ACYWG
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Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:52 am

I was talking to my brother (lead painter for Kenn Borek Air ltd.) and he was telling me about a DC-3 they just picked up. Supposedly it's got Turbine engines in it and 6-bladed props! Anybody heard of this? Some sort of upgrade kit for it like they have for some old King Airs?
 
ikramerica
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:14 pm

Yes. DC3 can be retrofitted with prop-jets. It also entails adding a fuselage plug for increased length in front of the wing.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
lowrider
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:32 pm

Basler Aviation in Oshkosh, WI does the conversion. I believe FourStar Cargo has a few of them.
Proud OOTSK member
 
akelley728
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:34 pm

There is a company called Basler Turbo Conversions based out of Oshkosh, WI that specializes in converting DC-3s to turboprop power. Pratt & Whitney PT6A-67R engines with a 5 blade propeller power the converted airframes. In addition to the new engines, Basler updates the cockpit and avionics with digital instruments, puts in a 40 inch fuselage extension ahead of the wings, and modifies the wings, among other things.

If you want more info on the conversion, their website is: http://www.baslerturbo.com/

Here are some of the converted aircraft:


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Photo © Michael Blank
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Photo © Gary Chambers



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Photo © Brian Spurr
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Photo © Malcolm Anderson - t.dot photography




[Edited 2005-09-09 05:35:52]

[Edited 2005-09-09 05:36:28]
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:05 pm

There is a second PT6A conversion for the DC-3, similar to the Basler conversion. These conversions were done in South Africa. You can tell the difference as the nacelle is more rounded:

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Photo © Vivian A Watts



Some of AKelley728's pictures show the Basler conversion (square top nacelles), while others show the South African conversion (rounded nacelles). Interestingly, the engineering for both mods was done by Aircraft Technical Services in Van Nuys California.

Some DC-3s were reengined with RR Darts in the UK for BEA:


Jack Conroy did a similar mod in the US as the Turbo-Three:
http://www.air-and-space.com/Conroy%20Turbo%20Mods/19720412%20Turbo-Three%20a%20l.jpg

This was followed by the Super-Turbo-Three:
http://www.air-and-space.com/Conroy%20Turbo%20Mods/19740612%20Super-Turbo-Three%20a%20l.jpg

Lastly, he also put three PT6As on a DC-3 as the Tri-Turbo-Three:
http://www.air-and-space.com/Conroy%20Turbo%20Mods/19811207%20Tri-Turbo-Three%20a%20l.jpg

[Edited 2005-09-09 07:18:17]
 
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scbriml
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:10 pm

I saw the Tri-Turbo at Van Nuys back in 1978! It also visited Farnborough Air Show that year.  old 

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Photo © Steve Brimley

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COSPN
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Fri Sep 09, 2005 4:59 pm

Royal Thai Airforce Has Several In Operation....Nice....
 
akelley728
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:18 pm

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 4):
Some of AKelley728's pictures show the Basler conversion (square top nacelles), while others show the South African conversion (rounded nacelles). Interestingly, the engineering for both mods was done by Aircraft Technical Services in Van Nuys California.

Thanks for the clarification. Other than the nacelles, what other differences are there between the Basler and South African conversions?
 
gg190
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sat Sep 10, 2005 12:45 am

BEA's RR Dart fitted DC-3's were called 'Pionair's'
 
ikramerica
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:12 am

Quoting AKelley728 (Reply 7):
Thanks for the clarification. Other than the nacelles, what other differences are there between the Basler and South African conversions?

Some didn't seem to have the fuselage plug, so the props were nearly in front of the nose of the craft.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:15 am

Quoting AKelley728 (Reply 7):
Thanks for the clarification. Other than the nacelles, what other differences are there between the Basler and South African conversions?

I just checked my copy of Jane's Aircraft Upgrades 2001-2002. The South African conversions are listed as being performed by either the SAAF or Wonder Air (Pty) Ltd - its hard to tell, but I think Wonder Air actually did them.

