Planes of the Past - Douglas Aircraft Company and McDonnell Douglas - Part 2

Hello Everyone and welcome to the part 2 of Planes of the Past - Douglas Aircraft Company and McDonnell Douglas In this part we will talk about


The Douglas DC-2 is a 14-seat, twin-engined airliner that was produced by the American company Douglas Aircraft Corporation starting in 1934. It competed with the Boeing 247.

Design and Devlopment

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.

TWA accepted the basic design and ordered twenty of the upgraded DC-2s which were longer, had more powerful engines, and carried 14 passengers in a 66-inch-wide cabin. 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 Holland. 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).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.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.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.

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 mails, 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 Albury racecourse on the very last leg of the journey.



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).

Two civil DC-2s, powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet SD-G, S1E-G or S2E-G radial piston engines.

Two DC-2s sold to LOT Polish Airlines, fitted with two 750 hp (560 kW) Bristol Pegasus VI radial piston engines.

Nakajima-Douglas DC-2 Transport
DC-2 transports license built in Japan by

Airspeed AS.23
The designation reserved for proposed license-built production by Airspeed Ltd. in Great Britain.


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

(DC-2-153) One aircraft, powered by 2x 750 hp (560 kW) Wright R-1820-25 radial piston engines, for evaluation as a 14-seat VIP transport aircraft, one built, later used by General Andrews as a flying command post.

Designation for 24 commercial DC-2s impressed at the start of World War II.

(DC-2-145) Cargo transport variant of the C-32 powered by 2x 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.

(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.

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.

(DC-2-243) 16-seat passenger variant, a composite of DC-2 & 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.

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)

(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.

(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.


♠ = Original operators

Civil operators

🇦🇺 Australia
Australian National Airways
Holymans Airways ♠
🇧🇷 Brazil
Aerovias Brasil
Aerovias Minas Gerais
Cruzeiro do Sul
Panair do Brasil
🇹🇼 Republic of China
CNAC, jointly owned and operated with Pan American Airlines
🇨🇴 Colombia
SCADTA renamed as Avianca
UMCA Uraba Medellin Centra Airways ♠
🇨🇿 Czechoslovakia
ČLS (Československá Letecká Společnost, Czechoslovak Air Transport Company) ♠
🇳🇱 Dutch East Indies
KNILM (Royal Netherlands Indian Airways) ♠
🇫🇮 Finland
Aero O/Y
🇭🇳 Honduras
image Germany
Deutsche Lufthansa
image Kingdom of Italy
Avio Linee Italiane ♠
🇯🇵 Japan
Great Northern Airways ♠
Japan Air Transport
Imperial Japanese Airways
Manchurian Airlines
🇲🇽 Mexico
🇳🇱 Netherlands
KLM ♠ ordered 18 aircraft.
🇵🇱 Poland
LOT Polish Airlines ♠ operated three DC-2B aircraft between 1935 and 1939
image Spanish Republic
Líneas Aéreas Postales Españolas ♠ received five aircraft.
🇨🇭 Switzerland
Swissair ♠
🇺🇸 United States
American Airlines ♠
Braniff Airways
Delta Air Lines operated four aircraft during 1940–1941
Eastern Air Lines ♠ received 14 aircraft and used them on East Coast routes.
General Air Lines ♠
Mercer Airlines ♠ 1 airplane, sold to Colgate Darden in late 1960s, now in the Netherlands
Pan American Airways ♠ received 16 aircraft, distributing many to its foreign affiliates; some flew under its own name on Central American routes.[citation needed]
Pan American-Grace Airways (Panagra) ♠ used its DC-2s on routes within South America.
Transcontinental & Western Air (TWA) was the first DC-2 operator, receiving 30 aircraft. ♠
🇺🇾 Uruguay
PLUNA operated two DC-2s acquired from Panair do Brasil.

Military Operators
🇦🇷 Argentina
Argentine Naval Aviation - 5 (+1) DC-2 ex civilian Venezuelan
🇦🇺 Australia
Royal Australian Air Force - Ten aircraft were in service with the RAAF from 1940 to 1946.
No. 8 Squadron RAAF
No. 36 Squadron RAAF
Parachute Training School RAAF
Wireless Air Gunners School RAAF
🇦🇹 Austria
Austrian Government
🇫🇮 Finland
Finnish Air Force Donated by the Swedish military during the Winter War (1939-1940) which flew a bombing mission based on Tampere on 22 February 1940
🇫🇷 France
French government
image Germany
image Kingdom of Italy
Regia Aeronautica 2 aircraft
🇯🇵 Japan
Imperial Japanese Army Air Service - A single example of the DC-2 was impressed by the Imperial Japanese Army.
image Spain Spanish Republic
Spanish Republican Air Force took over the DC-2s from LAPE inventory.
🇬🇧 United Kingdom
Royal Air Force
🇺🇸 United States
United States Army Air Corps ♠
United States Army Air Forces
United States Marine Corps ♠
United States Navy ♠

Note: No offense due to the Nazi Germany Flag as it is there due to it being the flag at the time of DC-2 and it represents the History

