Douglas World CrusierItem Number: 2005
The Douglas World Cruiser was one of the most famous of the early Douglas airplanes. Ordered by the U.S. Army Air Service in 1923, five Douglas World Cruisers were built for the sole purpose of attempting the first circumnavigation of the globe by air. The DWC was a modified version of the DT-2 torpedo bomber the company had built for the Navy. But its fuel system was completely redesigned to increase capacity from 115 gallons in the DT-2 to 644 gallons for the DWC. Other changes included a different vertical tail with extra bracing struts beneath the tail, and bringing the pilots and flight mechanics cockpits closer together to improve communication between the two. The DWC retained the DT-2s 420 hp Liberty V-12 engine but two different sized radiators were included, the larger one for use in the tropics. Finally, the DWCs undercarriage was designed to be easily changed from wheels to floats for operations from land or sea. The prototype, built in 45 days and at a cost of $23,721, was delivered to the Army for evaluation in November 1923. Soon after, Douglas received a contract for four production aircraft. On March 17, 1924, four DWCs and their eight crew members left Clover Field, Santa Monica, Calif., for Seattle, Wash., the official starting point. On June 26 they reached Calcutta in India where the floats were replaced with wheels. On September 28, as landplanes, they returned to Seattle. They had logged 27,553 miles in six months and six days, with an actual flying time of 371 hours. They had touched down in 28 countries and had crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The flight was the greatest feat in aviation up to that time and earned the Douglas Aircraft Company its motto, "First Around the World.
Mahogany Wood. Scale: 1/32. Wingspan 19 1/8 inches, Length 14 3/4 inches.