The SA mod is listed as having a 1m fuselage plug ahead of the wing, while the Basler mod is listed as having a 1.02m plug. The difference might be just an inaccuracy in the listing. The SA mod has PT6A-65ARs, while the Basler mod uses PT6A-67Rs. Both are listed as having the same power output (1,424 hp). The Basler mod has new wing tips, which the SA mod doesn't have.
 
caboclo
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sat Sep 10, 2005 3:32 am

Personally, I think it's immoral to put turbos on a fine old classic like the Gooney Bird. There's plenty of old turbo-prop commuters around, why do you have to go mess with perfection?
Freight dogs have more fun
 
whitehatter
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sat Sep 10, 2005 3:41 am

Quoting Caboclo (Reply 11):
Personally, I think it's immoral to put turbos on a fine old classic like the Gooney Bird. There's plenty of old turbo-prop commuters around, why do you have to go mess with perfection?

simply because there were plenty of them around to mess with!

It made sense too, as Douglas built them like tanks. What other wartime aircraft is still in frequent commercial use in 2005 like the DC-3? There really has never been anything quite as robust and flexible, so just like the way car enthusiasts update their old Fords and Chevys it was a no-brainer to use the DC-3 as the platform for a low cost updated aircraft.

Nothing like the roar of those old radial pistons though...I'll be sad when the day comes that you cannot hear them in the sky any more.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
GDB
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sat Sep 10, 2005 8:10 am

The South African AF DC-3's also had a basic maritime patrol tasking, as well as transport, just with a surface search radar.
To replace the Shackelton aircraft, which soldiered on as long as possible after the UK refused to supply the apartheid regime with the preferred replacement Nimrods.
(And later France refused to supply Atlantiques).
 
Dougloid
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:09 am

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 4):
Lastly, he also put three PT6As on a DC-3 as the Tri-Turbo-Three:

I worked for Kal Aero back in the eighties and we reconstructed the Polair Triturbo DC3. I've got some photos somewhere in the archives. It had had a cockpit fire on the ramp and a crew went out to snag the front end while another crew went south to florida to snag another fuselage.

It may interest you to know that the guy who put this entire deal together was Maurice Hovious.

The triturbo components were mounted on the new fuselage along with a number of improvements and an avionics suite. My end in all this was the care and feeding of the center engine and otherwise making myself useful. One of the crew had managed to drop it on its nose ruining the propshaft.

After the work, the transformed fuselage was trucked out west and a rigger was hired with a crane to lift off the hulk of the fuselage from the wingset, and the reconstructed fuselage was mounted and secured.

It was test flown and subsequently delivered back to Polar Research Labs, the owner at the time.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Dougloid
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sat Sep 10, 2005 11:27 pm

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 4):
This was followed by the Super-Turbo-Three:

The Super Turbo DC3 looks like those are RR Darts....in addition, there's a Viscount in the background that looks like it's missiing some engines.....hmmmmmmmm....I always heard Conroy was something of a cheap charlie....he did his work in LGB did he not?
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
aeroweanie
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sun Sep 11, 2005 1:18 am

I think Conroy operated out of the Santa Barbara airport (SBA). Yes he operated on a shoestring - I heard a story that he did the initial Guppy conversions out in the open.
 
Dougloid
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:02 am

One comment that the guys made after they got home from the Polair job in Santa Barbara I alluded to was that the lazy PT6 windup definitely made for some careful planning when power was called for...there was not going to be any of that instant on like you'd get from slamming the throttles forward with a nice big R1820 or R1830.

I did not know that Conroy was involved with the Guppy. I always thought it was Aero Spacelines....any way, he was a guy who thought big.

The one who I was thinking about in LGB was Carstedt-he did the TPE331 DeHavilland Dove conversions. A/K/A Carstedt Jetliner

http://www.answers.com/main/ntquery;...nktext=Aero%20Spacelines%2C%20Inc.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
L-188
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sun Sep 11, 2005 4:35 am

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 10):
Yhe SA mod is listed as having a 1m fuselage plug ahead of the wing, while the Basler mod is listed as having a 1.02m plug. The difference might be just an inaccuracy in the listing

Sounds like Basler used standard measures to engineer his airplane while the South Africans used that screwed up metric system in lengthened it by a meter. Which makes no sense, since nothing else in the rest of the aircraft is metric.

The DC-3 aircraft is a tank, but it is hard to argue that an engine that has been out of production for 30 years isn't showing it's age.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
timz
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RE: Turbine Engines On A DC-3?

Sun Sep 11, 2005 7:34 am

"BEA's RR Dart fitted DC-3's were called 'Pionair's' "

They never carried scheduled passengers on Dart DC-3s, did they? Or if they did, not for long?