Crew: two-three
Capacity: 14 passengers
Length: 62 ft 6 in (19.1 m)
Wingspan: 85 ft 0 in (25.9 m)
Height: 15 ft 10 in (4.8 m)
Wing area: 940 ft² (87.3 m²)
Empty weight: 12,455 lb (5,650 kg)
Loaded weight: 18,560 lb (8,420 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × Wright GR-1820-F53 Cyclone 9-cylinder radial engines, 730 hp (540 kW) each
Maximum speed: 210 mph at 6,800ft (338 km/h / 182 kts)
Cruise speed: 174 mph (151 kn, 278 km/h)
Range: 1,085 mi (1,750 km)
Service ceiling: 22,750 ft (6,930 m)
Rate of climb: 1,030 ft/min (310 m/min)

Aircraft on Display

There are no longer DC-2s in commercial service; however, several aircraft have survived into the 21st century:

c/n 1286 - Ex-Eastern Airlines and RAAF, preserved (dressed as the historic “Uiver”, PH-AJU) at Albury, New South Wales as centerpiece of Uiver Memorial at Albury Airport. This is the oldest DC-2 left in the world. It was removed from its prominent position on poles in front of the Albury Airport terminal building in late 2002, but unfortunately kept out in the open air without preservation. In 2014 after much debate and delays, Albury City Council transferred ownership of the plane to the Uiver Memorial Community Trust (UMCT). In January 2016 UMCT began work on removing the major assemblies of the aircraft, and on 12 May 2016 the airframe was transferred to a restoration hangar. Restoration of this aircraft to static display standard is now under way.

c/n 1288 - Also located at the Aviodrome in the Netherlands though owned by the Dutch Dakota Association.It is far from airworthy and will not be restored to such a condition. Its first operator was Eastern Air Lines.

c/n 1292 - There are three DC-2s surviving in Australia as of 2006; this aircraft, c/n 1292, is one of ten ex-Eastern Airlines DC-2s purchased and operated by the RAAF during World War II as A30-9. It is under restoration by the Australian National Aviation Museum at Moorabbin Airport in Victoria, Australia

c/n 1354 - One DC-2-115E (reg. DO-1 (Hanssin-Jukka), ex. PH-AKH (KLM Haan), SE-AKE) is preserved by the Aviation Museum of Central Finland (Finnish Air Force Museum) and is on display in a hangar in Tuulos, Finland.The plane was restored to display condition in 2011, in war-time colors. It performed one bombing raid in February 1940. Another wingless fuselage (c/n 1562, reg. DO-3, ex. OH-LDB “Sisu”) was on display at the Finnish Aviation Museum in Vantaa.The fuselage was transported to the Aviation Museum of Central Finland in 2011, where it was used in the DO-1 restoration project.

c/n 1368 - A former Pan Am aircraft that was used by the Douglas historical foundation until the merger with Boeing in 1997. It is now housed at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. This aircraft (N1934D) was restored to flying condition in 2007 and flown to Santa Maria, California for a new paint job. It received a TWA “The Lindbergh Line” livery and interior trim.

c/n 1376 - Owned by Steve Ferris in Sydney, Australia, and has been under restoration to flying status for many years. It was originally delivered to KNILM in 1935. At the outbreak of World War II it was flown to Australia and was conscripted into use with the Allied Directorate of Air Transport. In 1944 it joined Australian National Airways and finished its flying career in the 1950s with Marshall Airways. It is registered as VH-CDZ. It is the most complete of all the Australian DC-2s as of 2008.

c/n 1404 - The Aviodrome in Lelystad, the Netherlands, owns and operates one of the last flying DC-2s. This former United States Navy aircraft is painted in the Uiver’s KLM color scheme and is sometimes seen in European airshows. It is registered as NC39165 since 1945, though it now also wears PH-AJU as a fictional registration to match that of the historic Uiver aircraft.The aircraft was operated by Mercer Airlines of Burbank, California, and sold in the late 1960s to Colgate Darden, who restored it in General Air Lines colors and moved it to his private airport in South Carolina.

c/n 2702 - C-39A (Serial Number 38-515) is at the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. The aircraft is currently in storage at the museum.

What is DC-2’s Relation with DC-1?

DC-1 was built as a Prototype and Testbed and served as basis for the DC-2 and DC-2 became the production model but the service ceiling was reduced by 250 ft and the range saw an increase by 140 kilometres and Cruise Speed was also decreased by 28 km/h while the maximum speed remained the same.
In my opinion these 2 are nearly the same aircrafts but difference being Prototype and Production Model.

Source- File:Douglas DC-2.jpg - Wikipedia

Source- File:DouglasDC2.jpg - Wikipedia

Source- File:LOT DC-2 LOC matpc 22394u.jpg - Wikipedia

Source- File:Douglas C-32 at Langley Field near base operations.jpg - Wikipedia

This topic is Created by @B747fan with help of Wikipedia link to the 1st Part -


I believe KNILM still used this DC-3 even until Indonesia (🇮🇩) has gained independence from Dutch

  • Indonesia was formerly known as Dutch East Indies when it was colonized by Dutch. Not to be confused with British East Indies which refers to India.

Anyway, nice article 😉


there is actually one of these planes sitting at SDQ, I see it every year I fly there.

1 Like

That might be a DC-3

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