What was the real cause of the long life of DC-3 ?

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

Recently a concept of "perfect" systems was proposed [1, 2]. As an example of a "perfect" system the DC-3 aircraft is touted. This theory is built upon an old urban legend [3]:

The truth, however, is that DC-3 is still flying because of WWII and not because of its "perfection".

Indeed, DC-3 was in production from 1935 till 1946 only. Of 10,655 produced in the US just a tiny fraction (607) were actually DC-3 for a civilian use. The other 10,048 were built for military purposes during WWII and were codenamed C-47) [4]. After the war this huge fleet of aircrafts was sold to airlines of numerous countries around the world at the rock bottom prices. Its cheapness and abundance of also cheap spare parts produced during war in huge quantities made designing a replacement for DC-3 economically senseless.

Thus, had it not been because of the war, DC-3 would have been produced just in hundreds, not tens of thousands and would not be able to live to these days. As a result a better aircraft would have been undoubtedly designed. But huge oversupply of cheap aircrafts plus mounds of cheap spare parts resulted in 1500 C-47 still flying this day !

Thus, not the alleged "perfection" of DC-3 but the war was the real cause of its long life. Misinterpretation of facts and not understanding the real causes of things is typical for so called TRIZ "scientists" of Ideation International. No wonder, therefore, that their "theories" not only do not fly but even do not hold water.