Douglas DC-6 / C-118
1946
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Douglas DC-6 / C-118

Built as an enlarged and pressurised DC-4 in order to compete with the Lockheed Constellation, the DC-6 (as the XC-112A) first flew on 15 February 1946. It had a 2.06m longer fuselage than the DC-4, accommodation for 48-52 passengers and was powered by four 1,565kW Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp CA15 engines. American Airlines and United Air Lines introduced the DC-6 on 27 April 1946. A total of 175 DC-6 were built. The windowless DC-6A freighter followed in 1949, powered by 1,788.5kW Double Wasps, with reinforced floor and double cargo doors - 74 were built.

The DC-6A was 1.52m longer than the DC-6 (101 going to the USAF as C-118A transports). The DC-6B, with accommodation for 54-102 passengers, first flew on 2 February 1951 and also had the longer fuselage. American Airlines introduced DC-6B on its US transcontinental services on 29 April 1951. It was one of the finest and most economical piston-engined transports. It remained in production until 1958 and 288 were built. Many of the DC-6 series were later converted to freighters.

Douglas DC-6 / C-118


Specification 
 CREW3-5
 PASSENGERS64-92
 ENGINE4 x P+W R-2800-CB17, 1840kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight48125 kg106098 lb
    Empty weight24583 kg54197 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan35.8 m117 ft 5 in
    Length32.2 m106 ft 8 in
    Height8.7 m29 ft 7 in
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed575 km/h357 mph
    Cruise speed495 km/h308 mph
    Range w/max.fuel7856 km4882 miles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120
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Ralph Jordan, 06.10.2014

What an aircraft...Fresh out of AE-A school in 1970 NAS Jax Fla. My first duty station was VR-1 NAS Norfolk Va. These were the finest, next duty station was NAS Keflavik Iceland, Where I became an FAT, which became the most exciting duty of all. What a job of flying to England, Spain, Germany, France wow nothing could compare to such duty. Plus to get paid extra for doing that...The Navy was good to me....

Ed Grace, 04.06.2014

I stumbled upon the site by accident...but the 118's and I have a long time relationship...starting with my Dad...career Navy ADJ 1st class! My earliest recollection are from when he was stationed in Hawaii...with VR 21 I believe...waiting with my mother for him to come back from a flight from Japan! I was between 5 and 9 years old at the time but Dad would take me to the Base every chance he could...this would be the yrs51 -54 during which time he flew for a time as 1st Mech for Admiral Stumps flight crew in the Pacific! I remember him tell stories of getting the plane polished and cleaned with NEVER-Dull ...which always kept on the plane by the Japanese...for a pack or carton of cigarettes...since the plane was primarily polished and not painted! Also some scary stories of the planes dropping hundreds of feet flying over the ocean...actually pinning him to bottom of the crews sleep rack above him in the cockpit! Dad was then transferred to NJ and McGuire AFB with VR-1 last Navy Squandron to be there I believe in 55' until he retired! My Dad continued to take me to the base every chance he could! He use to scare the hell out me because he would get so close to the Pratts while they turning up...I would actually try holding him back by his belt loops on his Seafarers...when got closer than I thought he should! Dad had another distinction...he was one of the few enlisted men that held a taxi license for the 118's and later and as a teen I heard stories from guys he served with...about him Driving them in the hanger with inward motors turning...instead of being muled! They said they would turn out when he did... to see if he'd take the wing tips off...but it never happened! Even after he retired he continued to work with MATS and Lockheed for a period of time!
Now flash forward...to 1966...a year after my HS Graduation...Viet Nam going full tilt...dad takes to Willow Grove,Pa to see a longtime friend and NAVY recruiter at the base! I think some strings were pulled and some favors called in...but they managed to get me in...after passing all the required testing...got me into the NAVY Reserves... I almost followed my Dad in being an ADJ...but having one in the family was enough...So i chose Aviation Electrician instead...with A School in Jacksonville,Fla.! My first CRUISE with the Squadron later to be VR-931 after returning to the Grove in 68'was to Hawaii...and the irony...upon Dad dropping me off...we discovered that squadrons 3 118's...he had worked on and flown on all them in the course of his career...remembering their tail numbers. We had quite a laugh! He truly loved those birds...as did I! We flew West Pac cargo from Japan to Viet Nam...planes never returning back to Hawaii until the end of the Cruise to return us back to the States in the allotted time! The next three years we cruised to Roto Spain...in 69'to fly cargo obligations for the station's C-130's that were grounded for suspected wing spar fractures. We had to work our tails off...needless to say our 118's didn't have anywhere near the cargo capacity...of the C-130's! The best of that 69' trip was liberty trip from Roto to Madrid! We were told in advance that if we should ever get to Madrid to have Dinner at the Botin...which hold the Guiness record for oldest continuous operating restaurant anywhere...plus rated in the top ten of places to dine in Madrid...perhaps Spain! Thankfully we were able to make reservation! We arrived in the evening at the Restaurant to come face to face with a crowd and Long Black limos surounding the establishment! At first we didn't have any idea of what was going on until we finally found someone that spoke English! To our amazement...the reason...the Astronauts...Collins, Sheppard and Grissom on World Tour in 69'...what we're the chances?? Working our way to the door...and the verification of the reservation...we were told we be allowed in...after the Commanders and their wives were all seated! Needless to say security was plentiful...US and Spanish! It wasn't a really a photo oppurtunity...but I do have a candid photo from a distance taken by ...as luck would have by a honest to goodness rated Navy photographer...who was with our party...and after getting permission from both security/ NASA and the Commanders! COOL!
My last two Cruises were also to Roto! One of which turn out to be pretty exciting with a slightly wild landing and takeoff in an C-118 at a old English RAF base! It was the end of our two week cruise...and ten of my fellow reserve crew members...we were chosen for a combination work and liberty run! Picked by our Chiefs for meritorious service during the cruise from the 100 plus reservists and station masters that we brought! We left Roto with one plane, pilots, air crew and our ten to fly to England to pickup an Admiral and his personal stuff...furniture, etc...being reassigned to Washington,DC Pentagon duty! The plane having all the seats removed for cargo space.. e ...

