Greenwood Military Aviation Museum
The Douglas Dakota, also known as “Dak” and C47 Skytrain (U.S.) is the military version of the famous DC3 and is, arguably, one of the most reliable aircraft ever built, with some still flying after more than 75 years. Since the first prototype rolled out of Douglas’ Santa Monica factory in 1935, the aircraft has been a luxury airliner; at one point, 90 percent of the world’s air traffic was DC3s. This most versatile aircraft was used as a transport plane, a paratroop ship, a glider towing aircraft, a flying hospital, a rescue aircraft and even as a bomber/flying gun platform (called "Puff the Magic Dragon").
Coupled with the strong fuselage, the Dakota had two Pratt and Whitney R1830 Turbo Wasp double row, 14 cylinder air cooled radial engines that were first built in 1931. At 1830 cubic inches or 30 litre displacement, the first series produced about 800 HP; later versions were turbo supercharged, giving 1200 HP, which greatly improved takeoff weights and service ceilings. During WWII, the Dakota was significant in most theatres, including flying much-needed supplies over the Burma Hump, a route flown well over 13,000 feet. The engines in the Museum aircraft are the Dash 90/92 series, of 1200 HP, manufactured in wartime by Buick. These engines were used in 25 different aircraft, most notably the B24 Liberator, F4FWildcat, PBY Catalina and C47 Dakota. All told, there were 173,618 of the 1830's built at various facilities, making it the most produced aircraft reciprocating engine ever manufactured.
The Greenwood Military Aviation Museum Dakota KN451 represents one flown by 103 Rescue Unit, which served at RCAF Station Greenwood from 1947 through 1960's.
Summary of the Museum Aircraft History
1944 – Manufactured by Douglas as C-47B, 44-76590 for USAAF
1945, Apr 1 – Transferred to RAF, designated as Dakota Mk IV, KN451
1946, February 12 – TOS by RCAF No. 436 ‘Elephant’ (T) Squadron at RAF Station Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England.
1946, March 17 – TOS by RCAF No. 435 ‘Chinthe’ (T) Squadron at R.A.F. Station Down Ampney, Gloucestershire, England.
1946, April 7 – Purchased by the Canadian government and designated Dakota Mk IVU (U designating it as an instructional airframe).
1946, May 1 – Taken on strength (TOS) by RCAF, Eastern Air Command, Dartmouth, N.S.
1946, October 2 – TOS by RCAF 426 Squadron, Dartmouth, N.S.
1947, August 5 – TOS by Eastern Air Command’s No. 9 (Transport) Group.
1948, October 19 – TOS by Central Air Command’s No. 101 Communications Flight.
1952, April 3 – Transfer to Technical Training School, Camp Borden, Ontario as 665B instructional airframe.
1963, May 2 – Transfer to 6 Repair Depot, Dunnville, Ontario.
1964, August 28 – Transferred to Canada Aviation Museum, Ottawa, ON.
2004, January – Transfer to Greenwood Military Aviation Museum.
Negotiations to acquire Dakota 655B for the Greenwood Military Aviation Museum began late in 2003 and, in Jan 2004, the transfer was agreed upon and preparations for the move began. By mid Sep of 2006 most of the aircraft had arrived at Greenwood; a restoration crew was assembled; and a survey of what would be needed for the restoration began. During the disassembly of the Dakota in Ottawa, the wing box was damaged beyond repair and the search for a replacement took 3 years, when Joe McBryan of Buffalo Airways in Hay River, NT donated a wing box to the project. The restoration was competed in 2009 and the aircraft was placed on display at the museum.
Roles: Transport, Search and Rescue, Glider Towing, Gunship
Number built: 13,000 Dakota
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
Crew: four (Pilot, Co-pilot, Navigator, Radio Operator)
Powerplants: Two Pratt and Whitney R-1830-92 twin Wasp radials, 1,200 HP
Maximum speed: 207 miles per hour (180 knots/333 kilometres per hour)
Cruising speed: 160 miles per hour (139 knots/257 kilometres per hour)
Service ceiling: 23,200 feet (7,070 metres)
Range: 2,125 miles (3,420 kilometres)
Empty Weight: 16,865 lb (7,650 kilograms)
Max Weight: 25,200 lb (11,430 kilograms)
Wingspan: 95 feet 0 inches (28.96 metres)
Length: 64 feet 5.5 inches (19.65 metres)
Height: 16 feet 11.5 inches (5.17 metres)
“Colonel Ian Huddleston, Wing Commander, 14 Wing accepts Dakota KN-451 from the Museum restoration team for display in the Air Park”
“The Dakota Restoration Team”