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Home Base: Hamilton, Ontario
Operation: Central and Eastern USA and Canada
Model: DC-3
Wing Span:
95' 0"
Length: 64' 5"
Height: 16' 11"
Max Speed: 230 mph
Gross Weight: 33,000 lbs
Power Plant: 2 x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92
Horsepower: 2 x 1,200
Fuel Capacity: 808 gallons

CWHM's Douglas DC-3 "Canucks Unlimited"

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum (CWHM) is the owner and operator of this Douglas DC-3 which is available for airshows, flybys and film.

Design of the Douglas DC-3 started in Santa Monica, California in 1935 in response to an American Airlines specification for an airliner capable of carrying 14 people in sleeper berths across the US. Initially, the aircraft was called the Douglas Sleeper Transport (DST). The prototype first flew in December 1935 and the first DST was delivered to American Airlines in July 1936. A version capable of seating 21 persons - the DC-3 was under simultaneous development and soon orders were pouring in from every major US airline as well as from airlines overseas. The US Government was also interested in the DC-3 and the USAAF ordered a fully militarized version called the C-47. It was designed for dropping paratroops, evacuating the wounded, supply dropping, troop transportation, glider towing and many other duties. Eventually, about 10,000 C-47s were purchased by the US for military operations.

During WWII, the Royal Air Force received a total of 1928 Dakotas (as the C-47 was called by the British Commonwealth) and they became the RAF's main wartime transport aircraft. During and after the war a number of Dakota aircraft were transferred to other Commonwealth air forces including the RCAF. The RCAF took delivery of its first Dakota in March 1943 and at its peak had 169 on strength. Within Canada they were operated by Nos. 12 (Comm), 164 (T), 165 (T) and 168 (T) Squadrons as well as ferry squadrons.

Overseas, with the RCAF, Dakotas equipped No. 437 Squadron of Transport Command in Europe and Nos. 435 and 436 Squadrons of South East Asia Command. No. 437 Squadron was formed in England in September 1944. Its Dakotas dropped supplies, ferried troops to Europe and towed gliders for the airborne landings at Arnhem and the Rhine crossing at Wessel. Nos. 435 and 436 Squadrons were formed in India in October 1944 and flew Dakotas in support of the British troops fighting the Japanese in the jungle. When the Second World War ended, Nos. 435 and 436 Squadrons were transferred to England where they joined No. 437 Squadron in transporting supplies and personnel to the Canadian occupation forces in Germany. The 3 squadrons were disbanded in 1946, but were reformed during the early 1950s. Dakota aircraft continued in service with the Canadian Armed Forces until 1989 when No. 402 (Air Reserve) Squadron retired the last of them.

The CWHM DC-3 (2141) proudly wears the markings of Nos. 435 and 436 Squadrons which operated in Burma in 1944-45 and whose slogan was "Canucks Unlimited". The aircraft (C-GDAK) was built in June 1939 for Eastern Airlines where it served for over 13 years. It was then sold to North Central Airlines who operated it for another 11 years. In 1964 it left airline service but continued to fly commercially for several owners until it was acquired by Dennis Bradley for CWHM in 1981. It has over 82,000 hours in the air - equal to over 12,000,000 miles or 492 times around the world.

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Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
9280 Airport Road
Mount Hope, Ontario
Canada L0R 1W0

Phone: (905) 679-4183
Fax: (905) 679-4186

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