John Lane, 09.05.2014

I flew the C118 (DC6) as Flight Mechanic (Flight Engineer) from 61 to 66 with VR3 at McGuire AFB. After leaving the Navy I flew the L1049 Connies and DC8's at Captiol Airways out of Wilmington Del. Went to Japan Airlines as F/E and was transferred to Anchorage Alaska in 1969 after the JAL job ended I worked for Northern Air Cargo back on the DC6.
The last DC6 I flew was N996DM owned by The Flying Bulls (Red Bull) in Salzburg Austria 2004-5. I made 4 trips to Salzburg doing test flights after a 4 year restoration or their DC6B. Google "The Flying Bulls". Check it out.

renee, 18.03.2014

Does any one rember Capt. Jerry Palomino who was stationed at McGuire Afb. I am trying to locate him, if anyone knows what happened to him please contact me. He was there about 1960-62
Renee rcorbally@msn.com

Suboficial Principal, 13.02.2014

I am a Principal Subofficer for the Argentine Air Force. For any USAF folks, you would call me a Senior Master Sergeant. For any of you RAF folks, you would call me a Chief Technician. I flew these sons of bitches when I was in 'Nam. I was a Troop transport and I would take troops in and get out of there. I never really saw much action except for the occasional AA fire.

Ron Thomas, 12.02.2014

I was a TAR ATN2 at NARTU Jacksonville when we flew cargo/passenger missions in support of VR-21 at Barber's Point. I would like to find anyone who can verify those flights and our physical presence on the ground in Danang for a VA claim. I remember distinctly one mission around Nov '67 where we hauled about 40 gallons of whole milk from JAX to Danang to give to the troops stationed there. Keeping that milk on ice and refrigerated at every stop was a real PITA, but we did it. All they could get in Danang was powdered milk and they were grateful for our gift. I believe our pilot was a CDR Vehorn who also flew for an airline. If anyone happens to remember or can verify this mission, please contact me. Thanks!! LCDR Ron Thomas USN-RET (21 years)

Tom Connell, 26.12.2013

Trying to identify a patch found in my father-in laws things that I think is connected to former Willow Grove NAS. Patch shows an elephant with wings over the top of the world with a communications tower below. Palm tree left of the tower and mountain on right. Outline of Keystone state and "VR 931" written below. I found one article saying they flew the C-118. Anyone know what kind of unit it was. I believe he did classified work in Alaska maybe for NORAD. Any help is appreciated.

Thomas Leonard, 23.12.2013

I am trying to locate anyone who was assigned to the 4650th Combat Support Squadron Based out of Richards Gebaur AFB Misssouri from 1968-1971. My father who passed away in 2001 was the commander of the Squadron which had 6 C-118's at Richards Gebaur AFB, and 3 C-119s at Stewart AFB New York and 3 C-119's at Hamilton AFB California. I am trying to find out if anyone recalls the tail numbers on the C-118's. Would also like to hear from anyone who knew my father Col. Edwin P. Leonard and any stories about Him or the Unit. He also Served in Viet Nam in the 310th and 315th Air Commando Squadron flying C-123 Providers from Sept 1966 Through October 1967

Rick Stow, 20.12.2013

I forgot to mention in my post that the NAS Keflavik C-118 that we flew to the "bone yard" was, I believe, the last one still flying in the Navy. That would have been about June 1984.

