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1956 - 2022, Celebrating over 65+ Years of Service

DC-1, DC-2, DC-3 The First Seventy Years
by Jennifer M Gradidge

Publisher: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd

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Web Site:
Binding:  Hardbound Height:




Pages:  1032 No. Photos:
 Loaded with photos and illus

This two volume publication, containing over 1,000 pages, is the best source of historic information about the aircraft that established the world’s civil air transport system and have provided military air transport for over 70 years. Jennifer Gradidge, the foremost DC-3 historian, led a team of Air-Britain (and AAHS) historians to produce this book.

Vol. 1 contains four chapters. Chapter 1 deals with the developmental history in the United States, Japan and the Soviet Union. Chapter 2 covers technical data including detailed information regarding Approved Type Certificates, civil customer model variants, military variants, airframe modifications, technical description and performance information, as well as, comparative drawings. Chapter 3 provides detailed historical and fleet information on military operators. The last chapter in Vol. 1 gives historical and fleet information on commercial operators. This chapter includes an index of commercial operators.

Vol. 2 focuses on information regarding individual aircraft. Chapter 5 consists of individual histories of all the various DC-1, DC-2, DC-3 and military variants built by Douglas Aircraft Company. This chapter, covering almost 400 pages, is organized by Douglas Aircraft Co. construction number (msn). The exception to this convention is a five-page section at the beginning of Chapter 5 covering DC-1, DC-2 and military variants of the DC-2. Chapter 6 deals with various turboprop conversions. Chapter 7 gives individual aircraft histories of Soviet manufacture. Air Britain has continued to update individual Li-2 aircraft history information, as it is discovered, in their monthly Air-Britain News publication. Chapter 8, Survivors, provides the identities of existing aircraft. Chapter 9 lists preserved, museum and collection aircraft. Chapter 10 gives construction numbers for aircraft with fictitious markings. Chapter 11 is a very handy registration - construction number cross reference. The final chapter is a bibliography.

Both volumes are well illustrated with black and white photographs and four extensive color photograph sections. DC-1, DC-2, DC-3 The First Seventy Years is a significant improvement over the very good earlier edition. Finding information is much easier. Separating operator and individual aircraft histories between the two volumes makes it easier to use. The larger format allows the user to open the pages flat without resorting to exotic yoga poses to read and write at the same time. The writing team has expanded the service histories of military aircraft. This is a superb history resource. Any person seriously interested in commercial or military transport history should have it in their library. I use mine several times every month.

This monumental resource sold out very quickly when first published in 2006. Fortunately, Air-Britain has decided to make it available with a second printing. The cost is 63.75 BP for non-members, plus 20% shipping. For members of Air-Britain the cost is 42.50 BP, plus shipping. Air-Britain has generously agreed to extend their member’s price to AAHS members who order this publication through AAHS.

Tim Williams