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Douglas DST & DC-3 Aircraft Photos

Page 1

c/n 1494 - 1999

Last revised 12/31/12

Click here for the DC-3 Main Page

This page covers C/N (factory Construction Number) 1494 through 1999, all of which were delivered as civilian aircraft. Some were converted to military, many of which were later returned to civilian life.

Click here for hints on using this site; for my "easy" photo use policy and disclaimer.

Scroll down to see photo/s and info on the following aircraft.

  1499 - Douglas DST-144, 1936, NC16005, C-49E 42-56092, N16005, N133D, sixth DC-3 built, oldest in existence, 2006 photo
  1557 - Douglas DC-3-178, N16019, AA, never military. Became Super DC-3 c/n 43191
  1910 - Douglas DC-3A-197, 1936, NC16070, N16070, United Air Lines "Mainliner Reno", UAL retro, 1987 photo
  1920 - Douglas DC-3-G2-178, 1936, NC17334, N17334, - - - - - American Airlines "Flagship Detroit", 1936 XXXXNOT READY YET
  1924 - Douglas DC-3B-102, 1937, NC17314, C-84 42-57511, N17314, late 1930's photos
  1951 - Douglas DC-3 DST-A-207, 1937, NC18103, C-48B-DO 42-56612, N18103, N287SE, N166U, 1978 photo
  1998 - Douglas DC-3 DST-A-207, 1937, NC18122, C-49G-DO 42-56631, N18122, N15M, CP-1128, 1971 photo

c/n 1499, DST-144, C-49-DO
NC16005, 42-56092, N16005, N133D
(Click on photo to enlarge)

June 4, 2010: As c/n 1499, N133D was the sixth DC-3 built and is the oldest one on the U.S. Civil Aircraft Register. It was built at the Santa Monica plant as DST-G-144 NC16005, completed on 7/10/36, and delivered to American Airlines two days later. As was standard with American and some other airlines, it had a right hand passenger door. DST signifies Douglas Sleeper Transport

In May 1942 the Defense Supply Corp. commandeered the aircraft and converted it to USAAF C-49-DO, 42-56092. It was processed through the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) in 2/45 and again became NC16005 followed by N16005.
c/n 1557, DC-3-178, to Super DC-3 c/n 43191
N16019, American Airlines "Flagship Oklahoma," N540S, N518AC
(Click on photo to enlarge)

American Airlines DC-3 Flagship Oklahoma, N16019

American Airlines DC-3 pilot Charles A. Lippincott

Capital Airlines Super DC-3 N16019, N540A, N518AC

One never knows what you will come up with when you start researching a DC-3! We’ll get to F.O. Lippincott in a bit, but first this.

Flagship Oklahoma was American Airlines, 1936 DC-3-178, c/n 1557, N16019. According to Arthur Pearcy in “Douglas Propliners” it served American from Oct. 1936 until May 1949 and accumulated 35,585 hours.

He says the Douglas factory bought it back, and rebuilt it into the third Super DC-3, and the first airline-operated. It was given new c/n 43191 but retained N16019 when it entered service with Capital Airlines in July 1950. Capital operated it for two years and sold it to U.S. Steel, where it became N540S. Capital had operated three Supers and U.S. Steel bought all of them.

Our 1974 photo was probably taken in San Antonio, TX, as the large building in the background says SWEARINGEN on the roof. Note that #2 engine is feathered. N540S later became N518AC and still appears on the FAA register under that registration. (Scroll down) It was cancelled March 1991, because it was destroyed. The last owner was Atkins Aviation of McAllen, TX, who had registered it in Feb. 1984. Any help from out there on the demise of this one?

It looks like pilot Charles A.. Lippincott was from Flint, MI. He had trained at Indiana Air Service, South Bend, IN and joined American in Feb. 1939. In July 2011 I received an email from Stephen Lippincott, grandson of Charles. He said that his grandfather died in Sept. 1970 and he was trying to build some family history for his own children. Because of the way I value "family" I felt privileged to give him the photo.
c/n 1910, DC-3A-197
NC16070, N16070

June 2, 2010 - N16070, c/n 1910 is one of the oldest surviving DC-3’s. Built at Santa Monica in 1936, ‘070 began life as United Airlines’ “Mainliner Reno” and went on to serve Eastern (leased), Pioneer, and Continental Airlines. It appears here as a UAL retro and is the authentic “Mainliner Reno.”

