Douglas DC-6 / C-118
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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

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

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Robert Cremers, 29.04.2015

The thing that struck this aircraft was that the seats faced the tail a brilliant safety feature. I'm surprised that this is not done in civilian aircraft

Robert Cremers, 29.04.2015

I had the pleasure of flying in this aircraft returning from duty with the Irish contingent returning from UN duty in the Former Belgian Congo in 1962

Pissed, 24.04.2015

I was stationed at hickam afb 1962-1965. We had a real SOB for a chief flight engneer by the name of Akee. He was of Japenese desent and a real horses ass. He would give check rides to students and be popping circuit brakers and flipping generator switches off with a long screw driver faster than they could be reset. This of course was against all USAF regs. and pacaf direcdtives yet he never got written up for it. I wish him no goood will.

Efren B Collins, 27.03.2015

I had the pleasure of flying medevac missions in Vietnam in the C-118A . I spent time with the 463rd,6200oms and the 6485th OPS . I met some of the finest men a person could
serve with. God Bless the all.

Efren B Collins, 27.03.2015

I had the pleasure of flying medevac missions in Vietnam in the C-118A . I spent time with the 463rd,6200oms and the 6485th OPS . I met some of the finest men a person could
serve with. God Bless the all.

kenneth miller, 10.02.2015

For Adrian Rosales. Yes, I knew your father, Russ Kincaid. At the time, 1963-1965 , he was a copilot on the C118 at Hickam AFB, HI. He was very interested in weight Lifting and had a great body to prove it! He quit the AF and joined Continental Airlines at LAX and lived near Westlake, CA. He was a great person and a pleasure to fly with him. I retired from the AF and UAL and am now living in Coeur D'Alene, ID. regards, KG MILLER

Tom Reinke, 09.12.2014

After 3 years flying as navigator on C-124s at Hickam, I was transferred to C-118s at McGuire. I didn't stay long in the squadron before taking charge of the base navigation and survivor school. One flight in particular was memorable. Inbound from Lajes to McGuire one night we had just passed ocean station Delta from which a fix from them confirmed our position on course. With that I handed a slip of paper with the desired heading to the pilot and went aft to relax. About 15 minutes later I went back to the nav station and glanced at the instruments. I thought I was confused. The compass was all wrong! Hurriedly I went forward and examined the pilots compass. It read the same. We were heading EASTERLY!!! I Excitedly, I asked how long we had been on this heading. The pilots realized they had put the plane in a very shallow left bank because of the minimal turn required and had then forgot about it. DAMN!!! Of course they immediately banked hard left and brought the plane around to the heading on the slip. Oh, boy, I thought this is going to be fun. Maybe, just maybe, that ocean station vessel might still have us on radar. Luckily, they did and in short order they provided another fix. This is going to be hard to believe but it's true. The new fix and the earlier one came out to be virtually the same position, just 20 minutes later. A quick call on HF to provide a revised ETA and we were again on our way.
Once entrenched at the nav school Col. Allen called on the school to conduct a grid navigation training course which I had to write from scratch. The course was very successful and although the vast majority of navigators attending may never have had use of it I hope it served them well in other ways. Tom Mulvey took over on January 19th, 1966 the day after I left and the day I joined Seaboard World Airlines.

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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 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 1966...a year after my HS Graduation...Viet Nam going full 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 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 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 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 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 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, 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

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.

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