In response to the requirements of five major US airlines, Douglas designed and built the large 52-passenger DC-4, which made its first flight on 7 June 1938. This type was not put into production; instead a smaller unpressurised development was ordered by American, Eastern and United Air Lines. This, too, bore the designation DC-4 and the original aeroplane became the DC-4E. The new aircraft flew on 14 February 1942, by which time the US was at war and all 24 DC-4A built were taken by the armed forces.
The DC-4 had a retractable nosewheel undercarriage and was powered by four 820-1,080kW Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasps. It was, for its time, an ideal long-range heavy logistic transport with a payload of up to 9,980kg. The military production version was the C-54. A total of 207 C-54A were built, followed by increased-capacity C-54B, similar C-54D with Pratt & Whitney R-2000-11 radials, C-54E with convertible cargo/passenger interiors, and C-54G with new engines. Nine hundred and fifty-two Skymasters were completed for the USAAF and 211 for the US Navy which designated them as R5D Skymasters.
Used in all theatres of war, none achieved a more impressive record than those operated by the USAAF's Air Transport Command. With this Command C-54 established the first regular transport service across the North Atlantic, averaging for a long period 20 double-crossings per day. One, the VC-54C-DO Sacred Cow, served as President Roosevelt's special aircraft and a C-54B-1-DO was used by Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
After the war Douglas built 79 civil DC-4-1009 and many of the military aircraft became available for airline operation - mostly with 44 seats but later with as many as 86. On 7 March 1946 American Airlines was first to introduce DC-4 on US domestic services, between New York and Los Angeles. However in October 1945 American Overseas Airlines had introduced DC-4 on North Atlantic services.
| ENGINE||4 x P+W R-2000-25, 1065kW|
| Take-off weight||33140 kg||73062 lb|
| Empty weight||20000 kg||44093 lb|
| Wingspan||35.8 m||117 ft 5 in|
| Length||28.6 m||94 ft 10 in|
| Height||8.4 m||28 ft 7 in|
| Wing area||136.0 m2||1463.89 sq ft|
| Max. speed||450 km/h||280 mph|
| Cruise speed||365 km/h||227 mph|
| Ceiling||6900 m||22650 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||6000 km||3728 miles|
| Range w/max.payload||2200 km||1367 miles|
|loomas marshall, ljmarsher=gmail.com, 24.12.2012|
I was assigned to base flt sect at Rhein Main AB Germany and ew c-54 9099 a Vip model which we obtained from the navy in naples. it was VC all the way. a stainless steel gally and a bed for the Vip in a privats room. It was low time and flew very well. please feel free to contact me an swap war stories of which I have many.
|Julie Godwin, seajewel2009=aol.com, 14.12.2012|
How can I order a diecast C54 model of Eastern Airlines and how much does it cost? Look forward to your response; thanks in advance.
|Ken Thomson, kenthom39=comcast.net, 06.12.2012|
I was a Flight Engineer in the 57th Air Rescue Squadron, Lajes Field, Azores 1960-1962. Great memories almost daily. Great old airplane.
|Chuck, huffmancharles=rocketmail.com, 10.11.2012|
My Father flew the R5D, Navy designation, a C-54 Air Force designation. During the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949, he was in VR-3 but transferred to VR-6. He flew from Rienmien to Tempeltorf Airfields in Germany. The Navy Units received the Navy Commendation award for actions during the Berlin Airlift
|Roberto Dean, roberto.dean=morning-patrol.com, 31.10.2012|
I have in my possession two tech order binders with TOs and one phased inspection work card set for the C-54. They belonged to my stepfather. Heís been gone since 93 and they benefit no one here. I love to look at them but, itís a shame for them not to be somewhere where they could be appreciated. Do any of you have any suggestions of who you think may be interested in them? If you need more information regarding these documents. I would be happy to forward a list of all the TOs I have in the set. Just write me.
Best regards to all
|phil simmons, p21518=aol.com, 08.04.2012|
i was a navy pilot flying c54 s in navy squadrons vr one eight and six between 1947 and 1949 six was the one flying the berlin airlift 1948-49 i flew 124 flights from rhien maine to berlin then winter of 1948 i flew the bird as a weekend warrior at nas new orleans 1950 till 1965 you could not find a better aircraft at the time
respectivly speaking thanks douglas aircraft
|Craig Stewart, w4phj=cs.com, 17.02.2012|
I worked as an A&P for United States Overseas Airlines in the early 60's at WWD. We operated DC4's, 6's and 7's. Great times and the hanger is still in fine condition and is now a aircraft museum.
