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Photo ID: 1011369
click image to enlarge
Model: C-47B, R4D-6, DC-3C Registration: N56KS
Year: 1944 Serial Number: 14324/25769, 43-48508, 17266
Engine(s): Wright R1820-76D, 1425-HP Owner: K&K Aircraft, Inc.
Bridgewater, VA
Location: Bridgewater Airpark
Bridgewater, VA
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
Date: 2003, November Present Registration: Same Present Owner (FAA info):
Notes: 6/4/04 - Douglas C-47B-1-DK was built in the Oklahoma City plant as Douglas c/n 14324/25769, and USAAF s/n 43-48508, but was redesignated an R4D-6Z for the U.S. Navy and given s/n 17266 (probably before its August 26, 1944 delivery). This was a staff transport version of the R4D-6. According to the Douglas Production List a block of 12 aircraft, 43-48507/48519 (c/n 25768/25780) went to the Navy as R4D-6 17265/17277.

This aircraft went to Olathe, KS, VR-3, VR-1; to Quonset Point NAS in RI; and Patuxent, MD. In 1962 the USAF and USN combined aircraft designations and this became a C-47J (probably a VC-47J). It went to Litchfield Park, AZ in 1966, probably for storage and eventual disposal. (My twin brother Karl and I put five C-47B/R4D-6's together there in 1966 and flew them back to Coatesville, PA.)

R.J. Heady of Long Beach, CA apparently owned it from June 1972 until 1975. It was FAA registered as N2566B, with Navy s/n 17266. It became N56KS for Kachemak Seafoods in Togiak, AK, and by 1983 was operated by Sea Bear Air Transport in Togiak. Interestingly, it was now FAA registered with s/n 25769, which was the Douglas Construction Number. Probably an FAA guy somewhere along the line insisted on that change. Any one of several serial numbers would be legitimate.

This excellent aircraft is for sale by Karl. You can see specs at Dynamic Aviation. Call Gary Sandridge at 540-828-6070 or email him at gsandridge@dynamicaviation.com. Karl is moving toward an all-turbine fleet and someone will get a real buy on this bird! He has lots of spares and you can probably talk him into a nice package deal.
 

Photo ID: 1011370
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Notes: Karl bought N56KS from IFL Group in Pontiac, MI in March 1990. IFL had used it as a freighter. I did the pre-purchase inspection and found it to be a very clean aircraft structurally. After purchase I delivered it to Bridgewater, VA for him. Since my route was near Kidron, OH, it seemed like the right thing to do, to give the home folks a low pass on the way through.

An 1820-powered DC-3 is obvious by the shorter engine cowl, as the 1820 is a single-row engine and the P&W R1830, twin row. Many DC-3 conversions to 1820's used B-17 components.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011371
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Notes: This is one fine aircraft. With only 16,353 hours total time it is considered a low-time DC-3.

Karl operated it on a Part 135 certificate for a while. He is "picky picky" and I never had reservations about flying his aircraft.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011372
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Notes: Your standard C-47 cargo doors and step. The forward door has the paratrooper insert which is easily removed from inside the aircraft for jumpers.

The opening is 84" wide by 70" high at the front and 55" at the back. The floor inside the door is more level than the main cabin floor, for loading cargo. In a level attitude then, this area slopes somewhat upward toward the rear.

When a C-47 was converted for corporate or airline use, the aft floor beams were lowered to allow the floor to continue at the same angle all the way back. The Airstair door was then installed, and the bottom of it was lower than the cargo door.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011373
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Notes: N56KS has the smooth, aluminum floor. It came to Karl with diamond plate flooring, which is available to go with the aircraft. That's a 24x24" camera hole in the floor. It can easily be returned to standard configuration.

Full de-ice and geared rudder tab are among the features on this aircraft. Over the years Karl also added Pan Am wing tips, Pan Am aileron gap strips, Goodyear disc-type wheels and brakes, oil tank mods and engine oil inlet filters. With those 1425-HP engines this is a real performer! The engine/exhaust combination gives it a real throaty sound, a bit different from most DC-3's.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011374
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Notes: The forward baggage area has been removed, extending the main cabin about four feet. The wood flooring indicates the area that was formerly for baggage. The bulkhead just inside the cargo doors was also removed, extending the cargo area aft as well.

With an empty weight of 17,110# and a gross of 26,900, N56KS has a useful load of nearly 10,000#! This is a real freighter and would also be excellent for jumpers!
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011375
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Notes: That's one hefty cargo winch there! Sooo - - why isn't there one at the back for unloading?
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011376
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Notes: Karl had the instrument panels redone in 1991. This is a very nice cockpit area, cleaner and better organized than most DC-3's. You can see that the bulkhead immediately behind the captain's seat has been eliminated.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011377
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Notes: That's your hydraulic panel, right behind the co-pilot's seat. The upper, red handle (in the horizontal position) is a hydraulic pump selector. Most DC-3's I flew didn't have that. The one below it is the flap selector, with the gear selector near the floor. When parking a DC-3 you split the handles, with the flap handle up and gear handle down, so pressure doesn't build up in the lines.

Note the jump seat for an observer or for use in pilot training, check-rides and so forth. It's a nice feature.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011378
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Notes: "Say Ahhh". This is how you get to the back of the instrument panel to change instruments, check hoses and other inspection and maintenance work on a DC-3.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011379
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Notes: "Kilo Sierra" was built with 1200-HP, P&W R1830-90C's with two-speed blowers. I'm not sure when she was converted to Wright R1820's. A 1988, FAA Form 337 shows the installation of Wright R1820-76B, 1425-HP engines per a one-time STC. The STC application indicates the removal of R1820-72 engines, which are 1350-HP. The owner at the time was Galaxy 1, Inc., of Marion, AR and the STC is in their name.

Some "experts" will tell you that C-47's can't have the Wright engines. Well, this is one of three genuine C-47/R4D-6's that I flew over the years with 1820's, from 1200 to 1425-HP. Obviously, all had been converted from the original R1830's.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011380
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Notes: The other end of a DC-3, with rudder, elevators and tail wheel removed for servicing.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011381
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Notes: May, 1990, at Mt. Pocono, PA (MPO), on a spray contract but still in IFL colors. The Twin Beech is an E-18S, N1400E I believe, which also belonged to Karl.
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 

Photo ID: 1011382
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Notes: Spraying Gypsy Moth near Mt. Pocono. We typically flew at about 50' off the trees. My brother-in-law Paul Beiler lived nearby and took a bunch of photos for me.

My last flight as PIC in a DC-3 was May 17, 1991, when I returned N56KS to Bridgewater at the end of the spray season. I had begun my missionary service in Kenya, Africa and needed to choose between the two. I have many fond memories of this aircraft and other DC-3's I flew off and on from 1965-91, but they don't surpass the joy of helping Kenyan pastors understand what it means to walk with God and equipping them to tell still others!
Photographer: Stoltzfus, Ken
 
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