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DC-2/DC-3 Bombers by Fokker

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Just when you thought everything had been said about the DC-3...

This original, 1/20 scale trade-show model was a proposal by Fokker, dated about 1935. Fokker was the exclusive European importer for Douglas Aircraft at the time, and this conversion was made available to countries who might want to make instant bombers out of their growing fleets of commercial DC-3 airliners.

In addition to bomb bay doors behind the wing box, the DC-3 bomber featured a couple of pillbox machine gun turrets on the roof and a bombardier/gunner blister under the cockpit (the model's nose gun is long lost, but the other two survived). DC-3 passenger windows were not covered up, so one can assume these aircraft could be un-converted and returned to commercial service, at the end of the conflict.

The model is all-metal, with retractable gear, and features the signature plate of Joost van Pelt, master model maker for Anthony Fokker. So there were apparently high hopes for this idea at the time, which sounded reasonably good, given the reliability of the airframe.

Any references or documentation about this Fokker project would be greatly appreciated.
 

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XP67_Moonbat

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

During the Football War of 1969, DC-3's were used as bombers. Probably not to this level though.
 

archipeppe

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

The Douglas B-23 "Dragon" it was, at all effects, a bomber variant of the original DC-3:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B-23_Dragon
 

Stargazer2006

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Maybe someone saw the model upside down and thought of the Jumbo Jet...? ;D

(okay, akay, I'm off...)
 

Jos Heyman

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Never heard of this. I noticed that the model has 8 windows in the fuselage but a standard DC-3 has only 7 windows.
Perhaps we are looking at a fantasy model....

Also a B-23 is not a bomber version of the DC-3. Have a good look at pictures of the two and you will see the differences.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

It's not a fantasy model -- this came directly from the old Fokker main assembly plant at Schiphol airfield (Amsterdam) when it closed in 1996. It had been in storage there for decades and was rescued by Fokker personnel. This is further evidenced by the vintage dust, corrosion and 1930s construction methods. It is also much too elaborate (all formed sheet metal, retractable gear and authentic maker's mark) and therefore expensive to be anything but a real project.

This model would have surely been displayed at one of the main air shows or salons of the period, such as Paris or Hanover, and am hoping some documentation still exists.
 

Stargazer2006

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

I seem to recall that the Dragon was presented at the time as a bomber version of the DC-3 by Douglas. The wings are the same, for a start.
 

frank

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker


I don't recall ever hearing that, not that it means much, but to me, a 'version' of something means the version uses a substantial amount of the aircraft it's a version of. The B-23 may have used the same wings, but other than that, I don't think it had much in common with the DC-3. Different engines, nacelles, fuselage, tail, I know the tailwheel was mounted to the side, whther it was the same as a DC-3, I don't know & I know the main gear had doors, whether the gear was different in structure, I don't know. A B-18, OTOH, I would consider a close bomber version of the DC-2, since it used the same wings, tail, engines, etc.


Stargazer2006 said:
I seem to recall that the Dragon was presented at the time as a bomber version of the DC-3 by Douglas. The wings are the same, for a start.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

TsrJoe said:
altho as 'circle-5' notes the model to be an original its definately been restored, note overall finish and lettering typeface (letraset or similar?) definately an interesting find tho, could this be a hitherto unknown DC.2 variant? fuselage does look longer too? id love to see a plan and side view of the model to get a clearer look

many thanks for sharing, cheers, Joe
Yes, the model had to be sanded down and repainted, because of corrosion. Attached is another photo...
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

XP67_Moonbat said:
During the Football War of 1969, DC-3's were used as bombers. Probably not to this level though.
The Soviet used their Lisunov Li-2 as night bomber at WW2. It was a regular mission.

