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Douglas DC-5

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
Type Transport
Manufacturer Douglas
Maiden flight 20 February 1939
Introduced 1940
Retired 1949?
Status Out of service
Primary users U.S. Army Air Force
U.S. Navy
U.S. Marine Corps
Israeli Air Force
Number built 12

The Douglas DC-5, the least well-known of the famous DC airliner series, was a 16-seat, twin-propeller aircraft intended for shorter routes than the DC-3 or DC-4. By the time it entered commercial service in 1940, many airlines were canceling orders due to World War II, and the Douglas corporation was already converting to war production. Consequently, only five civilian DC-5s were ever built and the aircraft was soon overtaken by events, especially by the onset of war. A limited number of military variants were also produced.

Design and development

The Douglas DC-5 was developed as a 16/22 passenger civilian airliner, with a high wing and innovative tricycle landing gear (unique for the time). One prototype and four production aircraft were constructed prior to World War II.

Operational service

Ironically, the prototype (configured with just eight seats) became the personal aircraft of William E. Boeing; since his own company was already in full military production mode. It was later impressed into the Navy and converted for military use as a R3D variant.

The other four planes were sold to KLM and used by their colonial subsidiaries. They were used to evacuate civilians from Java to Australia in 1942. One aircraft, ex-PK-ADA was captured by the Japanese and operated as a transport, in camouflage with Japanese markings. Two of them later operated in Australia and, in 1948, the last surviving DC-5 was apparently smuggled to Israel for possible military use. The aircraft in USAAF service were designated the C-110.

There was also a later military version of the DC-5 for the Navy, called the R3D. Only seven were produced; three were R3D-1 16-seat personnel carriers and four were R3D-2s (22 seat paratrooper version) for the U.S. Marine Corps. Bill Boeing's personal transport was designated the sole R3D-3.

Specifications (DC-5)

General characteristics

  • Crew: six
  • Capacity: 16-22 passengers
  • Length: 62 ft 6 in (19.05 m)
  • Wingspan: 78 ft (23.77 m)
  • Height: 19 ft (6.05 m)
  • Wing area: 824 ft² (76.55 m²)
  • Empty weight: 13,680 lb (6,202 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 20,000 lb (9,072 kg)
  • Powerplant:Wright GR-1820-F62 Cyclone radials, 850 hp (635 kW) each



  • Pearcy Arthur. Douglas Propliners: DC-1 – DC-7. London: Airlife, 1995. ISBN 1-85310-261-X.

External links

Related content

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See also
Template:Douglas Airliners

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