Douglas C-47B Dakota

A complete restoration to bring 1943 charm to "Betsy's Biscuit Bomber" was finished mid-summer, 2009 by the restoration crews at Estrella Warbirds Museum. Last assiged with the Israeli Air Forces, this C-47B was first delivered to the Air Transport Command at Roswell AAF in New Mexico. In late September, she left for England and arrived early in October. Information available indicates she was assisgned to the 9th AF (later the Air Service Command of the United States Stratigic Air Forces), 302nd Air Transport Wing, 27th Air Transport Group. Then she saw service with the Belgium, French, and Israeli Air Forces prior to landing in Canada. After sitting silent for six years, the Wonder Boys of our restoration crew went to Canada, fired it up and flew it home to Paso Robles. Prior to leaving Canada, it had a total of only 9,420 flight hours. She was returned to flight status August 1st, 2009.

Betsy's Biscuit Bomber in the News


Manufacturer: Douglas
Year/Model: 1943 C-47B Dakota
S/N: 43-48608
Tail Number: 14424/25869
Power Plant: Two x Pratt & Whitney R-1830-90C Twin Wasp 14 cylinder radial engines 1,200 hp each
Wingspan: 95 feet 6 inches
Length: 63 feet 9 inches
Height: 17 feet 0 inches
Empty Weight: 18,135 lbs)
Loaded Weight: 26,000 pounds
Payload: 6,000 pounds
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 31,000 pounds
Maximum Speed: 224 mph
Maximum Range: 2,125 statute miles
Service Ceiling: 26,400 feet
Crew: 4
Capacity: 28 troops
Status: On Loan
Owner: Gooney Bird Group

*Aircraft listed "On Loan" are privately owned by individuals or corporations and are proudly displayed at the Estrella Warbird Museum. The Estrella WarBirds Museum does not own, restore, operate nor maintain flyable aircraft. We are grateful that the owners display their aircraft at the museum for the public to view. Any courtesy rides given by aircraft owners is an agreement solely between the person that owns the aircraft and passenger.


The C47 was derived from the DC3 family of commercial planes. The military was looking for a good trasport plane. The first flight by the C-47 prototype was made from Clover Field (now Santa Monica, CA) at 3 p.m. on 17th December 1935, which just happened to be the 32nd anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight.

For half a century the Douglas C-47 and its numerous derivatives has remained the most versatile aviation workhorse the world has ever known, and can arguably claim the title of World's Greatest Aircraft. Born in brassy years of the mid-1930s, the DC-3 became the world's standard airliner, before donning warpaint as the world's standard military transport. Both these and other roles have continued unabated through to current times.

Recognizing its great potential as a military transport, the United States Army specified a number of changes needed to make the aircraft acceptable for military use, including more powerful engines, the removal of airline seating in favor of utility seats along the walls, a stronger rear fuselage and floor, and the addition of large loading doors. A large order was placed in 1940 for the military DC-3, which was designated C-47 and became known as "Skytrain," a name it would soon be asked to live up to.

The C-47 had quite a few nicknames: Gooney Bird; Super DC-3 (R4D-8); Skytrooper; Biscuit Bomber; Tabby (NATO code name for the Showa L2D); Cab (NATO code name for Lisunov Li-2); Dumbo (SC-47 Search-and Rescue variant); Sister Gabby/Bullshit Bomber (EC-47 dispensing propaganda-leaflets in Vietnam); Spooky/Puff the Magic Dragon (AC-47 Gunship); Dowager Dutchess; Old Methuselah; The Placid Plodder; Dizzy Three; Old Bucket Seats; Duck; Dak; Dakleton (South African C-47s which replaced their Avro Shackletons), or the Vomit Comet (Nickname used by US Army paratroops during the Normandy invasion.)

Over 13,000 aircraft were built, under various configurations, by multiple manufacturers in multiple countries. N47SJ is one of 64 registered by the FAA and there are approximately 300 still flying in the world.

Initial flyby upon arrival in Paso Robles, CA

Click here to watch aquisition pictures from Villeneuve to Paso Robles!
Click here to watch progress of restoration!
New...Flash slide show. (1-4-08)

Watch the C-47B fire up her engines while under restoration.
Click here to watch the finishing up!
Click here for C-47B tri-view.
Click here for N47SJ history.
Click here for C-47 pre flight briefing, test flight 8-8-09
Click here for C-47 first flight, check flight 8-8-09
Click here for Get Your Chance to Fly on Betsy, 3-1-21
Dakotas Over Normandy