Douglas DC-4 / DC-6 / DC-7

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Douglas DC-4 / DC-6 / DC-7
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About the Douglas
DC-4 / DC-6 / DC-7

The Douglas DC-4 was intended as the successor of the DC-3 and intended to be twice the size of the earlier aircraft. Development begin in 1938 with the DC-4E, for 42 passengers by day or 30 by night. The aircraft had a complete sleeping accommodation and even a private bridal room.
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After the airlines considered the aircraft as too complex to maintain, Douglas started development of the simpler DC-4. The first flight was on 14 February 1942. Because of World War II the first operator of this type became the US Army Air Forces, which started operating the DC-4 as C-54 Skymaster in 1942.
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Douglas built 1,241 of the DC-4s and its military counterparts, including the R5D for the Navy. A special VC-54C, nicknamed the 'Sacred Cow' by the White House press, became the first presidential aircraft, ordered for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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After World War II, commercial airlines put more than 300 civilian DC-4 transports into service.

DC-6

The DC-6 was a 2.06 metres (6ft. 9in.) stretched version of the DC-4 (C-54) Skymaster with the same wingspan, but with more powerful engines and a pressurised cabin. The DC-6 was about 90 mph faster than the DC-4 and offered more payload and range. It was the answer of Douglas to the Boeing Stratoliner and Lockheed Constellation. The development started in World War II because the military needed a bigger aircraft than the C-54. The result was the C-112. The prototype XC-112A flew for the first time on 15 February 1946. The war was over at that time, however, and Douglas sought commercial applications for the new aircraft. American Airlines and United Airlines introduced the DC-6 in 1947.
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A few months after the first deliveries all DC-6s were grounded. This was the result of a DC-6 crash of a United aircraft and an inflight fire aboard an American DC-6. This lead to modifications and all DC-6's were back in service in March 1948. Most airlines flying the DC-6 used the aircraft on long-haul flights. The US Air Force bought one aircraft, designated as VC-118, as the presidential aircraft. It was named 'Independence', after President Harry Truman's hometown, Independence, Mo Missouri?. Of the first DC-6 version 175 were built.
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Douglas developed the DC-6A 'Liftmaster' as a freighter with a 5 ft. stretched fuselage and improved engines with water-methanol injection. Instead of cabin windows it had two large cargo doors, both forward and aft of the wing and the cabin floor was reinforced. The first flight of the DC-6A took place 29 september 1949. Some aircraft were later converted for passenger use.
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The DC-6B became the passenger version of the DC-6A, but without the reinforced floor and maindeck cargo doors. The first flight was 10 February 1951. United Airlines introduced the new model later that year. The 288th and last DC-6B was delivered to JAT Yugoslav Airlines in 1958. Two DC-6Bs were converted to "swing-tails" (DC-6B-ST).
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The DC-6C was a rapid change version with cabin windows and cargo doors. The interior of these aircraft could be adapted for passenger to cargo configuration in a short time and vice versa. The US Navy bought 65 examples as R6D-1 (later C-118B). The USAF ordered 101 C-118A's.
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The big airlines started replacing the DC-6 in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Many DC-6As and -Bs were later reconfigured to get convertible passenger-cargo configurations. A small number of DC-6As were reconfigured thus by Douglas prior to delivery and they received the designation DC-6C; others, the ones reconfigured later, were referred to as DC-6A/B.
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Between 1947 and 1959, Douglas built a total of 704 DC-6s, 167 of them military versions.





Douglas DC-7
'Seven Seas'

The first DC-7 flew for the first time on 18 May 1953. It was the answer of Douglas to the Lockheed Super??? Constellation. Wright Turbo-Compound engines were fitted to 110 DC-7s in the first batch, which still retained many features of the DC-6's airframe. The first airline to fly the DC-7 was American Airlines in November 1953.
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The improved DC-7B, of which Douglas built 112 aircraft, flew for the first time in October 1954. This version was paricularly developed for operations across the Atlantic Ocean. On 13 June 1955 Pan American started a non-stop service New York - London with the DC-7B.
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The DC-7C, first flown in December 1955, had an improved wing with extra fueltanks. The engines were placed further from the (stretched) cabin, to decrease the nois of the engines in the cabin.
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Douglas built 338 DC-7s. The last aircraft was delivered in 1958. Most DC-7s were modified as freighters or scrapped. Some aircraft were kept for air racing, aerial firefighting and satellite tracking.


Douglas C-54 Liberia World

Douglas C-54 of Liberia World Airlines at Rotterdam Zestienhoven.



Douglas C-54 DDA

The Dutch Dakota Association flew this South-African DC-4-1009 some time in the mid-1990s.



Douglas C-54 Skymaster

A Skymaster with fake USAF titles is seen here in the early 1990s at Marana (Tucson) - Northwest Regional (Avra Valley).



Douglas DC-6

This former USAF C-54 Skymaster is part of the collection of Pima Air Museum in Arizona.



Douglas DC-6 Trans Continental

A Trans Continental DC-6 cargo aircraft at Detroit Willow Run Airport.



Douglas DC-6

An ex-Zantop DC-6 at Miami International Airport.



Douglas DC-6A / C-118 Florida Aircraft Leasing

Douglas C-118 (DC-6A) Florida Aircraft Leasing at Ft. Lauderdale.



Douglas DC-6 Macavia

A Macavia Douglas DC-6 converted to waterbomber for forest fire fighting.



Douglas DC-7

A Douglas DC-7 of T & G Aviation at Chandler Memorial Airfield.



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