Max Range of DC-3?

Recommended Posts

In the Learning Center, the specifications for the default DC-3 list the maximum range as 1845 nm. I've been flying this A/C for several days and have yet to figure out how this figure is arrived at.

To try to determine how this figure is calculated I set up the '3' with no load except a 170 lb pilot and full fuel load (3624 lbs) and took of from KGRB to KTUL. I arrived there with 1415 lbs fuel on board. Total fuel used was 2209 lbs. or 61% total fuel for a distance of 618 nm.

Extrapolating from these figures gives a range of 1013 nm.

I flew No Wind NO Weather at 5000'. MP 28" RPM at 2050. Cruising speed at 140 to 143 knts.

My question is: How is the 1845 nm figure in the Learning Center arrives at?

I have a similar question about the cruising speed which is given in the LC as 161 knots. Cruise Power settings are given a 20" and 2050 RPM. No way, in level flight have I approached 161 Knots.

Share on other sites

These are "by the book" numbers. In reality, they don't mean much except if you're trying to compare one type of aircraft against another. ;)

When you were trying to hit 160 knots, did you take your ground speed into account or were you looking only at airspeed? :pilot: Many times, a "book" value is based on the best numbers the company's engineers could calculate. Sometimes, those numbers were "massaged" quite a bit to generate sales.

In reality, there are too many variables (wind speed, loads, direction, temperature, humidity, etc, etc, etc) to quote a book value. Age, wear and modifications of the airframe and engines will also play a role.

Share on other sites

The Default DC-3 isn't modeled exactly 'by the book'; in order to get book 'values' with regards to the 1845nm total range, you'll need to add a 4th Tank.

This can be accomplished in several ways; there is a 4 Tank add on in the File Library or you could use the Manfred Jahn C-47 for FS9, which is modeled much closer to the actual airplane.

At 20.5 # MP and 2,050 RPM you'll typically be @ 145 IAS, burning around 90-92 Gals/hr.

Alan :pilot:

"I created the Little Black Book to keep myself from getting killed..." -- Captain Elrey Borge Jeppesen

AMD 1.9GB/8GB RAM/AMD VISION 1GB GPU/500 GB HDD/WIN 7 PRO 64/FS9 CFS CFS2

Share on other sites

The other thing you can do to increase range is use a lower cruise power. These are often listed as long range cruise power, etc. While the flight will take you longer, you will get small range advantage.

For the speeds, look up the difference between true airspeed (listed in the Learning Center) and indicated airspeed (displayed on your instruments).

Finally, DC-3s had many different fuel tank layouts (including fuselage tanks), and those would alter the range of a given aircraft. As stated above, adding a 4th tank is probably necessary to get that range.

And finally, I would also suggest replacement flight dynamics, which will give you a more realistic flight.

Tom Gibson

CalClassic Propliner Page: http://www.calclassic.com