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bootneck

Dakota 4 ?

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I know about the Douglas DC3 Dakota and C-47 Skytrain however, whilst looking for liveries of these types in civilian use, I've come across references for Dakota 4's.   Can anyone help and explain what was different about the Dakota 4.?

I would also like to know what, if any, visible differences were to be found between them and the DC3/C-47.  I'm planning to build two or three DC3 kits as civil liveried postwar aircraft, for a small airport diorama, but some of their serials state them to be Dakota 4's.

 

cheers

 

Mike

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A Dakota 4 or Dakota IV is an RAF C-47B . The Dakota is an RAF name for the DC-3/C-47 . That's as far as I go on this one bootneck

 

Apart from the RAF Dakota still flying today (I hope ) at Coventry , a Dakota IV in Transport Command Blue lightning cheatline.

Edited by bzn20

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Thanks for that.  I want to get a couple of 1:144 Dakota's and, with that information, I now know that I need the C-47 version, with the double cargo doors.  The aircraft serials in question are G-AMSS of Dan-Air and G-AMZC of Manx Airlines.

 

cheers

 

Mike

Edited by bootneck
Corrected serial for Manx Airlines, from AMZZ to AMZC

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Good, I've been on MSS, Dan-Air .

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Just because it is a C-47 i doesn't mean that it has cargo doors as a post war civilian plane. Many planes were rebuilt with the DC-3 passenger door for airline use.

The beautiful "Daisy" that we have in Sweden started as a c-47 with cargo doors. After the war it got the small passenger door and was used as an airliner. Later it came to the Swedish air force and once again got the cargo doors and that is haw she still flies .

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The Minicraft C-47 and Roden C-47 kits in 1/144 should be OK for your needs. The Roden kit is the more modern of the two but the Minicraft kit is still OK. The Minicraft kit comes with two choices of cowlings. One set is for an early Wright Cyclone equipped pre-war DC-3 and the other set is for the more common Pratt and Whitneys which were more popular and fitted to the C-47 variants.

 

American aircraft used by the RAF were usually (but not always) given names based on an American geographical location  e.g. = Boston, Maryland, Washington, Catalina, Dakota. The versions used by the RAF were then allocated a mark number, usually expressed in Roman Numerals - so you get Dakota I, II, III and IV.

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Thanks Eric,  I didn't know that and this all goes towards my knowledge of ex-military to civilian aircraft.

 

cheers


Mike

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Both appear to have kept the cargo door as far as I can see from various photos.

I like this one: (note she has astrodome)

1045318-large.jpg

 

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I thought the Dakota 4 was this:

Rachels_Dakota.jpg

 

A 24volt version of the C53 passenger Dakota.

A colleague's late Granfather flew Dakotas, well I was asked to make a model of this: my immediate observations are passenger door and engine exhaust collector rings. 

I checked the number - it fell into the range of Dakota4s , of which the RAF received about 8.

 

Gran now has this on her shelf.

Airfix_C53_Dakota0.jpg

Edited by theplasticsurgeon
More info

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Don’t forget Zvezda do a 1/200 Li-2 which in that scale should look the same!

 

28246046757_0de5036225_b.jpg

 

Trevor

 

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No Dakota had exhaust collector rings: that was a feature of Bristol engines.  If you mean the row of cooling gills at the rear of the nacelle, I don't think that they differed on P&W engined aircraft,  However if the Mk.4s were C-47Bs, then they had the extended air intake above the cowling rather than the short one seen on most Daks as on the Silver City example above.  The Bs were fitted with a different supercharger for high-altitude operations (i.e. over the Himalayas into China) but seem to have been spread about more widely.

 

I don't think that the UK got any C-53s.

 

No postwar British private airline was going to reskin the rear fuselage if all they needed to do was to keep the cargo door shut.  Freddy Laker would be revolving in his grave at the thought!

 

Eastern Express also do several Li.2s in 1/144, which bear a remarkable resemblance to the Minicraft kit, I'm told.  However given the meteoric rise in the cost of the Minicraft kits, they ought to be available more cheaply.  Nice enough kits but the Roden is nicer.

