RAY CRUPI COLLECTION
No. 12417. Douglas DC-5 (NX21701 c/n 411)
Photograph from T.A.L.

Douglas DC-5

06/30/2014. Remarks by Johan Visschedijk: "With more than a hint in its design of its military contemporary, the DB-7 bomber, the DC-5 was a handsome all-metal twin-engined short-haul transport with a fully retractable tricycle undercarriage. Designed by Leo Devlin and Ed Heinemann, it made its first flight on February 20, 1939, and soon attracted orders from KLM (four), Pennsylvania-Central (six), British Airways (nine), SCADTA of Colombia (two) and the USN (seven).

Flight-test problems - cured by the introduction of a dihedral tailplane - delayed progress until after the outbreak of war in Europe, causing British Airways and the two American airlines to cancel their orders. For similar reasons in 1940 KLM diverted two of its DC-5s from Europe to its West Indies division. A year later these aircraft joined the other two in service with KLM's East Indies subsidiary KNILM. One was captured by the Japanese but the other three escaped to operate in Australia and New Guinea until impressed in 1944 to serve as C-110s with the USAAF; one of these was subsequently operated during 1946-1947 by Australian National Airways.

The US Navy had two R3D-1s (one being lost before delivery), plus one R3D-3 (the pictured DC-5 prototype, re-engined to production standard, sold to William E. Boeing and subsequently impressed). Of the four R3D-2s which went to the USMC, one was shot down during the war and the other three were retired in late 1946."

Created June 30, 2014