Douglas O-43


The Douglas O-43 was a monoplane observation aircraft used by the United States Army Air Corps.

Douglas O-43.jpg
Role Observation
Manufacturer Douglas Aircraft Company
Introduction 1930
Primary user United States Army Air Corps
Number built 24[1]
Developed from Douglas O-31
Variants Douglas O-46


Five Y1O-31A service-test aircraft were ordered in 1931, and delivered to the USAAC in early 1933 designated Y1O-43. They differed from the final configuration of the O-31A, with a wire-braced parasol wing, and a new fin and rudder. An order for 23 O-43A aircraft was completed during 1934, with a deepened fuselage, which eliminated the need for the ventral bulge under the observer's position. Powered by a single 675 hp Curtiss V-1570-59 inline engine, it also had taller vertical surfaces with an inset rudder similar to the O-31A. The canopy was enlarged, and fully enclosed both cockpits. The O-43 and O-43A served with the USSAC observation squadrons for several years before being assigned to National Guard units,[2] such as the 111th Observation Squadron Brownwood Airfield Texas, 15th Observation Squadron Fort Sill Oklahoma, and 3rd Observation Squadron Langley Field Virginia.

The 24th airframe of the O-43A contract was completed as the XO-46 prototype.

Specifications (O-43A)Edit

Data from McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920 : Volume I[3], United States military aircraft since 1909[4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 33 ft 11 in (10.34 m)
  • Wingspan: 45 ft 11 in (14.00 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 3 in (3.73 m)
  • Wing area: 334 sq ft (31.0 m2)
  • Empty weight: 4,135 lb (1,876 kg)
  • Gross weight: 5,300 lb (2,404 kg)
  • Powerplant: × Curtiss V-1570-59 Conqueror V-12 liquid-cooled piston engine, 675 hp (503 kW)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed metal propeller


  • Maximum speed: 190 mph (310 km/h, 170 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 163 mph (262 km/h, 142 kn)
  • Service ceiling: 22,400 ft (6,800 m)
  • Time to altitude: 5,000 ft (1,500 m) in 3 minutes 18 seconds
  • Wing loading: 15.8 lb/sq ft (77 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.127 hp/lb (0.209 kW/kg)


See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ "U.S. Army Aircraft 1908-1946" by James C. Fahey, 1946, 64pp.
  2. ^ "The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft" cover Editors: Paul Eden & Soph Moeng, (Amber Books Ltd. Bradley's Close, 74-77 White Lion Street, London, NI 9PF, 2002, ISBN 0-7607-3432-1), 1152 pp.
  3. ^ Francillon, René J. (1988). McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920 : Volume I. London: Naval Institute Press. pp. 111–118. ISBN 0870214284.
  4. ^ Swanborough, F. G.; Bowers, Peter M. (1971). United States military aircraft since 1909 (Revised ed.). London: Putnam. pp. 231–233. ISBN 0370000943.

External linksEdit

  • The United States Army Air Forces in World War II
  • Boeing History
  • Aerofiles