Douglas DC-2 and variants


Stan Dudek, Michal Ovččk and Karel Susa


4 plus



Scott Van Aken

Notes:  ISBN 80-902559-8-1

I'm sure we are all familiar with the story of the Douglas DC-3. It was the first truly successful modern airliner and the aircraft that all airliners since have used as a basis for their design.

However, few are really knowledgeable about its predecessors, the DC-1 and DC-2.

As with all aircraft, there was a learning stage and while the DC-1 was a great start, it was somewhat limited in its ability to carry passengers with room for but 12 plus a crew of three. However, the DC-1 was an excellent technology demonstrator and a great plane to use to work out some of the bugs. It was also used by TWA to help train new pilots on its new DC-2 aircraft. Just to let you know how good the DC-1 was, it was a TWA requirement that the aircraft be able to continue to fly on take off if it lost an engine. This meant being able to do it hot and high as one of TWA's stops was Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was successfully able to do just that and immediately won the contract for more planes from TWA.

The DC-2 was quite similar to the DC-1, differing mainly in the addition of two more seats, making it a 14 passenger aircraft. It used the same basic wing and tailplane of the DC-1 with more powerful engines. There were also a much larger number of DC-2s built and the aircraft went on to get production orders from many airlines, including those overseas. The aircraft also saw use in military forces.

The authors have done an outstanding job of telling the story of the DC-1 and DC-2. In fact, it is a much more detailed history than found in some of the other 4plus books and is greatly appreciated. It includes both civil and military operations, including those that were captured by the Germans and used by Lufthansa until parts supplies became a problem, when they were then sold off. The Spanish DC-2s also make for a most interesting story.

This is all further enhanced by detail photos taken from period images and a few from a survivor that is still flying. There are several pages of full color profiles and a page of color photos as well. A complete listing of all DC-2 aircraft and their known history is provided and an excellent set of 1/72 plans make for an outstanding book on this most important aircraft.

Overall, this is a superb book that is both an interesting read and a most complete modeler's reference. One that I can recommend to you without reservation. Your local stockist or hobby shop should be able to order this for you.

Review copy courtesy of 4+. In the US, contact 4+ N.A., 855  Bebout Road, Venetia PA  15367

E-mail: x4plus@fyi.net TEL/FAX: 724 941 8755. To see the full line visit www.4pluspublications.com

November 2006

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