The Douglas Dakota is without doubt one of the most famous and most successful designs of aircraft in history. It was originally known as the Douglas Sleeper Transport and has been known as DC-3 (civilian versions) C-47 Skytrain, AC-47 Gunship, C-53, R4D, C-1117 and Dakota (in UK and Commonwealth service). An amazing 70 years after the design’s first flight on 17th December 1935 the aircraft is still in service throughout the world. It is a design which has truly changed history. The forerunner of the DC-3 flew in 1933 and a small number of orders for these forerunners were placed. This was to change in 1941. With the likelihood of the United States joining the Second World War increasing orders were placed for the C-47 Skytrain also known as model DC-3A-360 and the C-53 (R4D-4) Skytrooper.