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Douglas C-54 Skymaster (DC-4)


Four-Engine Military Transport Aircraft


Aviation / Aerospace

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The C-54 Skymaster was a pivotal American aircraft serving actively throughout the Berlin Airlift.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 2/21/2018 | 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.


Specifications



Year:
1942
Status
Retired, Out-of-Service
Crew
4
[ 1,170 Units ] :
Douglas Aircraft Company - USA
National flag of Algeria National flag of Argentina National flag of Australia National flag of Belgium National flag of Bolivia National flag of Cameroon National flag of Canada National flag of Chad National flag of China National flag of Colombia National flag of Democratic Republic of the Congo National flag of Denmark National flag of Ecuador National flag of El Salvador National flag of France National flag of Gabon National flag of Greece National flag of Ireland National flag of Israel National flag of Italy National flag of Ivory Coast National flag of Japan National flag of Kenya National flag of Luxembourg National flag of Madagascar National flag of Mauritania National flag of Mexico National flag of Netherlands National flag of Nicaragua National flag of Niger; National flag of Norway National flag of Panama National flag of Paraguay National flag of Peru National flag of Philippines National flag of Republic of the Congo National flag of South Africa National flag of South Korea National flag of South Vietnam National flag of Spain National flag of Sweden National flag of Switzerland National flag of Syria National flag of Taiwan National flag of Thailand National flag of United Kingdom National flag of United States National flag of Venezuela 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
- Transport
- Commercial Market
Length:
93.50 ft (28.5 m)
Width:
117.45 ft (35.8 m)
Height:
27.56 ft (8.4 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Douglas C-54A (R5D-1) Skymaster production model)
Empty Weight:
38,934 lb (17,660 kg)
MTOW:
72,753 lb (33,000 kg)
(Diff: +33,819lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Douglas C-54A (R5D-1) Skymaster production model)
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.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Douglas C-54A (R5D-1) Skymaster production model)
Max Speed:
275 mph (442 kph; 239 kts)
Service Ceiling:
22,310 feet (6,800 m; 4.23 miles)
Max Range:
3,977 miles (6,400 km; 3,456 nm)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Douglas C-54A (R5D-1) Skymaster production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
None.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Douglas C-54A (R5D-1) Skymaster production model)
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.
Cockpit image of the Douglas C-54 Skymaster (DC-4)
(Cockpit image represents the Douglas VC-54 production model)
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* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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