 

PS OK, the US engines did have collector rings, but they were internal and behind the engine, whereas the Bristol ones were visible at the front of the cowling and shaped to act as ducting, like the NACA cowlings on the US types,

Edited by Graham Boak
Clarification.

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I just had a scan through Air Britain's Douglas DC-3 tome.

Although both 'MSS and MZZ were built as C-47Bs and went straight to the RAF ,they became DC-3Cs when converted for civilian use. This was a blanket designation and covered all converted military C-47s regardless of sub type.

Many Bs became Ds when the turbochargers were removed but I can't see if the longer air intake on top was replaced by the shorter one during that process.

'MSS in the photo certainly has.

Note that 'G-AMZZ' in the museum in Sharjah is not the real 'MZZ but is N688EA painted as such, so shouldn't be used as a reference for your build.

47 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

I don't think that the UK got any C-53s.

I think you are correct. I certainly can't see any listed in the above mentioned book.

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47 minutes ago, Eric Mc said:

Has anybody ever done a 1/144 C-117/Super DC-3?

If you mean in kit form that is a yes and it is from Eastern Express...

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Thanks. I just discovered it and have ordered one. Welsh Models have done a semi vacformed kit as well.

 

I've always liked the Super DC-3.

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12 hours ago, theplasticsurgeon said:

I thought the Dakota 4 was this:

Rachels_Dakota.jpg

 

A 24volt version of the C53 passenger Dakota.

A colleague passed Granfather flew Dakotas, well I was asked to make a model of this: my immediate observations are passenger door and engine exhaust collector rings. 

 

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Yes - a number of errors in that painting. I'm not sure about the proportions either. It looks more like an Anson or a Valetta.

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That's harsh - the top of the fuselage is a little high above the cockpit and that contributes to a slightly bloated look, but I've yet to see a Valetta or Anson with swept-back puter wings.

 

KN564 had quite an active life, recorded as 267/48/TCEU/240 OCU/OFU, before being delivered to the RRAF in 1955.  Its wartime life will have been in Olive Drab over Neutral Grey: the combination of wartime roundels and the bare metal finish suggests around 1947 but the Air Britain book doesn't quote dates.  So what unit did grandad serve with?  Suspicion falls on some time at 240 OCU.

267 Sq : KW codes Far East, Disbanded 1946

48 Sq: OY and I2 codes .Post war service in the Far East

Transport Command Examining Unit:  No codes

240 OCU:  NU codes  Formed 1948 from 1382 Transport Conversion Unit.

Overseas Ferry Unit: No codes? or QO.  Formed 1948.

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1 hour ago, Eric Mc said:

I've always liked the Super DC-3.

I agree. This pair were regular visitors to HMS Fulmar in the sixties and I think they're the best looking in the family.

C-117D_Super_Dakotas_US_Navy_1967.jpg

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7 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

KN564 had quite an active life, recorded as 267/48/TCEU/240 OCU/OFU, before being delivered to the RRAF in 1955.  Its wartime life will have been in Olive Drab over Neutral Grey: the combination of wartime roundels and the bare metal finish suggests around 1947 but the Air Britain book doesn't quote dates.  So what unit did grandad serve with?  Suspicion falls on some time at 240 OCU.

267 Sq : KW codes Far East, Disbanded 1946

48 Sq: OY and I2 codes .Post war service in the Far East

Transport Command Examining Unit:  No codes

240 OCU:  NU codes  Formed 1948 from 1382 Transport Conversion Unit.

Overseas Ferry Unit: No codes? or QO.  Formed 1948.

6

I was shown his log-book. Entries started with Anson flying.

Previous history lost in an officers mess fire, somewhere in the Far East.

Dakota OCU at North Luffenham.

Then to Plumber Flight for a few weeks, flying spares, equipment and mechanics to Germany (not Berlin).

The one and only log-book entry with KN564 was with Plumber Flight.

Then to No 10 Squadron, flying into Gatow every day - Berlin Airlift.

All entries just said DAKOTA - no versions or marks.

 

Following Dakotas, a few Meteor flights - including a solo.

