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Posted 6/23/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
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Douglas C-39
Douglas C-39. The Douglas C-39 was basically a production version of the C-38 and shows the DC-3 style tail. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The first C-33 built (S/N 36-70) was modified at the Douglas factory and became the sole C-38. The primary modification done to the plane was to replace the DC-2 style aft fuselage and tail with a DC-3 style tail section. The hybrid nature of this modification earned the plane the unofficial nickname "DC-2½".

Besides the changes to the tail, the C-38 was fitted with more a powerful version of the Wright R-1820 Cyclone radial engine. The new engines generated 930 hp each and were fitted with larger diameter constant speed propellers. A taller main landing gear was added to the plane to give the proper propeller ground clearance while taxiing.

The successful flight test program conducted with the C-38 led to a follow-on order for 35 production aircraft designated C-39s.

After testing was completed, the C-38 was used as a staff transport and served throughout World War II with the Army Air Forces until the spring of 1945.

Type Number built/
C-38 1 (cv) Modified C-33

Engines: Wright R-1820-45 radials of 930 hp each
Maximum speed: 208 mph
Cruising speed: 170 mph
Range: 1,100 miles
Service ceiling: Approx. 20,000 ft.
Span: 85 ft. 0 in.
Length: 61 ft. 6 in.
Height: 19 ft. 7 in.
Weight: 18,500 lbs. maximum gross weight 
Crew: Two (pilot and co-pilot)
Passenger capacity: 12 passengers or 2,400 lbs. of cargo
Serial number: 36-70 

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