On 17th December 1935 the first airliner took its maiden flight, heralding the first time that operators were able to make a profit simply by carrying nothing but passengers from one place to another. Replacing the earlier DC-2 the DC-3, affectionately referred to as the "Gooney Bird" and widely known outside the United States as the "Dakota", probably did more to establish air transport as a routine means of travel than any other airliner.


American Airlines was the first to use the DC-3 commercially on June 25th 1936, between New York and Chicago. United, Eastern, TWA, and KLM were early buyers of the DC-3, but eventually almost every airline deployed the aircraft.  Many were conversions from wartime C-47 aircraft - during the Second World War Douglas was producing almost 600 DC-3/C-47's a month - although many of these aircraft remained in military service for many years thereafter, in various configurations. Some still fly today.


The company built a total of 10,655 between 1935 and 1947, and another 2500 were built under licence in the Soviet Union and Japan. Today, the DC-3 is still finding its greatest use in specialized roles with some third world military forces and is commercially useful in some back country and bush areas; particularly, because of its low operating costs, its ability to perform from rough fields and its low maintenance. There are still almost 1,000 DC-3s in flying condition; apart from working aircraft, several have been restored to airline colors and are on the airshow circuit, and other restorations are the pride of museums world wide, as are many non-operational restorations. However, and sadly, many lie in boneyards or sit neglected in odd places around the globe.  Perhaps, some of these will yet be restored.


The good news is that many of these aircraft can be flown again within flight simulation, with detailed panels and realistic sound being either included or available.  All these files are freeware ‘add-ons’ but require Microsoft Flight Simulator FS2004 or FS2002 to be installed before they can be of any use to you.  However, you can always just look at these flight simulator pictures!  Clicking on any image will bring up a larger view of each aircraft as seen in flight simulator.


Visit Trevor Morson's www.douglasdc3.com for everything you could ever want to know about the DC-3.  Also visit www.maam.org, the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum, to learn more about the fantastic work of Jan Visser, Bill Rambow and their team; their shareware Douglas R4D-6 (the Navy version of the DC-3) for flight simulator is helping to bring the Museum’s real aircraft back into service, and their newly released FS2004-compatible GMAX version is second to none.


If you’d like to know more about flying multiplayer DC-3s  in flightsim, visit the experts at the VA www.dc3airways..com

The Douglas DC-3 for Microsoft Flight Simulator FS2004 and FS2002


Repaints of  FS2004 and FS2002 models of the C-47 and DC-3, together with various modifications, by Mark “Dark Moment” Beaumont and colleagues.




Repaints, modifications, kits