The Douglas DC3 ( also known as the C47 in freight form ) and popularly known in
England as the 'Dakota' was a pre war design that is still in commercial use today.
It was very advanced aerodynamically, yet simple, rugged and above all reliable
and very strong for use on bad landing strips. Even after the War it was state of
the art, made possible by the introduction of high output, reliable engines. The
aircraft was so adaptable that several have been re-
The design combined semi-
There were many post war accidents involving the type and a look at the records
show that there was an incident every few days somewhere in the World, a minor airfield
shunt, a forced landing, and sometimes a crash. As a hugely popular workhorse which
opened up aviation to the public, this does not mean that the design was in any way
As airlines slowly became more regulated after the War the losses began to drop, but the air transport business was still something of a free for all and even major airlines such as BEA lost planes to collisions and navigational errors. It was not until a rigid and prescriptive Air Traffic Control scheme was introduced and airlines were required to follow standard procedures and pre arranged flight plans that things began to improve.
The iconic outline of the Dakota in shadow photographed from the aircraft as it crosses the coastline.
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