HI David B. , Buzz here. You had commented abotu backing up a B-17. I guess it can be done, but it's hard on the tires and prop tips.
If you have a DC-3 and nose up to the gas pumps, get 6 or 7 husky freinds and push on the top half of the main gear tires. You can roll a DC-3 back far enough to start engines and turn about.
Reversing props are a feature on post- WW2 airplanes. Normally, a DC-3, or B-17 don't need brakes on landing, only to slow down a bit to make taxiway turnoffs, and for engine starts / Mag checks. Don't use them like thrust reversers, you have to fly tailwheel airplanes to a stop.
Buzz Fuselsausage: Line Mechanic by night, DC-3 Crew Chief by choice.