According to various sources on the ‘net, this aircraft had many owners and/or operators over the years including Leeward Aero Sales; Marshall M. Landy; Oakland Airmotive; Admiral Air Services; Westernair of Albuquerque; Founders Investments; Midwest Silos, Adams, NC (1967); Frederick Senne Co. of Magadore, OH (1968)

NC16070 is now on display at the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum at McMinnville, OR, which is associated with the Captain Michael King Smith Educational Institute. Captain Smith is the son of Evergreen founder Delford Smith. Their web site says this is the first DC-3 to be powered by the P&W R-1830 engines, although Pearch says that c/n 1494, NC16002 was the first. The museum says it is airworthy, and you can learn more at: A slide from my collection, details unknown

DC-3 N16070, Eastern, Pioneer, Continental Airlines
c/n 1924, DC-3B-102, C-84
NC17314, 42-57511, N17314

(Click on photo to enlarge)

June 4, 2010: Here’s a rare oldie and about as original as you can get! NC17314 is a DC-3B-G102, built under ATC #635 instead of #618 or 669 like most DC-3 and C-47’s we know. About ten aircraft were built under ATC #635, all DC-3B’s. These are certainly early photos as it still has the counterweighted props instead of full-feathering.

Transcontinental & Western Air (Trans World Airlines after May 1950) bought several new DST aircraft. They were built in Santa Monica and NC17314 was delivered May, 1937. The Douglas Sleeper Transport version of the DC-3 is identified by the little upper-berth windows above the main cabin windows.

Actually, TWA’s DST aircraft were a “Half-Sleeper”. For night flights they had eight berths (four upper, four lower) in the front of the cabin and seven to nine reclining arm-chairs, and carried 23 passengers during the day. Quite an innovative concept! TWA was doing three daily California/New York trips by 1937.

This kind of passenger carrying was short-lived for ‘1924. In June 1942 the USAAF said, “We need your airplane!”, and it became C-84 42-57511, one of four DC-3B's that were used as military transports.

NC17314, “The Lindbergh Line, Sky Sleeper 352”. It’s all there! The Lindberg name was not used after Howard Hughes bought controlling interest in TWA in 1939.

The aircraft came back to Transcontinental & Western in December 1944 as NC17314. In May 1950 it was registered to Trans World Airways as N17314 and somewhere along the way there it had nearly 19,000 hours total time. Union Steel & Wrecking Co. owned it in 1953, and finally General Airways.

Many early DC-3s were built with Wright R1820’s, without cowl flaps. Most were modified to higher horsepower 1820’s, with cowl flaps, or to P&W R1830’s. NC17314 was converted to the 1200-HP, R1820-202A in 1941 and would have had cowl flaps after that. (They are required, in order to pull 1200-HP or more.) It was then a DC-3B-202A. I have flown N17334, c/n 1920, which was built with these same engines but has been modified to 1350-HP, R1820-56’s. It is quite a performer!

Note the suitcases inside the forward baggage door. There was quite a large baggage area between the pilots and passengers.

That’s your counterweighted, Hamilton Standard 3E50 constant speed, non-feathering prop. I highly suspect that there was a fair amount of activity and verbiage in the in the cockpit when an engine quit at gross weight and the prop windmilled. The drag is incredible!

The last photo shows 1924 with P&W R-1830 engines, in service with General Airways. There's a large rose on the rudder and the text under it says, "Portland, Oregon" "City of Roses."

Transcontinental and Western Air Lines DC-3 NC17314
TWA, The Lindbergh Line, DST, DC-3 Sky Sleeper

Loading baggage in the aft compartment.
TWA Douglas DC-3, DST, Half-Sleeper, NC17314, 352

Transcontinental and Western Air Lines DC-3, DST

Transcontinental and Western Air Lines, Airlines

These are certainly late 1930's photos if it still had the counterweighted props!

