Aviation of World War II

Home Russian

Medium Transport Aircraft


DC-5 (Douglas Commercial 5) DC-5 was developed in 1938 as a civilian 16-22-seat airliner designed for use with Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet or Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engines. It was the first airliner to be built with a nose landing gear vysokoplan, a configuration that had not yet been used for passenger aircraft. With this arrangement, the fuselage was about two feet above the ground, making it easier for passengers to board and load than on an aircraft with a conventional standard landing gear.

First flight on February 20, 1939 with Karl A. Chechl at the helm. This single prototype (originally with only eight seats) became the personal jet of William Boeing, who named it the Rover.

Before the entry of the United States into World War II, in addition to the prototype, four production aircraft were built.

In 1939, the US Navy received an order for seven aircraft. Of these, three were 18-seat R3D-1s and were intended for the transport of personnel (the first car crashed before being handed over to the customer), and four - R3D-2 with R-1820-44 engines - were intended for the ILC (Shipping Command) of the US Navy and were equipped with a large sliding cargo door and reclining seats for 22 parachutists. After certification and advanced flight tests, the 16-seat prototype was converted into an executive aircraft for William Boeing, which was later transferred to the US Navy under the designation R3D-3.

A total of 12 aircraft were built, including the prototype.

DC-5 Specification
Crew 3
Wingspan, m 23.77
Wings area, m² 76.55
Length, m 18.95
Height, m 5.84
Силовая установка
2 PE Wright GR-1820-F62 Cyclone 2×850
Weight, kg
Empty 6531
Loaded weight 9225
Maximum speed, km/h 354
Cruising speed, km/h 325
Service ceiling 7,220
Service range, km 2,575
Payload, passengers up to 22

An unusual optical trick was applied to the prototype. The keel edge and the outlines of the engine nacelles were painted in a darker color along the contour, as a result of which the keel and engines looked somewhat smaller than they actually are.

Photo Description
Drawing R3D-2

Drawing R3D-2

Douglas DC-5 # 21701

Douglas DC-5 # 21701


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "American warplanes of World War II" /under cor. David Donald/