My mother was a War Bride. She flew on American Overseas Airlines N90906 in Oct 1948 from Rhein Main to La Guardia via Shannon and Gander. Glad she did. I'm here 'cause of it. :)
|Joseph Hammer, hammr532=bellsouth.net, 16.11.2011|
I was a flight engineer with the 58th Air Rescue Sqdn. in Tripoli from 1960 thru 1962. Great airplane, the SC 54 would always get you there and back though it was a bit slow. Around Labor Day of 1961 we escorted a MATS connie with one engine out and we had trouble staying with her.
|Gerald Wintermute, gjwintermute=talktalk.net, 21.07.2011|
I was A FLIGHT ENGINEER ON SC 54 IN AIR SEA RESCURE sQ.IN ANDERSON A.F.B GUAM 1958,60 79 TH. ARS.
|Les "Robbie" Robbins, lesrobb=yahoo.net, 16.07.2011|
A great airplane. In 20 years flying as a radio operator, I spent several different tours on C-54s and enjoyed allof them. Flew on TC-54D EWO trainers at Keesler AFB, MS from April 1961 til Aug '62 (Aircraft Ops, 3380th ABG), then the same TC-54Ds at Mather AFB, CA Aug '62 -Jan '64. Ferried some C-54s to the boneyard in Arizona from PACAF bases (TDY to 444oth ADG) while at Mather. Then flew HC-54Ds while in the 58th Air Rescue Sq, Wheelus AB, Libya from Feb '64 tilthey were replaced by HC-97G's, which were later replaced by HC-130H's. I left there in Feb '67, and later flew on VC-54G 50491 in Rio de Janeiro from June '70 to Feb 73 when it was replaced by VT-29D 25816. Flew that one til I left for 2ACCS at Offutt in June 74. A lot of different experiences on the C-54, but I guess this isn't the place to get into all of them.
I saw mention of an all enlisted aircrew earlier in the comments; I saw the same, it was an USMC C-54 that came to Howard AFB from a Marine Corps base in Virginia, I think it was in 1971. The pilot was a USMC E-9, and the rest of the crew were all NCOs as well. I thought it was great. I did get a lot of left seat time while in Brazil (I hold a FAA Commercial/Instrument rating).We didn't carry a Navigator,that was my job as well. Really loved the C-54.
|Russ Bateman, mail=russbateman.com, 13.07.2011|
This Air Craft was also called a Navy R5D. In 1949,we were flying in a cargo version between Kodiak Island, Alaska and Adak,Alaska. We hit a major Weather Front that took out the R5D's hydraulic control system and we made a forced landing at Umnak Island. Only weeks before the Bombing of Dutch Harbor, The Army built an Secrete Air Strip on top of the Unimak Trundra and stationed about 40 P-40 Fighters. The Japanese surprised by all these fighters gave up invading Dutch Harbor and on invading Dutch Harbor and instead, invaded Attu and Kiska.
The Army named it Air Field as Fort Glenn Army Base. At the time we landed there, the base was mostly deactivated with only a skeleton crew. It took about three days for the Navy to fly in mechanics and material to repair the Air Craft and we flew on to Adak.
|willard wilkinson af retired, w.wilkinson=cox.net, 01.07.2011|
i worked avionics(radio-radar)on the sacred cow,while stationed at bolling afb in Washington DC from 1959-1962
|Everett Livingston, airdale51=verizon.net, 17.06.2011|
During 1952-1955 was PC on R5D 72003 VR22, NAS Norfolk,VA.
|charles WITTMER, charles=socatec.com, 03.06.2011|
in my previous mail I meant C54 and not C47 sorry for that
|charles WITTMER, charles=socatec.com, 03.06.2011|
Would anybody know if the commercial C47/DC4 had round or oval passenger windows?
|Hal Maynard, hmaynard=cfl.rr.com, 23.04.2011|
I was a nav at Wheelus AB, Tripoli Libya in the 58th Air rescue Squadron. I have a picture of 49033.
|Betty Jo Streff Reed, Reedbj=mac.com, 03.04.2011|
After the WASPs were deactivated Dec.44, I returned to Douglas Chicago Plant. After being on a mech. team several mon., the Flt Off needed a dispatcher for a later shift. Eventually Col.Randolf Holiday Checked out LT.Oswald as a !st. pilot so needed two more co-pilots. Ellen W. and I had been Eng. Chc.Pil. so asked if we would want to study and of course. Have list the planes I flew Co-pilot on. That was the pride of my life at 22yrs. Later flew Corp. Kingair and Mu-2. Some of this disappeard at the beginning.
|Gerry Foley, gerryandrollys=comcast.net, 30.01.2011|
I was recalled to active duty at the start of the Korean war and was sent to Hadena AB in Japan and I was assigned to the 1273rd Air Transport Sq. Our mission was to fly daily missions to and from various bases in Korea with troops and cargo inbound and wounded and deceased personnel back to Japan. I was a mechanic and later a crew chief on C54M model aircraft. These aircraft were configured as medical evacuation aircraft. Spent a year there and if you are familiar with this operation, I would like to hear from you.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?