DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT COMPANY
The Douglas Aircraft Company was an American aerospace manufacturer based in Southern California. It was founded in 1921 by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. and later merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas. Douglas Aircraft operated as a division of McDonnell Douglas afterwards. McDonnell Douglas later merged with Boeing in 1997.
The company was founded by Donald Wills Douglas, Sr. on July 22, 1921 in Santa Monica, California, following dissolution of the Davis-Douglas Company. An early claim to fame was the first circumnavigation of the world by air in Douglas airplanes in 1924. In 1923, the U.S. Army Air Service was interested in carrying out a mission to circumnavigate the Earth for the first time by aircraft, a program called "World Flight". Donald Douglas proposed a modified Douglas DT to meet the Army's needs. The two-place, open cockpit DT biplane torpedo bomber had previously been produced for the U.S. Navy. The DTs were taken from the assembly lines at the company's manufacturing plants in Rock Island, Illinois and Dayton, Ohio to be modified. The modified aircraft known as the Douglas World Cruiser (DWC), also was the first major project for Jack Northrop who designed the fuel system for the series. After the prototype was delivered in November 1923, upon the successful completion of tests on 19 November, the Army commissioned Douglas to build four production series aircraft. Due to the demanding expedition ahead, spare parts, including 15 extra Liberty L-12 engines, 14 extra sets of pontoons, and enough replacement airframe parts for two more aircraft were chosen. These were sent to airports along the route. The last of these aircraft was delivered to the U.S. Army on 11 March 1924. The four aircraft left Seattle, Washington, on 6 April 1924, flying west, and returned there on 28 September to great acclaim, although one plane was forced down over the Atlantic and sank. After the success of this flight, the Army Air Service ordered six similar aircraft as observation aircraft. The success of the DWC established the Douglas Aircraft Company among the major aircraft companies of the world and led it to adopt the motto "First Around the World - First the World Around". Douglas adopted a logo that showed aircraft circling a globe, replacing the original winged heart logo. The logo evolved into an aircraft, a rocket, and a globe. This logo was later adopted by McDonnell Douglas, and then became the basis of Boeing's current logo after their 1997 merger.
The company is most famous for the "DC" (Douglas Commercial) series of commercial aircraft, including what is often regarded as the most significant transport aircraft ever made: the Douglas DC-3, which was also produced as a military transport known as the C-47 Skytrain or "Dakota" in British service.
Many Douglas aircraft had long service lives. Douglas Aircraft designed and built a wide variety of aircraft for the U.S. military, including the Navy, Army Air Forces, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The company initially built torpedo bombers for the U.S. Navy, but it developed a number of different versions of these aircraft, including reconnaissance planes and airmail aircraft.
Within five years, the company was building about 100 aircraft annually. Among the early employees at Douglas were Ed Heinemann, "Dutch" Kindelberger, and Jack Northrop, who later founded the Northrop Corporation.
The company retained its military market and expanded into amphibian airplanes in the late 1920s, also moving its facilities to Clover Field at Santa Monica, California. The Santa Monica complex was so large, the mail girls used roller skates to deliver the intracompany mail.
By the end of World War II, Douglas had facilities at Santa Monica, El Segundo, Long Beach, and Torrance, California, Tulsa and Midwest City, Oklahoma, and Chicago, Illinois.
After losing thousands of workers to military service, American manufacturers hired women for production positions, to the point where the typical aircraft plant's workforce was 40% female. In 1934, Douglas produced a commercial twin-engined transport plane, the Douglas DC-2, followed by the famous DC-3 in 1936. The wide range of aircraft produced by Douglas included airliners, light and medium bombers, fighter aircraft, transports, reconnaissance aircraft, and experimental aircraft. -- WIKIPEDIA
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The Douglas O-43 was a monoplane observation aircraft used by the United States Army Air Corps.
Five Y1O-31A service-test aircraft were ordered in 1931, and delivered to the USAAC in early 1933 designated Y1O-43. They differed from the final configuration of the O-31A, with a wire-braced parasol wing, and a new fin and rudder. An order for 23 O-43A aircraft was completed during 1934, with a deepened fuselage, which eliminated the need for the ventral bulge under the observer's position. Powered by a single 675 hp Curtiss V-1570-59 inline engine, it also had taller vertical surfaces with an inset rudder similar to the O-31A. The canopy was enlarged, and fully enclosed both cockpits. The O-43 and O-43A served with the USSAC observation squadrons for several years before being assigned to National Guard units, such as the 111th Observation Squadron Brownwood Airfield Texas, 15th Observation Squadron Fort Sill Oklahoma, and 3rd Observation Squadron Langley Field Virginia. The 24th airframe of the O-43A contract was completed as the XO-46 prototype (see Douglas O-46).