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Restored WWII plane to return to Normandy for D-Day anniversary

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  • Restored WWII plane to return to Normandy for D-Day anniversary

    Very cool.








    The next time the American military transport plane known as Whiskey 7 drops its paratroopers over Normandy, France, it will be for a commemoration instead of an invasion.

    Seventy years after taking part in D-Day, the plane now housed at the National Warplane Museum in western New York is being prepared to recreate its role in the mission, when it dropped troops behind enemy lines under German fire.

    At the invitation of the French government, the restored Douglas C-47 will fly in for 70th-anniversary festivities and again release paratroopers over the original jump zone at Sainte-Mere-Eglise.

    "There are very few of these planes still flying, and this plane was very significant on D-Day," said Erin Vitale, chairwoman of the Return to Normandy Project. "It dropped people that were some of the first into Sainte-Mere-Eglise and liberated that town."

    [....]

    One upgrade it did allow was the installation of two GPS systems to keep the aircraft on course.

    "The avionics in the airplane are modern. We're not going to go with what they had in 1943," Wadsworth said. "They would have had probably a radio beacon receiver and a lot of dead reckoning."

    There is still no autopilot, said Wadsworth's daughter, Naomi, who will be among five pilots — one including her brother, Craig — taking turns at the controls on the way to Europe. That's fine with her, she said.
    Also no hydraulics. The Dakota was "fly by wire" when that meant that there was a set of cables and pulleys that led from the controls in the cockpit to the flaps on the wing and the rudder and whatnot. It's gonna take a long time to get to Normandy from the U.S., but what a great trip that will be!
    It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
    In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
    Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
    Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

  • #2
    I wonder if that plane dropped any members of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
    If it pays, it stays

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Frostbit View Post
      I wonder if that plane dropped any members of Easy Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division.
      Not on D-Day, at least. According to this, the trooper from PA who had originally been on that craft on D-Day was in the 82nd, not the 101st. 505th PIR. That makes sense with the plane flying over Sainte-Mère-Église, since that is where the 505th (mostly) wound up.
      It's been ten years since that lonely day I left you
      In the morning rain, smoking gun in hand
      Ten lonely years but how my heart, it still remembers
      Pray for me, momma, I'm a gypsy now

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Adam View Post
        Not on D-Day, at least. According to this, the trooper from PA who had originally been on that craft on D-Day was in the 82nd, not the 101st. 505th PIR. That makes sense with the plane flying over Sainte-Mère-Église, since that is where the 505th (mostly) wound up.
        Yeah, I googled his name from the article and came up with the same info.

        It's interesting they say not many C-47's left in use yet many still are in use up here as "fuel barges" for when the regular fuel barges can't make it to upriver villages.
        If it pays, it stays

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Adam View Post
          Very cool.


          Also no hydraulics. The Dakota was "fly by wire" when that meant that there was a set of cables and pulleys that led from the controls in the cockpit to the flaps on the wing and the rudder and whatnot. It's gonna take a long time to get to Normandy from the U.S., but what a great trip that will be!
          The only drawback with the older cable control systems was the straight lines necessary and every time you needed to change the force direction you had rollers and that reduced the force applied to the control surface. As the cables were used, they stretched and produced slop. Had to be adjusted on a constant basis. But, if done right, and they did with these types of planes, the 'muscle' necessary to operate the flaps, etc wasn't that bad. Pulleys and cables can act on the same principle of levers. They can multiply or reduce force.

          As to adding GPS, couldn't they just have a bevy of escorts?
          Seems a shame to add modern electronics if it isn't necessary.
          Last edited by Gramps; Monday, March 24, 2014, 5:17 PM.
          Robert Francis O'Rourke, Democrat, White guy, spent ~78 million to defeat, Ted Cruz, Republican immigrant Dark guy …
          and lost …
          But the Republicans are racist.

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          • #6
            Deleted. I misread.
            Last edited by Norm dePlume; Monday, March 24, 2014, 5:21 PM.
            Enjoy.

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