The American Douglass DC-3 made its maiden flight in 1935. It was powered by two piston engines and could carry more than 30 passengers (depending on seat arrangements). Its military version, the C-47 transport plane was mass-produced (more than 10,000 machines) during WW2 and used by the US forces and the Allied powers including the UK (dubbed “Dakota”) and the Soviet Union.
After the war, a lot of C-47s were sold to private airlines so that they could become workhorse passenger planes worldwide. It is remarkable to know that there are more than 100 said machines airworthy even today.
Did you know that the DC-3 was used by the Japanese navy also during WW2? Showa Aircraft Co. acquired the manufacturing right of the plane in 1937 and produced more than 400 machines (photo below). The Soviet Union also manufactured more than 2,000 machines, bringing the total number of manufactured DC-3 to 16,000 plus.