STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Douglas Aircraft Company - USA
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
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)
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.
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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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (275mph).
Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Douglas C-54A (R5D-1) Skymaster's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
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
* Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.
** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.