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Douglas C-54 Skymaster (DC-4)

Four-Engine Military Transport Aircraft

Douglas C-54 Skymaster (DC-4)

Four-Engine Military Transport Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The C-54 Skymaster was a pivotal American aircraft serving actively throughout the Berlin Airlift.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 1942
STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Douglas Aircraft Company - USA
PRODUCTION: 1,170
OPERATORS: Aden; Algeria; Antigua and Barbuda; Argentina; Australia; Barbados; Belgium; Bolivia; Burundi; Cameroon; Canada; Chad; Republic of China (Taiwan); Colombia; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Denmark; Ecuador; El Salvador; France; Gabon; Greece; Hong Kong; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Ivory Coast; Japan; Kenya; Lebanon; Luxembourg; Madagascar; Mauritania; Mexico; Netherlands; Nicaragua; Niger; Norway; Panama; Paraguay; Peru; Philippines; South Africa; South Korea; South Vietnam; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Syria; Thailand; United Kingdom; United States; Venezuela
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Douglas C-54A (R5D-1) Skymaster model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 4
LENGTH: 93.50 feet (28.5 meters)
WIDTH: 117.45 feet (35.8 meters)
HEIGHT: 27.56 feet (8.4 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 38,934 pounds (17,660 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 72,753 pounds (33,000 kilograms)
ENGINE: 4 x Pratt & Whitney E-2000-7 "Twin Wasp" air-cooled radial piston engines developing 1,290 horsepower each and driving three-bladed propeller units.
SPEED (MAX): 275 miles-per-hour (442 kilometers-per-hour; 239 knots)
RANGE: 3,977 miles (6,400 kilometers; 3,456 nautical miles)
CEILING: 22,310 feet (6,800 meters; 4.23 miles)




ARMAMENT



None.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• DC-4 - Base Series Designation
• DC-4E - Pressurized Model to succeed the DC-3; increased range; fitted with 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-2000-2SD1-G Twin Wasp engines; later changed to unpressurized type for technical reasons.
• C-54 "Skymaster" - United States Army Base Series Designation; 26 passenger type; R-2000-7 radial engines; 26 total examples.
• C-54A - Fully militarized US Army type; R-2000-7 engines; 50 passenger seating.
• C-54B - US Army version; implemented wing tanks.
• C-54D - US Army version; R-2000-11 radials.
• C-54E - US Army version; redesigned fuel tanks; dual-role passenger/cargo handler.
• C-54G - US Army version; dedicated troop carrier.
• R5D - United States Navy Base Series Designation.
• R5D-1 - Fully militarized USN type; R-2000-7 engines; 50 passenger seating.
• R5D-2 - USN version; implemented wing tanks.
• R5D-3 - USN version; R-2000-11 radials.
• R5D-4 - USN version; redesigned fuel tanks; dual-role passenger/cargo handler.
• R5D-5 - USN version; dedicated troop carrier.


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Douglas C-54 Skymaster (DC-4) Four-Engine Military Transport Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 2/21/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
Derived from the commercial DC-4 airliner, the C-54 Skymaster was a workhorse transport aircraft for both the United States Army and the United States Navy branches of service. Planned as a technologically superior successor to the DC-3 type, the early DC-4 design suffered through growing pains of burgeoning pressurization technology, proving too much to handle and well ahead of its time. As such, the DC-4 design went back to a simplified un-pressurized version that would become the basis for the C-54 for Army use and the R5D for Navy usage.

Design of the DC-4 type consisted primarily of a sleek fuselage and began as early as 1935, though production elements were not delivered till 1942. Even then, the early models destined for civilian transport use were rerouted and enlisted for military service. Four Pratt & Whitney brand radials were mounted on the low monoplane wing assembly. A single ventral vertical surface was set on the tail section in place of the twin fins found on the early DC-4E models. Crew accommodations amounted to 4, with seating for up to 86 civilian passengers and an additional four in-flight service crew.

The system saw extensive service for both US branches and appeared in a variety of forms, differing in powerplant usage and number of passenger seats. Some dedicated troop and cargo transports existed with US President Roosevelt's own VIP version known as the "Sacred Cow" - utilized as a personal transport throughout the war. Post war service amounted to high utilization during the Berlin Airlift as well as serving in further models as a civil passenger airliner in later years.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (275mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
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  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Douglas C-54A (R5D-1) Skymaster's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1170
1170

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
In the Cockpit...
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.