The Douglas DC-1 and DC-2

The story of  TWA and the DC-1 has been told many times, and has taken on almost legendary status.  However, it's a fascinating story of corporate blunders and shining success.

After Knute Rockney was killed by the crash of a TWA Fokker airliner (caused by the failure of a wooden wing spar), the US then ruled that all airliners should have metal wings.  Thus, TWA needed new all-metal planes.  United Air Lines, part of the United Aircraft conglomerate (it also included Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and Hamilton-Standard!), was flying the new Boeing 247, which was a giant step forward compared to the Ford and Fokker Trimotors of TWA.  When TWA asked Boeing for an order of the planes, they responded that they were required to finish the entire United order first, which could take years.  

TWA then decided to issue a specification for a new tri-motor airliner, with very stringent requirements.  These included the demand that the aircraft should be able to take off at full load from any TWA-used airport with one engine out.  In 1932 TWA invited five companies to submit designs, and Douglas submitted instead a design for a very modern twin-engined plane, more advanced than Boeing's 247.  Douglas' plane looked very radical, and TWA decided it needed to cover its bets.  Thus, General Aviation , the name for Fokker Aircraft (US) after takeover by General Motors, submitted a bid for a traditional trimotor, and was eventually accepted along with the Douglas bid.  This plane was actually constructed, although by the time it was nearing completion, the DC-1 was proving itself, and the GA plane was scrapped before it ever flew.

It wasn't clear that the new DC-1 would meet all of the stiff TWA requirements, but the development of the variable speed propeller and more powerful engines just when the DC-1 needed them allowed it to prove itself clearly superior to any airliner yet flying.  However, the test program wasn't without problems.  On the very first flight, the DC-1 lost power in both engines shortly after leaving the ground, and dropped sharply (luckily the ground dropped away at the end of the Santa Monica runway).  Seconds before the plane hit the ground, the engines sputtered to life and it began to climb.  The same thing then happened again, and then several times again.  An emergency landing was made on a golf course fairway, and the plane was safe, due only to the skill of the pilots.  Upon inspection, nothing wrong could be found, and three more hazardous flights were made with the plane rollercoastering around the sky.  Climb, and the engines cut out.  Dip the nose; the engines came back to life!  It was eventually discovered that the carburetors could be installed reversed 180 degrees, and that they were apparently installed backwards at the Wright factory.  When they were finally reversed, the engines performed normally.  This lead to the concept that parts should be designed such that they fit in only one orientation.  Other problems were also encountered, including landing gear collapses. The DC-1, however, passed all of TWA's tests, and it apparently operated a few scheduled services with TWA.  It went to Spain with LAPE in 1938, then passed to SATA, and was damaged beyond repair in 1940.

The production model was the DC-2, which was slightly larger, with seats for 14 passengers.  They were powered with 710 hp Wright Cyclones, and first flew in May 1934.  About 200 DC-2's were produced, with American, Eastern and TWA being the main operators.  Pan American, KLM, and Swissair also operated the DC-2, among others.  It was also used in military service, mainly as the C-33 and R2D.  The DC-2 remained in service for many years after WWII, usually with smaller airlines or in freight service.

FS2004/FSX DC-2 is released!

Press release.

The "UIVER" team is proud to anounce the release of the Douglas DC2 for FS2004 and FSX.
After many years of hard work and thorough research, it's finally ready.

The revenue from the sales will be donated to the Aviodrome, Dutch National Aviation Theme Park and Museum.
Aviodrome has one of the worlds last two airworthy Douglas DC-2's in their collection. The real plane is maintained by volunteers and with the money raised from individual and corporate donations. By selling the DC-2 package we hope to contribute to keeping this unique, priceless and historic aircraft in flying condition. Your purchase will be a very welcome contribution!

The package will be sold through the well known secure Flight1 system.

For complete information on the features of this package and a link to download the Douglas DC2 for FS2004 and FSX please visit this site:

Support issues and questions will be handled through our forum:

We hope you will enjoy flying this unique, hands-on classic airplane!

TWA Textures Available!

American Textures!

Freeware planes below. Click on the picture to download the plane.

FS2002 TWA DC-2. Rob Carlson, Dai Griffiths and Jan Visser and several others have teamed up to create this first of the Douglas propliners in production, the DC-2. The first examples went to TWA since they paid to develop the DC-1, slightly smaller by one row of seats. Thanks for a great effort! Also requires the FS2000 package. Last updated on 3/23/05.

FS2002 American Air Lines DC-2. Dale DeLuca painted up this classic American propliner, and it looks great! American used them throughout their system, and flying them is described in great detail in Ernie Gann's "Fate is the Hunter". Wonderful reading! Also requires the FS2002 package and the FS2000 package. Last updated on 3/23/05.

FS2002 Pan American World Airways DC-2. Dale also painted this Pan American example, which might have been used for the very early service from California to Central America. Thanks Dale! Also requires the FS2002 package and the FS2000 package. Last updated on 3/23/05.

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