DC-3 Celebrating 76 years of Service, seen here at the "Last Time" event, Whiteside County Airport IL.
The DC-3 Herpa Wings is a DC-3A, serial number 2054, now registered as N143D owned by Dan Gryder Griffin GA. It was built by Douglas Aircraft in October of 1938 (so it is 73 in October) and shipped via boat to Europe with the wings off and then re-assembled in Switzerland. It made its first flights there flying the colors of Swiss Air.
The airliner returned to the USA to fly as a passenger aircraft for Ozark airlines until 1967 when it was sold several times and used as a corporate executive transport aircraft for several different companies. Then N143D took on a new lifestyle in 1974 as it was converted to a freight aircraft. The seats were removed and an all metal cargo floor was installed. The landing gear was upgraded to the heavier C-47 gear and the maximum gross weight was increased to 26,900 Pounds.
The aircraft can carry 820 gallons of fuel located in four separate tanks, allowing a range in excess of 9 hours. The airplane has Pratt and Whitney 1830 - 92 engines that develop 1200 HP each for takeoff. With full fuel, the airplane can carry a crew of 2, almost 5000 pounds of payload, takeoff from a runway less than 3000 feet long, and still stay in the air over 9 hours! The control surfaces are covered with fabric; the ailerons alone are almost the size of a small Cessna! It has 28 cylinders, 56 spark plugs, and the oil tank for each engine holds almost 30 Gallons of oil!
It has clocked around 56000 hours in the air. It has all new engines, props, tires, brakes, control surfaces, engine pre-oilers, and a new state of the art avionics suite!.
Dan Gryders Website
Canadian Airline Blog