Pepe
 

Stargazer2006

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

The photo above has obviously been doctored... Why the blur on the aircraft? Looks like the airplane has been stuck onto the photo then awkwardly photoshopped... Any explanation for this?
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Stargazer2006 said:
The photo above has obviously been doctored... Why the blur on the aircraft? Looks like the airplane has been stuck onto the photo then awkwardly photoshopped... Any explanation for this?
No, it has not been "doctored" or "photoshopped", awkwardly or otherwise. It's just a bit overexposed, with an old digital camera. I will go take some fresh pictures of this model a bit later...
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

What was the concept behind the ventral hump? Seems very large for a bomb aimers position.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Just to set the record straight... I never assumed nor imagined that circle-5 was presenting us with a "fake" photo (although I must admit it kinda does look like one from a photoshopper's point of view). I was asking why the photo LOOKS like it's been doctored. To this question circle-5 did provide an answer: the photo is over-exposed. Doctoring part of a picture can sometimes be intentional (to counter the effects of over-exposition for instance)... it doesn't mean it's cheating, it just needs to be specified. Apparently it wasn't the case here... Sorry about the misunderstanding!
 

lark

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

It shoulde interesting to know why Fokker choose for a gondola below the front fuselage
instead of of a glazed nose as most of the
bomber derivatives designed by Douglas that were based on their civil planes (DC-1/2 and DC-5)
 

Jos Heyman

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

There are two more things that should be noticed:
1. The tail of the bomber looks more like a DC-2 tail
2. Fokker liked to advertise its version of the DC-2 as 'Fokker Douglas' and I would have expected the model to read 'Fokker Douglas DC-3 Bomber'.

Finally, I have no reason to doubt 'circle-5' explanation as to the source. It may, however, still have been a fantasy model generated by students at a Fokker company school (I am just guessing Fokker had a company school attached to its factory in those days), without the intention of it ever being a real design for the company.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

As requested, here are some additional photos of the DC-3 bomber, in plan and profile views. If this model looks like it's been through WWII, well, it has... This is 74-year-old sheet metal, with dents and bends and rust. I deleted the previous photo and its ghostly halo.

Also attached is a close-up of the model maker's trade medallion, well-known among collectors of historic aircraft models. Joost van Pelt was the master model maker for Fokker, and just like today's display models, this probably cost Fokker a bundle.

In addition, it was made smack in the middle of the great depression, while Hitler was busy rearming Germany right next door. This might explain the utilitarian, almost desperate character of the concept. There was no time or money to burn in 1935 Holland, and if this was some young students' idea of a "fantasy" airplane, they really needed to go out more.

The lettering on the side is hand painted, not Letraset -- what you see is where it was masked when the model was repainted. I have no way of knowing if this lettering dates back to the 30s.

I think the reason for the gondola is that it could be bolted-on quickly, with everything pre-installed inside: bombardier station, gun, bomb-sight, etc. This was, in my opinion, a quick conversion, designed to turn around each DC-3 with minimal downtime and structural modification.

Again, any "real" information would be welcomed!
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Jos Heyman said:
I noticed that the model has 8 windows in the fuselage but a standard DC-3 has only 7 windows.
Perhaps we are looking at a fantasy model....
See attached a couple of non-fantasy DC-3s with 8 windows.
 

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overscan (PaulMM)

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Is there a Fokker archive?

I can't see anything in Flight Archives about it.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

The Flight Archives were also my first and best hope, until I started this topic. I have not heard of a Fokker archive. The company was in serious disarray when it shut down, with many orders still on the books. I am hopeful somebody was doing extensive dumpster-diving at the time, or lots of important history will have been lost.
 

archipeppe

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

If I rembember well also Israel did used C-47/DC-3 as bomber during the first "Arab-Israeli" war back in 1948.
 

Jos Heyman

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

I suggest you place this information on http://www.nederlandseluchtvaart.nl/forums/. There is a special Fokker forum there and may be somebody there can help with further information.
 

Stargazer2006

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Thanks circle-5 for these pictures! ;)
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Here's one, last one, covered with original dust from my attic.
 

