by a steamship.[31]
January 7, 1939
A Swissair DC-2-115B (HB-ITA) crashed into a hill near Senlis, Oise killing five of 17 passengers and crew. The aircraft was operating a flight from Zurich to Paris.[32]
March 26, 1939
Braniff Airways Flight 1, a DC-2-112 (NC13237), lost control and crashed on takeoff at Oklahoma City after an engine cylinder blew, killing eight of 12 on board.[33]
May 10, 1940
Five KLM DC-2-115s (PH-ALD, PH-AKN, PH-AKO, PH-AKP, PH-AKK) were destroyed on the ground at Schiphol Airport by aircraft from Luftwaffe's KG 4 during the Battle of the Netherlands.
August 9, 1940
A Deutsche Luft Hansa DC-2-115E (D-AIAV) crashed near Lämershagen, Germany due to pilot error, killing two of 13 on board.[34]
October 29, 1940
Shootdown of the Chungking (previously the Kweilin).[35]
January 4, 1941
US Navy R2D-1 9622 struck Mother Grundy Peak, 27 mi E of North Island NAS, killing all 11 on board.[36]
February 12, 1941
A China National Aviation Corporation DC-2-190 (40, Kangting) struck a mountain near Taohsien, Hunan in a thunderstorm, killing the three crew.[37]
July 1941
A Soviet Air Force DC-2-115F (ex. LOT SP-ASK) was destroyed on the ground at Spilve Airport by German fighters.[38]
August 2, 1941
A US Treasury DC-2-120 (NC14729) was being delivered to the RAF when it crashed at Bathurst (now Banjul), Gambia, killing the three crew.[39]
December 8, 1941
RAF DC-2-120 DG475 was shot down by three Luftwaffe Bf 110s and crashed 10 mi northeast of RAF LG-138 (Landing Ground 138) near Habata, Egypt, killing one.[40]
March 5, 1942
USAAF C-39 38-525 crashed in the St. Lucie River off Port Sewall, Florida due to wing separation after flying into a storm, killing all seven on board.[41]
March 14, 1942
A China National Aviation Corporation DC-2-221 (31, Chungshan) crashed near Kunming, killing 13 of 17 on board.[42]
May 25, 1942
USAAF C-39 38-505 crashed on takeoff from Alice Springs Airport, Australia due to overloading, killing all 10 on board.[43]
September 14, 1942
RAAF DC-2-112 A30-5, of RAAF 36 Squadron, crashed while on approach to Seven Mile Strip, killing the five crew.[44]
October 1, 1942
USAAF C-39 38-524 struck a hill at high speed 15 mi northwest of Coamo, Puerto Rico due to an unexplained malfunction and low visibility, killing all 22 on board in the worst-ever accident involving the DC-2.[45]
January 31, 1944
USAAF C-39 38-501 crashed near Sioux City AAB due to a possible engine fire, killing the three crew.[46]
August 11, 1945
A Mexicana DC-2-243 (XA-DOT) struck Iztaccihuatl Volcano in bad weather, killing all 15 on board.[47]
February 7, 1951
Finnish Air Force DC-2-200 DO-3 (ex. OH-LDB Sisu) crashed on takeoff from Malmi Airport due to engine failure; the fuselage is preserved at the Suomen ilmailumuseo (Finnish Aviation Museum) in Helsinki.[48]

Surviving aircraft

DC-2 - c/n 1368
DC-2 - c/n 1368
DC-2 - c/n 1404
DC-2 - c/n 1404

Several DC-2s have survived and been preserved in the 21st century in the following museums in the following places:

Notable appearances in media

The DC-2 was the "Good Ship Lollipop" that Shirley Temple sang about in the film Bright Eyes (1934).[59] A DC-2 appears in the 1937 film Lost Horizon; the footage includes taxiing, takeoff, and landing, as well as views in flight.[60]

In the 1956 film Back from Eternity, the action centers on the passengers and crew of a DC-2, registry number N39165, which makes an emergency landing in headhunter territory in the remote South American jungle.[61] The plane, Construction Number (C/N) 1404, survives today (see #Surviving aircraft) in the color scheme of the one operated by KLM when it came second in the MacRobertson Air Race in 1934, flying a DC-2 registered in the Netherlands as PH-AJU Uiver.[62] The real PH-AJU was lost in a crash a few months after the MacRobertson Air Race.

Author Ernest K. Gann recounts his early days as a commercial pilot flying DC-2s in his memoir Fate Is the Hunter. This includes a particularly harrowing account of flying a DC-2 with heavy ice.