Immediately followed by a return to Ansons.

Edited by theplasticsurgeon
correction

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2 hours ago, Graham Boak said:

That's harsh - the top of the fuselage is a little high above the cockpit and that contributes to a slightly bloated look, but I've yet to see a Valetta or Anson with swept-back puter wings.

 

KN564 had quite an active life, recorded as 267/48/TCEU/240 OCU/OFU, before being delivered to the RRAF in 1955.  Its wartime life will have been in Olive Drab over Neutral Grey: the combination of wartime roundels and the bare metal finish suggests around 1947 but the Air Britain book doesn't quote dates.  So what unit did grandad serve with?  Suspicion falls on some time at 240 OCU.

267 Sq : KW codes Far East, Disbanded 1946

48 Sq: OY and I2 codes .Post war service in the Far East

Transport Command Examining Unit:  No codes

240 OCU:  NU codes  Formed 1948 from 1382 Transport Conversion Unit.

Overseas Ferry Unit: No codes? or QO.  Formed 1948.

It's obviously a DC-3/C-47 - but a slightly wonky one.

 

I'f someone did it for me as a commission I wouldn't be very happy.

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DC-3, 3A, 3B, 3C and 3S  Millitary...C-41 first for USAAC...Then the  stacks of C-47 versions RC, AC, SC ,XC and added / Changed bits  with enough differences to warrant the C-48,C-49 (they went from C-49A-49K ?), C-50 , C-51, C-52, C-53, C-68,C-84,CC-117, US Navy R4D and sub versions . That's without us Brits with Airspeed Dakota models and the BEA Pioneer Dart Daks  and the spike nosed C-47 (name for ease) with pointed nose at CAF Cold Lake ,Canada. Turbo Daks ,it goes on .Wasn't production about 10,000  Airframes ? Imagine the hassle with that many variants across 10,000 ,VC10 and CL-44s are bad enough at under 60 built for both.

Another cluttered ,nice and easy subject to get somebody else's teeth into . How about the 3 engine P&W Canada turbos ?

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We didn't build any Airspeed Dakotas (mores the pity).  They would have come from Fokker licence, but they didn't build any either.  It was decided that Airspeed would have been too busy building the Oxford.  Difficult to judge the toss on that one.

 

Remember that many of these C-xx designations were just labels for various civil aircraft from different airlines.  But yes, it's a lovely modelling subject.

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The Swedish airline AB Aerotransport operated  21 DC-3. Five of these were pre war DC-3. The first three one had the passenger door on the right side and P&W engines the other two had Cyclone engines and the passenger door on the left side.

After the war they bought five ex. C-53 so they would have the small passenger door already. They also got eleven C-47, at least seven of these were Canadair modified planes that had the large cargo door changed to the small passenger door. The last four had the cargo doors.  I just noticed that one of them is listed as a C-47B. I must have a look and see if I can find any pictures showing if it still had the long air intakes.

So a post war C-47 could have the small passenger door or the large cargo door.

Thanks to this thread I learned something about the C-47B

 

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I'm glad I asked this question about Dakota 4's now, there is so much information being shared that I'm struggling to keep up!  

All I need now is for those enthusiasts and knowledgeable members to post more images and drawings for comparison, if there are any, please.  I might even be tempted to do a conversion.

 

A further update from me, the aircraft recorded as Dakota 4's that flew into and out of Elmdon, Birmingham between 1955 and 1962 are:

G-AMZC Manx Airline

G-AMSS and G-AMSU  Dan-Air

G-AMVC  BKS Transport

G-ANAE  Lancashire Aircraft Corporation *

G-AMRB  Starways

G-AMZG and G-ANEG  Tranair

G-AMSM  and G-AMWW  Skyways

G-AMZE  S Smith & Son (Avn Div) Ltd

G-AOZA  Field Aircraft Services

G-AMYW  Hunting Surveys

G-ANAE  Silver City  **

* recorded in 1955 as Dakota 4

** recorded in 1962 as DC3

 

Thanks for the help so far, I do appreciate it.

 

Mike

 

Edited by bootneck
updated with details of G-AMZE

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