Douglas Dakota III

The Douglas Dakota III was the RAF designation given to 962 C-47A Skytrains that were received under the lend-lease scheme. These were similar to the Dakota I, but with a 24 volt electrical system. The arrival of a large number of Dakota IIIs revolutionised the RAF’s transport capacity, which until then had been based around a number of obsolete bombers and general purpose aircraft, which were poorly adapted for the role. The Dakota III equipped twenty two RAF squadrons, three RCAF squadrons under RAF operational control and a number of RAAF squadrons. Most of these squadrons also operated the Dakota IV.

The RAF used its Dakota IIIs to operate regular passenger and cargo routes across the North and South Atlantic and across Africa, connecting the main theatres of the war. They were also used extensively in airborne warfare, both as a paratrooper transport and to tow gliders, taking part in every major airborne operation from the invasion of Sicily to the Rhine crossings of 1945.

Engines: Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp x2
Power: 1,200 each
Wing span: 95ft 6in
Length: 63ft 9in
Height: 17ft 0in
Empty weight: 17,865lb
Loaded weight: 26,000lb
Maximum weight: 31,000lb
Maximum speed: 230mph at 8,800ft
Cruising speed: 170mph
Normal range: 1,600 miles
Maximum range: 3,800 miles

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (12 November 2008), Douglas Dakota III , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_douglas_dakota_III.html

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