Douglas C-47C Skytrain Floatplane Color Photographs

During the Second World War a small number of C-47 Skytrain transports were converted to amphibians  by installing two large floats.  The floats were constructed by the EDO Corporation of College Park, New York.  The amphibious Skytrains were intended for medical rescue work and supply of Pacific Island outposts.
EDO constructed a total of 33 sets of floats and Douglas manufactured approximately 50 airframes with the floatplane conversion hardware installed.  11 airframes were fitted with floats, making them the largest floatplanes ever built.
Serial numbers known to have been converted are 42‑5671, 41‑18582, 42-92577, 42‑92699 and 42-108868.
The floats were 42 feet long and were divided into fourteen compartments.  The floats each contained a 325 gallon fuel tank.  The aircraft was fully amphibious and could operate from either land or water.  The floats contained a fully retractable nosewheel and a semi-retractable mainwheel and the float step.
42‑5671 was used for the initial test program and is the most photographed of the C-47C floatplanes.  It crashed into Jamaica Bay, NY on 13NOV43 during load tests and was written off.
The floatplanes operated as far North as Alaska and as far South as Australia.  In model form the C-47C has been kitted in 1/144 scale by Minicraft.  Resin conversion sets have been produced in 1/72 scale but are currently unavailable.  An unusual subject for modelers lucky enough to locate a set!
One amphibian was operated in civilian livery by Folsom Aviation.  This is an ex-USAAF C-53D, serial 42-68834, and was converted by her civilian owners to a floatplane using a set of surplus EDO floats.  The struts are not standard, they were made from Aluminum tubing compressed into oval sections.  Her FAA certificate is Experimental, not authorized as a commercial transport for passenger service.  The floats were removed for repairs in 2008, the aircraft has since been returned to a standard wheeled configuration.
Surprisingly, there is color video footage of the EDO floats leaving the factory and the XC-47C test flights.  Screen captures are below, a link to the video is here:



























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