Douglas O-2H

The Douglas O-2 series of observation planes was used by the U.S. Army beginning in 1925. It was an unremarkable but reliable biplane, and was used by the USAAF until the early 1930s. A specially modified O-2 (O-2BS) was used by James McKee in 1926 for a trans-Canada flight. The O-2H was the most numerous variant (140 built), and featured a revised fuselage, a new tailplane, and modified wings from earlier versions.

The O-2 has a crew of two: a pilot sitting forward with a fixed .30-cal Browning in the fuselage and a rear observer with a flexible .30-Browning. The plane could also carry 400 lbs. of bombs under the wings. The plane burns 15.7 gallons per hour at routine usage and has a historical range of 360 miles. A full tank of fuel costs $24; ammo costs $20.

The O-2 series of biplanes was used as the basis for the M-series of mail planes purchased by the U.S. Post Office in 1925. The forward cockpit was covered with sheet metal to create a mail compartment and the pilot was relocated to the aft cockpit. These planes had a top speed of 140 mph and a range of 700 miles. The M-4 was replaced as a mail carrier in 1930 by the Ford Tri-Motor.


Douglas O-2H

Subassemblies: Light Fighter chassis +3; Medium Fighter wings with Biplane option +2; 2 fixed wheels +0.

Powertrain: 313-kW HP gasoline engine with 313-kW old prop and 120-gallon fuel tank [Body].

Occ.: 2 XCS Body

Cargo: 5.4 Body


Armor F RL B T U

Body: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Engine: 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2 2/2

Wings: 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C 1/2C

Wheels: 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3 2/3



Body: Medium radio transmitter and receiver, navigation instruments, casemate mount for rear MG. Wings: 400-lb. hardpoint.



Size: 29'x40'x10' Payload: 0.88 tons Lwt.: 2.39 tons

Volume: 144 Maint.: 74 hours Cost: $7,221

HT: 7. HPs: 50 Body, 160 each Wing, 8 each Wheel.

aSpeed: 128 aAccel: 3 aDecel: 24 aMR: 6 aSR: 1

Stall Speed: 47 mph. Take Off Run: 245 yards. Landing Run: 221 yards.

gSpeed: 183 gAccel: 9 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure: Very High. 1/8 Off-Road Speed.


Design Notes:

Historical wing area was 411 sf. Design loaded weight was 4,839 lbs.; it was decreased 1% to the historical. Design aSpeed as 139 mph. Historical values for wing area and loaded weight were used for all performance calculations. MG load outs and fuel capacity are a guess and were chosen based on historical payload; design payload was 1,680 lbs. The historical value is shown. The weight and cost of the cloth armor was increased by 25% to reflect the aluminum covering protecting the engine.



The O-2 was the initial production model. 45 built.

The O-2A was equipped for night flying. 18 built.

The O-2B was a dual-control trainer version. 6 built.

The O-2C (1926) differed only in the engine's radiator design. 46 built.

The O-2D was an unarmed staff transport based on the -2C. 2 built.

The O-2E was a single plane with minor changes.

The O-2J were unarmed versions of the -2H for officer transport. 3 built.

The O-2K was a further modification of the O-2J for staff transport and liaison duty. 57 built.

The M-1 was an O-2H destined for Army service that was instead modified for the U.S. Postal service. It was not produced beyond the prototype.

The M-2 was similar to the M-1, but featured a provision for quick conversion between passenger and freight cartage. 6 built. These were used by the Western Air Express Company.

The M-3 (1926) was the version ordered by the U.S Postal Service. 50 ordered, 10 built.

The M-4 (1927) was a redesign of the M-3 featuring a longer wing, 298-kW engine, and double cargo capacity (1,000 lbs.). 40 of the M-3s ordered were converted to M-4 standard during manufacture.


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic