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Aircraft Review - Essay Example

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To old time pilots, the DC-3 is the “gooney bird” for its Herculean capabilities - with the perception that it is the world’s toughest, longest-lived and most unconquerable airplane. This airplane just refuses to…
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Download file to see previous pages En route the plane ran into a tropical storm. Rain loosened the canvas patches and wind passing over the holes caused a variety of shrill whistles, which increased until the ship sounded like a thousand screaming banshee. (Popular Mechanic, p. 65)
There are numerous other nicknames for DC-3 such as Old Fatso, Doug, among others. But these underscore how the plane has endeared itself to pilots and the airline industry alike because of its proven contribution in the aviation history.
Just before World War II, the Douglas DC-3 was made by Douglas Aircraft Company for the American Airlines. The aircraft manufacturer found itself in an enviable position of trying to fill an overwhelming backlog of orders for passenger planes. This feat became possible when American Airlines ordered an aircraft to replace the fleet of aging Curtiss Condor biplanes, which they use for their nighttime Pullman-style sleeper service. The two companies collaborated and a team was assembled to improve on the old DC-2.
American Airline’s chief engineer, William Littlewood, determined that by widening the DC-2’s fuselage twenty-six inches and adding ten feet to its wingspan, it could accommodate fourteen sleeping berths. (Hansen, p. 68) In line with this, the DC-3 had combined previous effective designs together. For instance, the DC-3 improved on the combined cabin size of the Ford Tri-Motor and the impressive speed of the Lockheeds. This revised airplane was initially called the Douglas Skysleeper Transport or DST. By time the plane took off for its maiden flight in July 1, 1936, it assumed the name DC-3.
During World War II, the DC-3 production line was shut down but the war required its production for military use because of its capacity and performance. The US military realized that the DC-3 was ready-made military transport aircraft waiting to be utilized. At the end ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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