Canadian Wings :: The History & Heritage of the Royal Canadian Air Force

Douglas O-2BS (MO-2B)

The Douglas O-2 biplane family was one of the longest-lived American designs during the inter-war period. Entering service with the US military as early as 1924, some later models were still service at the outbreak of the Second World War. The O-2 design featured conventional construction for the period with a welded steel tube fuselage and wooden wings. Fuel was carried in extra thick centre section stubs for the lower wings. O-2B models were identical the original O-2A model series except the former feature dual controls. The RCAF's O-2BS was originally purchased directly from Douglas during O-2 production for the US Army. In fact the aircraft was delivered factory fresh in a US Army colour scheme.

It was acquired by Mr J.D. McKee, a wealthy American aviation-enthusiast, and it was first used in a trans-Canada flight from Montreal to Vancouver in September 1928. The aircraft was flown on this historic trip by Sqn Ldr A.E. Godfrey of the RCAF. After the unfortunate death of Mr McKee in an aviation accident in Quebec, the RCAF then acquired the aircraft. It was subsequently converted to MO-2B standard and was equipped with a Pratt & Whitney 425 hp Wasp radial engine. It was converted at the same time to a silver colour scheme and carried the G-CYZG registration. The aircraft could carry an extra seat in this configuration and the aircraft was then used for photographic survey work for the rest of its career.

aircraft specifications
CDN Reg:
Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
Crew / Passengers: (OS-2B) two pilots in tandem (MO-2B) 1 pilot, 1 navigator & 1 photographer
Power Plant(s): originally one 420 hp Liberty engine & later one 425 hp Wasp radial engine
Performance: Max Speed: 126 mph ( 203 km/h) Cruising Speed: mph ( km/h)
Service Ceiling: 10,000 ft (3,048 m
Weights: Empty: 3,027 lb ( 1,373 kg) Gross: 4,706 lb ( 2,135 kg)
Dimensions: Span: 39 ft 8 in ( 12.09 m) Length: 29 ft 6 in ( 8.99 m)
Height: 14 ft 4 in ( 4.36 m) Wing Area: 411 sq ft (38.18 sq m)
Armament: None
The sole Douglas MO-2B in RCAF colours (Photo Comox Air Force Museum)

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