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By Towpilot - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Image source

By the mid 1930s, the gold standard of airliner construction was achieved: the DC-3 was a full aluminium aircraft with monocoque construction and a cantilever wing. But which aircraft was the first airliner with a full cantilever monoplane wing, no struts?

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    $\begingroup$ I would argue that the Boeing P-247 was the first to arrive at the gold standard. The DC-2 was a direct competition and took a lot of "inspiration" from the Boeing design, and the DC-3 was just a bigger version of the DC-2. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Aug 24 '17 at 18:56
  • $\begingroup$ Yes indeed, the P247 was earlier, but the sheer numbers of the DC-3 are proof of the pudding I reckon. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Aug 25 '17 at 4:55
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    $\begingroup$ When your owner is United Airlines and they don't like the competition to fly the same aircraft, your production run can become rather small. The DC-3 came early enough to be in time for the war and, being more advanced and bigger, saw higher production numbers. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Aug 25 '17 at 6:46
  • $\begingroup$ I have heard of a Boeing model 247 but have not ever heard of a P-247. But a google search for P-247 turns up this -- modelplanes.de/luftwaffe/jaeger-luftwaffe/… $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer May 5 '19 at 23:09
  • $\begingroup$ What about the Junkers J-1? Nothing earlier comes to mind. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junkers_J_1 -- An airliner for one person I guess $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer May 5 '19 at 23:13
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I nominate the Junkers F.13. All metal, transport, and monoplane.

It was the world's first all-metal passenger aircraft and Junkers' first commercial aircraft.

First flight was June 25, 1919. 322 were built for various military and civilian operators.

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(Source)

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    $\begingroup$ Beautiful plane, and the pilot had a windscreen as well. $\endgroup$ – Koyovis Aug 24 '17 at 5:41
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Not the first, but probably the only cantilever-wing other than the Junkers F13, was the Fokker F.III, first flying Amsterdam-London on 14 April 1921, piloted by English pilot Hinchcliffe. Its fuselage was constructed of steel tubes and covered with fabric, and the wing was made entirely of wood, the outer covering being plywood.

The Junkers was of more modern construction, using corrugated duraluminium for the skin and an aluminium support structure. Both Anthony Fokker and his factory GM Reinhold Platz were more focused on quick and practical implementations, and were helped by the restrictions that the allies placed on the Junkers engine capacity.

The pilots of the time obtained a lot of fresh air. Fresh as in not very warm, since the fumes of the 230 hp Armstrong Siddeley Puma engine were not very far away from the pilot's face. Here is Anthony himself in the cockpit.

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Image sources

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    $\begingroup$ Wow that looks horrid to try and fly. $\endgroup$ – coteyr Aug 24 '17 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ Thats one way to keep track of engine operation and performance! $\endgroup$ – Devil07 Aug 24 '17 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ "Hmm.. the inlet valve on #2 cylinder sounds a bit off. I've got my tools down here somewhere..." $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Aug 24 '17 at 20:42

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