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Thread: DC-3 maximum range?

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default DC-3 maximum range?

    I did a search using "DC-3 maximum range," but found no definitive information on the topic. When I researched elswhere, for example in the Sybex "Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004, A Century Of Flight" manual, it gives the DC-3 maximum range as 1,845 NM (2,125 MI). Nevertheless, the default Fs9 DC-3 doesn't give even half that distance. That is not realistic. Why this disparity -- and has anyone come up with a proven remedy?

    In the early days of WW-II, the ATC used to fly DC-3s across stretches of the North Atlantic, for example, that would have gotten the pilots drowned in the default Fs9.

    Anthony

  2. #2

    Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?

    You are correct, the default DC-3 does not have anywhere close to the range that it is supposed to. It also does not matter what you do with the throttle/prop/mixture settings....you're still going to get wet crossing the Atlantic.

    I believe the problem lies in either the fuel consumption rate or the fuel tank quantity/capacity. I suspect it is the fuel burn rate, but since I don't have a copy of the DC-3 manual (only have the checklist) I can't confirm this or determine what it should be. If anyone knows what the burn rate should be, please let us know.

    Andrew
    "Radial engines don't leak oil....they're just marking their territory"

  3. #3
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    Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?

    Andrew, I suspect it's the fuel quantity. No realistic burn rate change will more than double the range given in the Fs9 DC-3. As you did, I leaned the mixture and cruised at higher, more efficent altitudes.

    Hey, wait a minute! Maybe you want to double-check me on the mileage of an over-the-water flight I just completed from KEFLAVIK (BIKF) Iceland to NARSARSUAG (BGBW) in Greenland. I used the GPS to plot the course, and used the AP to manually adjust the heading. (I also sped up the rate to 8X over the open sea). I forget how many miles the GPS said the flight was, but I'm almost sure it was more than the default 845. Nevertheless, when I landed at BGBW I still had about 100 gallons left.

    Anthony

  4. Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?

    this is what i did and works for me,i changed the fuel flow in the dc3 cfg file its under
    GeneralEngineData
    xxx
    xxx
    fuel_flow_scalar=0.46 note default is 1.00

    with no weather or wind and using a climb rate of 600fpm and 130kias climb speed at fl120 i get about 1850km range with cruise speed of 160knts.
    not sure if iam done tunning with it but its lot closer than default
    tim

  5. #5

    Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?

    For what its worth, the following is from the USAF Museum web page on the C-47:

    SPECIFICATIONS
    Span: 95 ft. 0 in.
    Length: 64 ft. 5 in.
    Height: 16 ft. 11 in.
    Weight: 33,000 lbs. loaded
    Armament: None
    Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-1830s of 1,200 hp. ea.
    Crew: Six
    Cost: $138,000
    Serial Number: 43-49507
    C/N: 15313/26768
    Displayed As: 43-15174
    PERFORMANCE
    Maximum speed: 232 mph.
    Cruising speed: 175 mph.
    Range: 1,513 miles
    Service Ceiling: 24,450 ft.

    http://www.wpafb.af.mil/museum/modern_flight/mf3.htm



  6. #6
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    Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?

    I have a copy of the C-47 Pilot's Manual. Here is a scan of the C-47 Long Range Level Cruise Fuel Chart. Sorry for the lack of clarity - I don't have OCR software. Hope you can read it.

    Carey

    http://members.cox.net/flyingfortress/c47_range.jpg

  7. #7
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    Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?

    >I have a copy of the C-47 Pilot's Manual. Here is a scan of
    >the C-47 Long Range Level Cruise Fuel Chart. Sorry for the
    >lack of clarity - I don't have OCR software. Hope you can
    >read it.
    >
    >Carey
    >
    >http://members.cox.net/flyingfortress/c47_range.jpg

    After seeing this chart and other references, it is clear that the Fs9 default DC-3's fuel capacity is much less than the capacity of "real world" DC-3s. Where the prototypes could go aloft with a maximum of 1,200 gallons, if needed, the Fs9 DC-3 has a mere 604 gallons. There's the difference in maximum range: half as much fuel.

    Anthony


  8. Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?


    "this is what i did and works for me,i changed the fuel flow in the dc3 cfg file its under
    GeneralEngineData
    xxx
    xxx
    fuel_flow_scalar=0.46 note default is 1.00
    with no weather or wind and using a climb rate of 600fpm and 130kias climb speed at fl120 i get about 1850km range with cruise speed of 160knts.
    not sure if iam done tunning with it but its lot closer than default
    tim"

    can anyone verify that this works...im taking a dc-3 around the world...and i need all the distance i can get!

    James Burns
    KBUY - World Tour 2003

  9. #9
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    Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?

    >
    >can anyone verify that this works...im taking a dc-3 around
    >the world...and i need all the distance i can get!
    >
    >James Burns
    >KBUY - World Tour 2003

    Jim:

    Good luck with the around the world flight. I edited the file using your 0.46 factor, and am now flying from Narsarsuag, Greenland, to Gander, Newfoundland. As I recall, the GPS calculated the original miles at about 850. I took off with a full load of fuel (604 gallons). I'm cruising at 10,000', 28"MP, 2,100 RPM, mixture leaned to 45%. I just guessed at the mixture, lacking any specific DC-3 reference on mixture settings at altitude. The cylinder head temperatures are in the bottom of the green with the 45%.

    If your estimate of maximum range using the 0.46 modification is accurate, I should arrive with slightly less than half fuel remaining. If it is not accurate, and the default maximum range applies, I either may arrive on fumes, or get wet.

    Anthony

  10. #10
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    Default RE: DC-3 maximum range?

    OK, I used the 0.46 modification to the fuel flow suggested by Tim, filled the tanks (604 gallons) and flew a 797 mile flight. I cruised at 10,000', set the power at 28"MP, props 2100 RPM, and leaned the mixture to 38%. My payload was 4,000 lbs. When I landed at my destination and shut down the engines, I had used 241 gallons of the fuel.

    According to my calculations, under the SAME weather conditions, cruising altitude, payload, fuel load and power settings, this modification will give the DC-3 a maximum range of 1997 miles, if you just keep flying until it runs out of fuel and falls out of the sky. It seems, therefore, that the modification does give the Fs9 DC-3 the approximate maximum range of the real life prototype. That should help Jim on his around the world flight. Keep us posted on its progress Jim.

    Anthony

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