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The Douglas Dolphin was an amphibious flying boat. While only 58 were built.


Douglas Dolphin RD-2

Design and development


The Dolphin originated in 1930 as the "Sinbad," a pure flying boat without wheels. The Sinbad was intended as a luxurious flying yacht. Undaunted by the lack of demand, Douglas improved the Sinbad in 1931 so that it was amphibious, and could land on water or land. The improved aircraft was named "Dolphin", however this did not represent the end of development, as many detail improvements were made, including an increase in the length of over a foot and changes made to the empennage, engine nacelles and wings. The Great Depression had curtailed demand for such extravagance as a "flying yacht", but Douglas managed to interest the United States Coast Guard who not only bought the Sinbad, but 12 Dolphins

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Douglas Dolphin RD-2

One was procured by the U.S. Navy as a transport for President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Although never used by Roosevelt, this was the first aircraft procured to provide transportation for the President of the United States

  • History

    Role Multirole flying boat

    Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company

    First flight July 1930 (Sinbad)

    Introduction 1931

    Primary users United States Navy

    United States Coast Guard[

    Number built 58


  • Primary Users

    Crew: Two, pilot and co-pilot

    Capacity: Six passengers

    Length: 45 ft 3 in (13.79 m)

    Wingspan: 60 ft (18 m)

    Height: 15 ft 2 in (4.62 m)

    Gross weight: 9,734 lb (4,415 kg)

    Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-1340-4 Wasp 9-cyl. air-cooled radial piston engines, 450 hp

  • Specifications

    Maximum speed: 149 mph (240 km/h, 129 kn) at sea level

    Cruise speed: 105 mph (169 km/h, 91 kn)

    Range: 692 mi (1,114 km, 601 nmi)

    Service ceiling: 15,100 ft (4,600 m)

    Rate of climb: 806.5 ft/min (4.097 m/s)


You are definitely intrigued to discover RD-2 Dolphin.

The first two were purchased by Wilmington-Catalina Airlines to fly passengers between Los Angeles and Santa Catalina Island, becoming the first successful Douglas airliners. Subsequent examples were ordered by the United States Navy and U.S. Coast Guard for use as transports and search and rescue craft. The U.S. Army Air Corps ordered several under the designations C-21, C-26, and C-29. Many were eventually ordered for their original purpose as luxury transports. Owners included William Boeing, the founder of the Boeing Company, and Philip K. Wrigley, the son of the founder of the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. William K. Vanderbilt bought two with custom interiors for use from the Vanderbilt yacht Alva as flying tenders

Douglas Dolphin RD-2


The Douglas Dolphin was an amphibious flying boat. While only 58 were built.


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