Rick Stow, 20.12.2013

In 1984 I was stationed at NAS Keflavik, Iceland and was one of the pilots flying the station's aircraft, a C-118. It was a great plane; we carried about 60 passengers per trip and went to many places in Europe for a long weekend R&R trip for the folks. People would get "burnt out" in Iceland as you could imagine, hence the R&R trip.

The C-118 was a great plane to fly and very reliable, although finding AVGAS was not always the easiest thing to do. About halfway through that one year tour, we flew the C-118 to the bone yard at Davis Monthan AFB and turned her in for salvage. It was kind of sad actually.

Then the air station got a P-3A which could fly those trips twice as fast.....and carry half the passengers. I believe that is what they call progress.

Fred F. Gorman, 20.12.2013

Seems to me that VR-% in Moffett Field was the first Navy sqad. to fly C118, We received the 128 series in Vr-21 sometime in 1953, Flew C-54 and C118 as Radio-op on both active and reserve duty. Rear facing seats were standard for safety on the C-118.

Allan Anderson, 16.11.2013

I was selected for flight training in 1955. Waiting to grow up a bit, I attended AT A school, and then assigned to VR-21 in Barbers Point Hawaii. Worked in the electronics shop and flew as a radio operator on the R6D's. The squadron also flew Cincpacfleet's airplanes.One was BN 131424. I bet several of you remember that airplane. After flight training I flew the F3H-2 Demon. Went to work for UAL in 1964 and flew their DC-6's straight 6, 6B, 6BII and 6F. I still know more about the DC-6 than any airplane I have flown. Our ground school with UAL was 16weeks long back then. My oral exam on the DC-6 was over 8 hours and then the Sim. check. I Never flew Captain on it but have much time in the other two seats.
I loved it. The Pacific Coast Air Museum in Santa Rosa CA. Has a R6D that I flew on while in VR-21. I hope it will restored, as it should be.

Leonard Chapman, 04.09.2013

While stationed at Hickam (1957-60)as a engine mechanic, worked the C-118 along with the C-124, C-97 and Navy version of the "connie." It was tight conditions on the 2800, but the 4360 was a breeze!

John Gordon, 17.08.2013

I was stationed at HAFB from may of 1959 thru 1963 and was a crew chief on the C-118. Good friend of Billy Gene Wyatt. I was stationed in the PI, to Tachikawa, back to the PI from May 1965 to Feb 1970 on C-118 Areo Medi-vac going in and out of the RVN regularly. Any one else? Contact me.

Jay Mooney, 19.05.2013

I joined Nas Atlanta (VR 54) in Feb 1977. Flew on the C118 from Atlanta to Azores and onto Rota, Spain until the C9'S replaced the aging C118's.The unit changed names from VR54 to VR46 sometime in that period of time. I was an AE and flew as a flight attendant in training on both air planes. The C118 was slow but very dependable. VR46 was the last unit to retire the C118's from military service. Had a great time and some memorable moments ( smoke in overhead, loss of power 75 ft off ground on take off)in C118. Enjoyed annual actdutra in Rota and made many good friends.

NORRIS SUMRALL, 10.05.2013

I was Flight Traffic Specialist with 1600 Air Base Group, Westover AFB, Ma. Flying attached to 1252nd ATS. First C-97s then C-124s. All cargo type aircraft, then C-118s. They were so plush, we though we had died & gone to Heaven! I believe they were with the Navy VR-6 squadron which was attached to our base at Westover, Ma. This was in the 1953 era.

Noble Atkins, 10.05.2013

My brother Bill Atkins while in the Navy reserves was assigned to VR-701 a C-118 unit flying out of Navy Dallas. His unit flew to Vietnam several times during his service in the late 1960s. I am attempting to help him locate anyone that he can contact that could assist him in establishing his participating in these missions. I was in the US Army flying OV-1 Mohawks out of Marble Mountain Vietnam during that time. Contact me at nobleatkins@mac.com

Ms. Aungelic Nelson, 01.05.2013

Hello, I am the Wing historian at McGuire AFB (now Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst). We have a C-118 Static display that has been here since the 1980s. It was recently refurbed and on 14 May we are having a recognition ceremony to honor those who put hours of their own time into restoring it.

If anyone lives in the local area and would like to attend, please let me know as soon as possible. We'd love to have you there. Also, if you have stories of your time on the C-118s, please get in touch as I am in the process of putting together my remarks for the events.

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