Isuzu SUV Forum banner
21 - 25 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,332 Posts
Here's a good story for you Harry. The last DC 3 I flew on was owned by PBA (Boston Providence Airlines) that operated all the Cape to Boston flights out of Hyannis MA. I flew on it twice as it was kind of unusual for them to use it. Most of the shuttle flights were 8 passenger turbo props. I do remember the first time I flew it though...you boarded from the back door and the hike up to the front seats was like climbing a hill. No cockpit for the pilots either as I sat in the seats right behind them and talked to them for the short 20 to 30 minute flight to Boston. It wasn't fast but it felt like the most solid stable plane I'd ever been in. This was in the late 70's and into the mid 80's. It was a real letdown to get off that plane In Boston and get on a big commercial jet to fly wherever I was going. The only other DC 3 I ever flew on was a commercial flight from NY to Shannon Ireland when the Army decided to transfer my father to Germany. I was two then and don't remember a damn thing about that flight other than the few pictures my mother took. PBA is long out of business now so I have no idea if that old DC 3 is still flying somewhere. I like to think it is, about as much as I would like to relive those years on the Cape when I was young and single.
 

·
Registered
1989 Trooper R/S
Joined
·
4,194 Posts
That is a good one, Willie. The DC-3 is a distant memory for me as it was so many years ago. I often think back at how far aviation has progressed from those early days. Most cars today have way more advanced systems than the DC-3 ever dreamed of. It had no AC power. None. Very little DC power. Lots of the instruments were air driven. The aircraft was unpressurized as the engines couldn't operate in the thin air over 18000 feet and this was before superchargers and turbo compound engines. There was no up locks on the landing gear, so if hydraulic power was lost the gear would fall out as it was held up with positive pressure. The control surfaces were fabric even though the aircraft was aluminum. Hard to see how they ever were successful flying these over the hump into China to help win the war. They lost some 600 aircraft doing it so it was extreme flying. Of course no Air Conditioning except it did have cabin heat. The cowl flaps were hydraulic. The navigation was mainly ADF relying on radio signals and a compass to find there way. They did have a turn and bank and artifical horizon indicators. I never got to taxi one but understand from those that did that it had to be steered using engine power, not like the modern aircraft with nose gears and nose gear steering. Many aviation memories as that was my whole life's career.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,332 Posts
Damn Harry, you are a encyclopedia. I'm glad I didn't know any of this when I was flying on them. That flight to Shannon was over the ocean too and we were in a plane with a 16000 foot ceiling...whose landing gear was held on by positive pressure. Yikes!
 

·
Registered
1989 Trooper R/S
Joined
·
4,194 Posts
wmorrisiii said:
Damn Harry, you are a encyclopedia. I'm glad I didn't know any of this when I was flying on them. That flight to Shannon was over the ocean too and we were in a plane with a 16000 foot ceiling...whose landing gear was held on by positive pressure. Yikes!
Willie, a poor choice of wording on my part. The gear was held up in the locked position with positive hydraulic pressure, and if pressure was lost the gear would fall out of the wheel well and create added drag to the aircraft performance. However the DC-3 was very a very capable flying machine and could still perform well with the added drag. Modern aircraft have hydraulic operated uolocks that lock the gear in the up position. Then in flight the hydraulic pressure ic reduced from the normal 3000 psi to around 1000 psi utill the additional pressure is required for locking the gear down for landing and braking to help stop the aircraft, The DC-3 was hard to hold on the ground once VR ( velocity for rotation) speed was reached the aircraft wanted to fly and would literally fly itself off the ground.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
big history buff here...actually a minor in history....Detroit -Ann Arbor axis, has a lot of history....in the early 80's, I got transferred down to Elvis central..and I finally retired after 30 yrs...memphis-Nashville, is full of history.....and of course, Most of East TN, etc....don't consider memphis to be apart of TN......more like MS or Ark...in their eyes.....
 
21 - 25 of 25 Posts
Top