General Airways DC-3 N17314, The City of Roses

N17314 had a sad ending. It crashed in February 1959, killing two of three crew and one of 25 passengers. An accident report says, “The General Airways DC-3 was being used for a Civil Air Movement of military personnel from Boise to Lackland AFB via Pueblo. On the final leg of the flight icing weather conditions were encountered. The accretion of ice on the aircraft became critical and the flight crew attempted to reach Kerrville but ran out of fuel, crash-landed in trees and caught fire. PROBABLE CAUSE: "The captain's poor judgment in continuing into known and dangerous icing conditions." See the report here.
c/n 1951, DC-3 DST-A-207, C-48B-DO
NC18103, 42-56612, N18103, N287SE, N166U

(Click on photo to enlarge)

June 5, 2010: The “Fighting Gators” are a fan club for the University of Florida athletic teams. I highly suspect that this DC-3, which belonged to the Athletic Assoc. of University of Florida, was used to transport club members to away games. If someone sends me more info I’ll post it.

N166U started life in 1937 as a DC-3, DST-A-207, c/n 1951. (DST = Douglas Sleeper Transport; A = P&W powered; 207 = the design spec.)  It served United Airlines as NC18103 “Mainliner Cheyenne” before being commandeered by the Defense Supply Corp. for the USAAF in 8/42, who used it as C-48B-DO, 42-56612. It went back to UAL in 6/44 and served them as N18103, with the same name, until 1956 and 48,361-hours total time.

Douglas DC-3 C-48B, N166U Florida Fighting Gators

N166U in 1978, an Air Pix photo by Charlie Pyles
‘1951 next served South East, Central and Frontier Airlines as N287SE until 1968, when it went to Houston Aviation. It soon became N166U for the Athletic Assoc. of University of Florida’s “Fighting Gators.” The registration was cancelled in 1988 but there’s no indication of it being exported or destroyed. Maybe someone can help us with the rest of the story!
c/n 1998, DC-3 DST-A-207, C-49G-DO
NC18122, 42-56631,
N18122, N15M, CP-1128
(Click on photo to enlarge)

DC-3 NC18122, N18122, N15M, Bolivia, CP-1128

N15M in 1971. Air Pix photo by Bob Parmerter

This aircraft represents some of the versatility that marks the DC-3, having gone from airline, to military, to airline, to corporate, to cargo; from Wrights to Pratts; from right side passenger door to left side cargo door; and from the U.S. to Brazil! Maybe Basler will buy it now and put turbines on it!

June 5, 2010: This is an interesting airplane! It’s a 1937 DC-3-G2-201, c/n 1998, shown here as N15M in 1971.

‘1998 became Eastern Air Lines NC18122, “342” and was delivered 11/5/37. In 6/42 it was drafted by the USAAF to become their C-49G-DO, 42-56631. Following an honorable discharge in 10/44 it rejoined Eastern as NC18122, became their N18122 around 1950, and was retired in 1953.  
It was reregistered as N15M and was reportedly with Magnavox Corp. by 1963; Quarnstrom Land Co. in 1964; Raymond J. Leeward in 1968; Jim Hankins Air Service 10/72; and Airline Academy Airlines in 1973. The FAA shows that registration was cancelled by AAA in 1981 for export to Bolivia, where it became CP-1128.

This was fairly late in the game for conversion from Wright R-1820’s to P&W R-1830’s, but it appears that it was done on ‘1998. Our photo shows it with the ‘1820’s, but JP Airline-Fleet Int’l indicates it has ‘1830’s. That is supported by the photos on PDF CP-1128, taken in Dec. 2008. They show a long exhaust tailpipe like the ‘1830 would have, and the crossbar on the firewall between the two upper motor mount attach points which is only used on the ‘1830. Further, while low altitude operators such as in the Caribbean liked the Wrights, South American operators who flew at higher altitudes liked the Pratts.

Notice the "Hobart" to the side there. They were a popular ground power unit in the 1950's and on for a couple of decades and you saw them on many ramps.

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