Select one of the keywords
Douglas DC-3 Dakota: The Owner's Workshop Manual    by Paul Blackah & Louise Blackah order for
Douglas DC-3 Dakota
by Paul Blackah
Order:  USA  Can
Zenith Press, 2011 (2011)
* * *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

One of the most iconic transports planes ever produced, the Douglas DC-3 not only revolutionized air travel in the 1930s and 1940s but it also played a major role in the Allied victory in the Second World War.

Tough, reliable and easy to operate, the DC-3 (or C-47 as the military dubbed it) was lauded by General Dwight D. Eisenhower as one of the 'four things that won the War'. The other three were the bazooka, the Jeep and the atom bomb!

Since over 10,000 DC-3s were manufactured just for the war alone, the planes had a long life after the conflicted ended.

In Douglas DC-3 Dakota: Owner's Workshop Manual, Paul and Louise Blackah first give a short history of the plane before he focuses on the nuts and bolts information.

After a brief introduction, the author shares The Dakota Story or how the aircraft was modified to serve in the military and for the British RAF. Vintage photos show the Douglas Aircraft Company Long Beach assembly lines where the plane was manufactured.

Then the reader sees how the Dakota was used for everything from paratrooper drops and evacuating wounded soldiers to transporting soldiers and equipment in every theatre of war from Asia and North Africa to Europe.

The Anatomy of the Dakota gets under the skin of the aircraft and by using a series of diagrams and photos, Blackah walks the reader through the plane from the nose assembly and pilot's cabin to the tail section.

All this information about the airframe, fuel, oil, hydraulic and electrical systems may not interest everyone, but for the individual really into aeronautical engineering or for someone restoring the plane, this material is a virtual goldmine of technical information.

A special chapter is also devoted to the Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90D engine that powered the Dakota. The book's fourth chapter, The Owner's View, delves into a little information about restoration and mentions some of the surviving Dakotas that are still airworthy.

Closing out the book are two final chapters that address the aircraft from the crew's view (pre-flight procedures, exterior inspections, starting the engines, etc.) and that of the flight engineer (servicing the plane).

Anyone who seeks detailed information about this historic aircraft that flew under various names (DC-3, C-47, Dakota, the Dak or the Gooney Bird) will wish to purchase this volume. British aircraft restoration expert Paul Blackah and his his wife Louise have created a book that covers just about everything the general aviation enthusiast would like to know about the legendary DC-3 Dakota.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more NonFiction books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews