CNAC DC-3, C-53 and C-47
(In service from 194?-1949)

DC-3 #50 In Flight
The flat country indicates down country, probably headed for Dinjan,
shortly after take off from Dum-Dum Airport.
After the start of WWII, all former DC-3's of CNAC had been designated C-53.
(Photo and Caption Courtesy of Pete Billon)

C-47 - Painted by Grinnell
(Litho scan courtesy of Jim Dalby)

We think this short clip is of Whistling Willie
Can you add any comment to this film clip???

January 15, 2001
From Jim Dalby.


CNAC had about 10 C-53s from #46 to #59 aircraft by the end of 1943. There are several in between that may be 53s but I'm not sure. All of them were lost, except #50, by the end of the war. The C-53 was basically a DC-3 converted into a troop transport had a small door, fold down bucket seats along the insides and did not have the beefed-up metal floor of the C-47. It weighed about 1000 lbs less than the C-47 and had a good steam heater. Because of the less weight and the good heater we much preferred the C-53 over the original C-47 which had a terrible heater. The C-47A had a good heater but still weighed about a 1000lbs more than the C-53. The C47B Still weighed about 1000lbs more but had two stage two speed superchargers which made it possible to go higher. The C-47B was made especially for the Hump operation. The C-53, C-47 & C-47A had Pratt & Whitney 1830-92 14 cyl 1200 hp engines. The C-47B had P&W 1830 90B engines. All had the door on the left side.

Some Airlines like United had the door on the left side and used P&W 1830-92 engines. Some Airlines like American and Delta and the door on the right side and used Wright 9cyl 1820 1200hp engines. CNAC had some Wright 1820 engines early on but changed them to P&W 1830 engines. After talking to Pete Billon, the photo you have is of the surviving C-53, # 50 with the paint removed taken just after the war. C-53s could be easilly be converted into regular passenger DC-3s.

(ed: Thanks Jim.)

CNAC Plane
Chungking, China
December 1945
(Photo by Jack Wilkes, LIFE Photographer)

DC-3 at Shanghai (Tail #62)
(Photo Courtesy of Carey Bowles)

ca. 1948 - Shanghai--Lunghwa Airport
Two DC-3s and a C-46

Is that you working on that C-46?
(Photo Courtesy of Joe Brower)

(From Wings Over Asia, Volume V)

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