Gooney Bird: Britain’s The Economist has an interesting look back at The Gooney Bird, one of the affectionate names of the Douglas DC-3.
Any aviation enthusiast knows the DC-3 has a unique place in history, a description that is often over-used but which is true in this case. The feats, particularly during World War II, are legendary. The plane has been withdrawn from service in all of Europe (the article explains why) but remains in operation elsewhere in the world, including here in the United States.
After WW II, Douglas tried to breath new life into the airplane, creating the Super DC-3, with a square tail, wheel covers, a small fuselage stretch and more powerful engines. Capital Airlines bought a small number (three, if memory serves) but with cheap, surplus DC-3s left over from the War and modern competitors in the form of the Convair 240 and Martin 202, airline sales were a bust. The Navy bought a fair number.
Unmanned Helicopter: Sikorsky has entered the unmanned helicopter business to provide the military with heavy lift capability at no risk to the troops.