China's "C-47 Road"

Most remarkable cargo flight of recent months, according to word now released, was the trip of 35 C-47 transports (Army DC-3s) from America to an Indian base to start the "Burma Road of the Air," new airborne-supply line to China.

The ocean was crossed between Natal, Brazil, and Africa, with the planes taking off from Natal with more than 1,600 gal of gas each (in itself representing 3¼ tons), supplies for two years for the maintenance of the aircraft, a crew of four and, in some cases, up to five passengers.

Each plane weighed from a high 33,000 to 35,500 lb at takeoff. On the India-China run, these planes often gross 29,000 lb (Army gross weight) carrying anything from dynamite to food, and total airborne tonnage has now exceeded the amount once carried by truck on the Burma road.

This news clip was originally published in the "Aviation Abroad" column of the March, 1944, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 43, no 3, p 267.