Douglas World Cruiser / DWC

 

douglasworldcruiser


By the mid-twenties rivalry between the U.S. Army Air Service and the Navy was at its height, and the Air Service made repeated attempts to keep in the public eye and favour. It pioneered the U.S. Air Mail service at great cost in lives and air-craft, and made many long-distance flights and record attempts. In July 1923, U.S. Army Air Service disclosed that it intended to attempt a global flight the following year. Four specially-built two-seat Douglas World Cruisers were used for this last achievement, each powered by a 400 hp Liberty engine and with interchangeable wheel and float undercarriages for the over-land and over-water sectors. As far as structure was concerned, the DWC was identical to the DT-2. The internal equipment, however, was specially designed for the round-the-world attempt and the saving in weight by deletion of the military load (torpedo with release gear, firing sight, etc) was used to increase the range of the aeroplane to 3,540km by fitting extra petrol and oil tanks - totalling 2,437.8 litres.


The all-up weight (floats) was 3,710kg. The improved engine, a 313kW Liberty, offered a weight of less than 0.91kg per hp.
Wings: Sitka Spruce, Cotton Covering
Fuselage: Steel Tube, Sitka Spruce, Cotton Covering
Empennage: Sitka Spruce, Cotton Covering
Cowling: Aluminum


Named after the cities of Seattle, Chicago, Boston and New Orleans, the four aircraft took off from Lake Washington, Seattle, on April 6. 1924 Seattle hit a mountainside in Alaska. After completing much of the journey, Boston force-landed in the Atlantic, the other two arrived back at Seattle on September 28, after a 27,534-mile flight over 28 countries. It took 175 days, with a flying time of 371 hours 11 minutes. Throughout the journey the crews prevailed against an endless series of forced landings, repairs, bad weather, and other mishaps that continually threatened the success of the flight.

DWC Landplane
Engine: Liberty, 400 hp / 313kW
Wingspan: 15.24 m / 50 ft 0 in
Length: 10.82 m / 35 ft 6 in
Height: 4.14 m / 13 ft 7 in
Wing area 65.68 sq.m / 707 sq. ft
Empty weight 1950 kg / 4,300 lb
Loaded weight 3137 kg / 6,915 lb
Max. speed 166 km/h / 103 m.p.h
Cruise speed: 85 km/h / 53 mph
Ceiling 3050 m / 10,000 ft
Range 3540 km / 2,200 miles.
Crew: 2

DWC Seaplane
Engine: Liberty, 400 hp / 313kW
Wingspan: 15.24 m / 50 ft 0 in
Length: 10.82 m / 35 ft 6 in
Height: 4.14 m / 13 ft 7 in
Wing area 65.68 sq.m / 707 sq. ft
Empty weight 5,100 lb
Loaded weight 7,715 lb
Max. speed 100 m.p.h
Ceiling 7.000 ft
Range 1,650 miles.
Crew: 2