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Douglas DC-4/C-54 Skymaster

The first DC-4 was designed in 1936 and included a triple tail.  This DC-4 was eventually redesignated the DC-4E.

A new DC-4 was designed in 1939--lighter in construction with a new high-aspect ratio wing and a conventional tail.  No prototype was built; the DC-4 went straight into production.

Before the first aircraft flew, the U.S. Army commandeered production.  The first DC-4 flew in military markings in early 1942 as the C-54 Skymaster.  The DC-4 was also flown by the U.S. Navy as the R5D.  Over 1,000 were built.

Demilitarized C-54s and R5Ds were used by commercial carriers in the early post-war years until the next generation of airliners became available.

The C-54 and R5D were instrumental in the Berlin Airlift of 1948-1949.  Two famous C-54s are Gen. Douglas MacArthur's "Bataan" and President Franklin Roosevelt's "Sacred Cow". 

Specifications (DC-4-1009)





Type: Transport
Capacity: 44 seats (typical)
Engines: four 1,450 hp (1081 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2000-2SD-13G Twin Wasp radial piston engines
DC-4: Douglas Commercial Model 4
C-54: U.S. Army Cargo
EC-54: Electronic countermeasures evaluation version
HC-54: redesignation of SC-54 (after 1962)
MC-54: medical evacuation version
SC-54: search and rescue version (before 1962)
TC-54: training version
VC-54: Staff transport
R5D: U.S. Navy Transport

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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010