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Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) "1923"

he Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) was developed to meet a requirement from the United States Army Air Service for an aircraft suitable for an attempt at the first flight around the world. The Douglas Aircraft Company responded with a modified variant of their DT torpedo bomber, the DWC.

Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) "1923"

RoleSeaplane
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
DesignerDonald Douglas
First flightNovember 1923[1]
Primary userU.S. Army Air Service
Number built5
Developed fromDouglas DT

Douglas

Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) "1923"

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Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) "1923"

The Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) was developed to meet a requirement from the United States Army Air Service for an aircraft suitable for an attempt at the first flight around the world. The Douglas Aircraft Company responded with a modified variant of their DT torpedo bomber, the DWC.

Five aircraft were ordered for the round-the-world flight: one for testing and training and four for the actual expedition. The success of the World Cruiser bolstered the international reputation of the Douglas Aircraft Company. The design of the DWC was later modified to create the O-5 observation aircraft, which was operated by the Army Air Service.

Douglas DWC Design

 

In 1923, the U.S. Army Air Service was interested in pursuing a mission to be the first to circumnavigate the earth by aircraft, a program called “World Flight”.[2] Donald Douglas proposed a modified Douglas Aircraft Company DT to meet the Army’s needs. The two-place, open cockpit DT biplane torpedo bomber had previously been supplied to the Navy, thus shortening production time for the new series.[3] The DTs to be modified were taken from the assembly lines at the company’s manufacturing plants in Rock Island, Illinois and Dayton, Ohio.[4] Douglas promised that the design could be completed within 45 days after receiving a contract. The Air Service agreed and lent Lieutenant Erik Nelson, a member of the War Department planning group, to assist Douglas. Nelson worked directly with Douglas at the Santa Monica, California factory, to formulate the new proposal.[

Operators

 United States

  • From 17 March 1924, the pilots practiced in the prototype which served as a training aircraft. On 6 April 1924, the four expedition aircraft, named BostonChicagoNew Orleans and Seattle, departed Sand Point, Washington, near Seattle, Washington[N 3]Seattle, the lead aircraft, crashed in Alaska on 30 April. The other three aircraft with Chicago assuming the lead, continued west across Asia and Europe relying on a carefully planned logistics system, including prepositioned spare engines and fuel caches maintained by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, to keep the aircraft flying.

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Douglas World Cruiser (1923)

From 17 March 1924, the pilots practiced in the prototype which served as a training aircraft.[6] On 6 April 1924, the four expedition aircraft, named BostonChicagoNew Orleans and Seattle,[N 2] departed Sand Point, Washington, near Seattle, Washington[N 3]Seattle, the lead aircraft, crashed in Alaska on 30 April.[10] The other three aircraft with Chicago assuming the lead, continued west across Asia and Europe relying on a carefully planned logistics system, including prepositioned spare engines and fuel caches maintained by the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, to keep the aircraft flying.[11] Boston was forced down and damaged beyond repair in the Atlantic, off the Faroe Islands.

Specifications

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 35 ft 6 in (10.82 m) (landplane) 39 ft (12 m) (floatplane)
  • Wingspan: 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 7 in (4.14 m) (landplane)
  • Empty weight: 4,380 lb (1,987 kg) (landplane)
  • Gross weight: 6,995 lb (3,173 kg) (landplane)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Liberty L-12 V-12 water-cooled piston engine, 420 hp (310 kW)


Maximum speed: 103 mph (166 km/h, 90 kn) at sea level (landplane)100 mph (87 kn; 160 km/h) (floatplane)
Ferry range: 2,200 mi (3,500 km, 1,900 nmi) (landplane)
1,650 mi (1,430 nmi; 2,660 km) (floatplane)
Service ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,000 m) (landplane)
7,700 ft (2,300 m) (floatplane)
Wing loading: 9.9 lb/sq ft (48 kg/m2) (landplane)
11 lb/sq ft (54 kg/m2) (floatplane)
Power/mass: 0.06 hp/lb (0.099 kW/kg) (landplane)
0.054 hp/lb (0.089 kW/kg) (floatplane)

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Five aircraft were ordered for the round-the-world flight: one for testing and training and four for the actual expedition. The success of the World Cruiser bolstered the international reputation of the Douglas Aircraft Company. The design of the DWC was later modified to create the O-5 observation aircraft, which was operated by the Army Air Service.

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