Specifications (DC-2)

Data from McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920 : Volume I[63]

General characteristics

Performance

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

References

Notes

  1. ^ Bluffield, Robert (19 November 2014). Over Empires and Oceans. ISBN 9780954311568.
  2. ^ a b O'Leary, Michael. "Douglas Commercial Two." Air Classics magazine, May 2003.
  3. ^ "Douglas tells secrets of speed." Popular Mechanics, February 1935.
  4. ^ "DC-2 Commercial History." Archived November 20, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Boeing. Retrieved: November 26, 2010.
  5. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 180.
  6. ^ a b c Francillon 1979, p. 181.
  7. ^ "Air Corps flagship is flying headquarters." Popular Mechanics, January 1936.
  8. ^ Francillon 1979, pp. 181–182.
  9. ^ Francillon 1979, p. 182.
  10. ^ Francillon 1979, pp. 182–183.
  11. ^ a b Francillon 1979, p. 239.
  12. ^ "Phoenix Airlines". Aviation Safety. Retrieved 16 May 2022.
  13. ^ "Transportes Navales." histarmar.com. Retrieved: August 5, 2010.
  14. ^ R. Stocchetti. "Douglas DC2 - DC3, Aerei militari, Schede tecniche aerei militari italiani e storia degli aviatori". Archived from the original on 2015-07-13. Retrieved 2014-12-05.
  15. ^ Francillon 1970, p. 499.
  16. ^ "11-III-1935." Archived 2013-12-19 at the Wayback Machine Llega a Barajas el primer Douglas DC-2 para las Líneas Aéreas Postales Españolas (LAPE). Retrieved: February 11, 2014.
  17. ^ "De Uiver verongelukt bij Rutbah Wells (Irak)" (in Dutch). aviacrash.nl. Retrieved: December 6, 2011.
  18. ^ "Major Airline Disasters: Involving Commercial Passenger Airlines 1920-2011". airdisasters.co.uk. Retrieved: February 22, 2013.
  19. ^ Accident description for NC13785 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  20. ^ "Major Airline Disasters: Involving Commercial Passenger Airlines." airdisasters.co.uk. Retrieved: February 22, 2013.
  21. ^ Accident description for NC14285 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-21.
  22. ^ Accident description for NC14273 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-21.
  23. ^ "The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com.
  24. ^ Accident description for PH-ALF at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  25. ^ Accident description for URSS-M25 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-21.
  26. ^ Accident description for NC13739 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  27. ^ Accident description for NC14298 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  28. ^ Accident description for SP-ASJ at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  29. ^ Accident description for NC14272 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  30. ^ Gregory Crouch (2012). "Chapter 13: The Kweilin Incident". China's Wings: War, Intrigue, Romance and Adventure in the Middle Kingdom during the Golden Age of Flight. Bantam Books. pp. 155170 (In EPub version 3.1: pp. 172–189).
  31. ^ Accident description for J-BBOH at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-21.
  32. ^ Accident description for HB-ITA at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2012-09-11.
  33. ^ Accident description for NC13237 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  34. ^ Accident description for D-AIAV at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  35. ^ Gregory Crouch (2012). "Chapter 17: Ventricular Tachycardia". China's Wings: War, Intrigue, Romance and Adventure in the Middle Kingdom during the Golden Age of Flight. Bantam Books. pp. 217220. (In EPub version 3.1: pp. 240–242)
  36. ^ Accident description for 9622 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-23.
  37. ^ Accident description for 40 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  38. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  39. ^ Accident description for NC14729 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  40. ^ Accident description for DG475 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-23.
  41. ^ Accident description for 38-525 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-23.
  42. ^ "Major Airline Disasters: Involving Commercial Passenger Airlines 1920-2011." airdisasters.co.uk. Retrieved: February 22, 2013.
  43. ^ Accident description for 38-505 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  44. ^ Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-23.
  45. ^ Accident description for 38-524 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  46. ^ Accident description for 38-501 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  47. ^ Accident description for XA-DOT at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2017-01-23.
  48. ^ Accident description for DO-3 at the Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved on 2014-09-11.
  49. ^ "Douglas DC-2." adf-serials.com. Retrieved: November 27, 2010.
  50. ^ a b "Collectieoverzicht:A–F." Aviodrome. Retrieved: November 23, 2010.
  51. ^ "Aerial Visuals - Airframe Photo Viewer".
  52. ^ "DC-2." The Australian National Aviation Museum. Retrieved: August 5, 2010.
  53. ^ "Hanssin-Jukka". www.hanssinjukka.fi.
  54. ^ "DC-2." Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine Finnish Aviation Museum. Retrieved: August 5, 2010.
  55. ^ "Accident description, February 7, 1951." aviation-safety.net. Retrieved: August 5, 2010.
  56. ^ "Douglas DC-2-118B." airliners.net. Retrieved: December 6, 2011.
  57. ^ "Factsheet: Douglas C-39." Archived September 14, 2011, at the Wayback Machine National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, November 30, 2007. Retrieved: October 19, 2011.
  58. ^ "Aircraft 38-0515 Data". Airport-Data.com. Airport-Data.com. Retrieved 22 April 2015.
  59. ^ Boyes, Laura. "Bright Eyes (1934)". Moviediva. Retrieved 3 March 2014.
  60. ^ Photo Documentary section of the Special Features on the 1998 Columbia/Sony DVD release of the restored version.
  61. ^ "Aircraft N39165 Data". Airport-Data.com. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  62. ^ "ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 167770". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2019-03-25.
  63. ^ Francillon, René J. (1988). McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920 : Volume I. London: Naval Institute Press. pp. 162–175. ISBN 0870214284.
  64. ^ Lednicer, David. "The Incomplete Guide to Airfoil Usage". m-selig.ae.illinois.edu. Retrieved 16 April 2019.

Bibliography