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Kadija_Man

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

DC-3 I don't believe can be used as bombers. C-47s (and derivatives) can as they are equipped with external bomb racks for parachute containers. I am aware of them being used during the Greek Civil War and in several other conflicts post-WWII. Then you have the AC-47 "Spooky" gunship conversions.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

"DC-3 I don't believe can be used as bombers"
Remember, the Junkers Ju 52 was used as a bomber, too, with the bombs stowed vertically,
so only quite small bomb bay doors were needed. Perhaps a similar solution was envisaged
for the DC 3 ?
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

...with the bombs stowed vertically...
Didn't some of the late 1930s bombers carry their bombs vertically, often nose-up?
I'm thinking of eg, Ju86, early He111, etc.,

cheers,
Robin.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

A reply dated yesterday on nederlandseluchtvaart forums:

This evening I talked with Willem Vredeling about this model. He told me that Switzerland asked Fokker if they could convert a DC2 or DC3 into a bomber, also Sweden showed interest. He also told me that the bombs had to be stored vertically.

If you look at the underside photo, you can see the bomb bay location, just behind the wing box structure.

Note: Willem Vredeling is a former Fokker employee, who started collecting documentation back in the sixties. Vredeling contributed much of the Fokker Heritage archives at the Lelystad Airport Aviodrome museum, where he is still active.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Jemiba said:
"DC-3 I don't believe can be used as bombers"
Remember, the Junkers Ju 52 was used as a bomber, too, with the bombs stowed vertically,
so only quite small bomb bay doors were needed. Perhaps a similar solution was envisaged
for the DC 3 ?
I was referring more to real-life unmodified DC-3s, rather than something that had, had holes cut in the fuselage for a bomb bay.
 
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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

The Hellenic Air Force used C-47s modified with bomb racks and bomb sights against communist bandits in '46-49.
 

archipeppe

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

robunos said:
...with the bombs stowed vertically...
Didn't some of the late 1930s bombers carry their bombs vertically, often nose-up?
I'm thinking of eg, Ju86, early He111, etc.,

cheers,
Robin.
Bombs were stored vertically even in the Savoia Marchetti SM-79 "Sparviero" reflecting well its civil origins.
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Am I correct in believing that the projection on the nose is a pitot tube and not a Berezin UB?
 

Silencer1

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Hi, Avimimus!

Avimimus said:
Am I correct in believing that the projection on the nose is a pitot tube and not a Berezin UB?
This is a machine gun (7.62 mm ShKAS), not a Pitot'. Actually, LI-2 in this version has been seriously armed - fixed nose MG, top enclosed turret, and two flexible MGs in the rear part of cargo bay.

Cheers!
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

It is nice to be proved wrong (or right...)
Such an installation might be quite useful against searchlights.
Thanks for the info.
 

archipeppe

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

borovik said:
"This is a machine gun perhaps the ShKAS"
Ah... those wacky Russians.
I would really see the face of Donald Douglas looking a things like that.... ;)
 

Silencer1

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Hi!

archipeppe said:
Ah... those wacky Russians.
I would really see the face of Donald Douglas looking a things like that.... ;)
At least, there were license-built aircraft, instead of Tu-4 long-range bombers. So Mr. Douglas have the fair amount of money for this conract.
As far as I knew, this defensive armament kit has been urgently designed and adopted to the aircraft in 1941, within the first months of War. This were a period, where no fighter-covering of big aircraft has been a common situation. So, Li-2, as one of the modern type in USSR' inventory, as well as dedicated cargo-carrier foerced to be used in many sorties of great risk.

By the way, did you mentioned cargo-doors, different to the Douglas C-47 design?
Li-2 was a DC-3' version (not C-47), so it's converted to cargo-carrier in other way.

Cheers!
 

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Re: DC-3 Bomber by Fokker

Attached are some original Fokker drawings of the DC-3 bomber study, along with a couple of DC-2 bomber variants. These drawings came from Mathieu at nederlandseluchtvaart forums, who also translated the following specs for the DC-3 bomber:

Engines: Wright Cyclone SGR 1820 F53
Max speed: 325 KM/H at 3350 m.
Range: 2220 km by 271 KM/H at 3350 m

Thanks to Mathieu in Holland and to Jos for suggesting nederlandseluchtvaart forums.
 

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