Douglas C-47 Skytrain

On the morning of June 6, 1944, shortly before dawn, the silence of the sky over occupied France awoke to the the roar of the engines of an incredible number of aircraft, announcing a new offensive operation of the Allied forces, an operation that went down forever in history as Operation Overlord or D-Day - the historic day which began a large-scale offensive against Germany's position in occupied Europe, when the Allied forces launched a mass invasion by their armies into Normandy. Thousands of paratroopers landing in coastal areas played a vital role in radically influencing the military initiative, ensuring the seizure of advanced bridgeheads for the bulk of the Allied forces, which at the same time had already started landing from the sea.
The main role in the delivery of a huge number of troops belonged to the C-47 Skytrain transport aircraft, or Dakota Mk.III as it was called while in service with the British Royal Air Force. Hundreds of these transport planes carried the bulk of the paratroopers that night, both American and British, as well as units from other countries belonging to the British Crown; side by side with troops from the occupied countries, which were attached to the British units participating in this operation. In addition, the C-47 towed a large number of Horsa type gliders to occupied France with paratroopers on board, ammunition for the soldiers, and other important military equipment.
The C-47 is considered to have been the Second World War's main transport medium in its class, since apart from participating in D Day, which was its "golden time" in contributing to the common cause of all the transport forces of the Allies, it had to bear the major part of the Allies' transportation burden during the war, carrying out important missions both in the European theater and in the remote battlefields of Africa, the Far East and other regions of strategic importance. The C-47 is considered to be the iconic "right plane", deserving that title equally with the famous fighters, bombers and other important types of combat aircraft. Remembering Day D, it is a true symbol of the event which was, without any doubt, fundamental in changing the course of the history of the end of the Second World War.

  1. Douglas C-47 Skytrain, s/n 42-100882, ex-US Air Force "White P", Commemorative Air Force, 2019
  2. Douglas Dakota MK.III, ZA947 ex-RAF Transport Command, Commemorative Air Force, 2019
Performances
Wingspan 29.41 m
Overall length 19.43 m
Overall height 5.18 m
Wing area 91.7 m2
Own weight 8226 kg
Take-off weight 11,793 kg
Max speed 360 km/h
Range 2570 kg
Practical ceiling 8000 m
Engine 2 x Pratt & Whittney R-1830 Twin Wasp, 1200hp each
Crew 4 persons
Useful downloads 28 commandos in full gear