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Davis-Douglas Cloudster

Two-Seat Single-Engine Long-Range Biplane Aircraft

Davis-Douglas Cloudster

Two-Seat Single-Engine Long-Range Biplane Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The Davis-Douglas Cloudster was developed to attempt a coast-to-coast journey across the United States during the early 1920s - it failed in its attempt and was retired as soon as 1926.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1921
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Davis-Douglas Company - USA
PRODUCTION: 1
OPERATORS: United States (retired)
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Davis-Douglas Cloudster model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 2
LENGTH: 36.75 feet (11.2 meters)
WIDTH: 55.94 feet (17.05 meters)
HEIGHT: 11.98 feet (3.65 meters)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 9,601 pounds (4,355 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Liberty L-12 V-12 piston engine developing 400 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.
SPEED (MAX): 121 miles-per-hour (195 kilometers-per-hour; 105 knots)
RANGE: 2,796 miles (4,500 kilometers; 2,430 nautical miles)




ARMAMENT



None.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• Cloudster - Base Series Name; single example built and lost to a crash in 1926.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Davis-Douglas Cloudster Two-Seat Single-Engine Long-Range Biplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 3/20/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The Douglas Aircraft Company of World War 2 (1939-1945) fame got its humble start in July of 1920 through the joint-venture (and little-remembered) "Davis-Douglas Company" brand label. The label was established between investor David Davis and industrialist / engineer Donald Douglas (1892-1981) in an attempt to provide Douglas with the capability to design, develop, and construct a news-making specialized aircraft for a non-stop, coast-to-coast journey across the United States. The result of this partnership became the Douglas "Cloudster" of 1921 which existed as a sole example for its time in the air.

Douglas Cloudster Walk-Around
The aircraft was of typical biplane arrangement in which a wide-spanning upper wing assembly ran parallel to a lower wing assembly. The two members were to be joined by parallel struts and applicable support cabling where needed. The wings created a single bay design approach and were of equal-span in measurement. The engine was fitted to the nose in the usual way and drove a two-bladed propeller unit in tractor fashion. The fuselage was rounded for aerodynamic efficiency and the tail capped by a single, rounded vertical plane and low-mounted horizontal planes - these planes mounted on the fuselage proper. The undercarriage was wheeled at the main landing gear members and fixed in place. The crew of two would sit in tandem in open-air cockpits under, and aft, of the upper wing assembly.

Structural
Construction of the fuselage involved sheet metal skinning at the forward section of the aircraft and fabric covering at the middle and aft sections. Dimensions included an overall length of 36.8 feet, a wingspan of 55.10 feet and a height of 12 feet. Gross listed weight was 9,600lb.




Installed Power and Standard Day Performance
Power was served from a single Liberty L-12 V-12 piston engine outputting a hefty 400 horsepower. This engine was born in the fighting of World War 1 (1914-1918) during 1917 and appeared in several major iterations during its running life. Over 20,000 examples of the L-series engines were produced in all, showcasing their excellent and readily available nature.

This engine was used to drive a two-bladed wooden propeller at the nose and carried the biplane to speeds of 120 miles per hour. Cruising speeds were closer to 85 miles per hour and range was out to 2,800 miles, or 33 hours of flight time.

Flying Career
The Cloudster first took to the skies in a maiden flight on February 24th, 1921. As soon as June of that year the aircraft was being readied for its record-setting flight across America. However, the attempt was derailed when issues with the engine kept the bird out of contention for the foreseeable future. As soon as 1923, the airframe was sold off and its new owners refurbished it as a sight-seeing passenger transport with seating for five (at the expense of one of the internal fuel stores which reduced operational ranges some). Back in July 1921, Davis and Douglas had already parted ways and Douglas moved on to established the storied Douglas Aircraft Company and continue his work in the field of aeronautics.

The Cloudster did not last long in its new guise for, in 1925, it was sold off again to a new buyer and this owner (Irish-American aviator T. Claude Ryan) then reworked the aircraft once more, this time to feature a wholly-enclosed cabin seating as many as ten passengers. The Cloudster operated in this design form until December 1926 at which point it suffered from a forced landing in waters off of Baja California. The aircraft was deemed a total loss never to fly again - ending the Cloudster's time in the sky for good.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 150mph
Lo: 75mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (121mph).

    Graph average of 112.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
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  MSK
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  TKY
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  SYD
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  LAX
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  NYC
Graph showcases the Davis-Douglas Cloudster's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.