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Revision as of 12:04, 28 November 2009
This aircraft page is in two sections
The C-47A in World War II
Douglas C-47A-65-DL Skytrain 'U5-N' 2100558, 'Buzz Buggy'
Flown by the 81st Troop Carrier Squadron, 436th Troop Carrier Group, based at Membury in England between March 1944 - February 1945. (It also took part in the airborne assault on Southern France, based at Voltone, Italy, during July and August 1944. The Mission tally on the scoreboard of 'Buzz Buggy', together with its invasion stripes, suggest participation in the Normandy, Southern France, Nijmegen and Bastogne operations, both as a paratroop carrier and as a glider tug. Buzz Buggy served with honors in the USAAF until it was surplused to the Honduran Air Force. It was flown by the Escuadrón Aéreo 3 (Transporte). The true Buzz Buggy was taken out of Service on September 11 1970, and is currently preserved in Carrasco. Buzz Buggy is most likely the most well know of DC-3 paint jobs. If you Google C-47 you will come up with at least 2 pictures of it and many die cast models. It has been the Subject of Models and it is the Default paint scheme of Aces High 2. The fame of this paint scheme is thanks to the C-47A C/N 12862.
During 1946 Douglas Acft Co. converted military C-47s for civilian service. One of these was C/N 12862, after the conversion it was registered under NC33692 and was owned and operated by R.M. Hollingshead out of Camden NJ. When it was sold on 22 Aug 1946 to Tennessee Gas Transmission, and registered in Houston Texas. In November of 1953 it changed registration numbers and became N503T. The company changed to Tenneco Inc, and it flew for them from 1963 until December of 1966. After that the registration was changed to N503L, and the owner changed to Jack Adams Afct sales Inc, out of Walls,MI, where it stayed until Sept 1968. L Lemak brought the soon to be famous Goony Bird back to Houston Texas, where it was flown in a Red and White Livery, with the N number N491P. In July of 1970 Confederate Air Force bought the plane and it was repainted to the “Buzz Buggy” paint job that is so well known today. It flew out of the Harlingen, Texas based Headquarters of the C.A.F and re-certified on 18 April 1973. On 29 July 1980 Lastraire Inc of Brownsville, Texas bought the plane and it flew Cargo internationally with them until March of 1984. It was sold to Normair International out of Miami. Sadly as of 1991 no action has been taken with the FAA. The N number is still registered to C-47 12862, since there has been no action recorded by the FAA or the NTSB, one can only assume that something happened to the majestic bird, somewhere and doing something that was never claimed.
This is the history of just one of these Great planes, the life of which has spanned more than Seventy four years. Next time you see one of these think about what events in history that that one bird saw, took part in, and accomplished. From the first wave of airborne troops at Bastonge, to hauling supplies for Task force Smith in Southern Korea. From flying troops and supplies in Vietnam, Close air support in the form of the AC-47, to flying Electronics and Barbie Dolls into Mexico. Every DC-3, C-47, or R4D, has a history. Thanks to modern upgrades these wonderful planes that have done so much for the world will continue to fly for many years to come. They continue to serve militarizes all over the world, and supply relief in third world countries. Why? Because no matter when it was built, there is not a plane that can do what a Goony bird can. Whether it is bringing a tear of joy to a Veterans eye at an air show as it rumbles in front of the crowd with the original Pratt 1830’s, or delivering Medical supplies in a third world country powered by Pratt PT-6 turbines, there will be a place for these planes for a long time to come, Just another generation of pilots and passengers in the long life of the irreplaceable Gooney Bird. I would like to thank, National Air and Space museum, and the Commemorative Air Force, for their help in doing the research on this plane. Most of all I would like to thank Lewis Barr for introducing me to the real Buzz Buggy all those many years ago
The C-47A in Aces High II
Aces High II Performance Charts
Fighting in the C-47A
Your only defense in the C-47A is your turning ability, but be careful of overstressing the airframe at high speed (note that 'high' speed for a C-47 is very low - at sea level cruising speed, pulling all the way back on the stick will cause you to lose your wings shortly afterwards). A C-47 should be able to out-turn most fighters
Fighting against the C-47A
You should be able to kill a C-47 in about anything. Don't worry about it running away, it can't, a Hurricane can catch it. If you overshoot, don't worry about it taking pot shots at you, it can't.
Soda's Aircraft Evaluations