Douglas C-54A Skymaster
|Dimensions||117'6" x 93'11"
35.81m by 28.63m by 8.38m
|Wing area||1460 sq ft
136 sq m
|Maximum speed||275 mph at 14,000 feet
443 km/h at 4300 meters
to 239 mph
306 to 385 km/h
|Powerplant||4 1350 hp (1007 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7 Twin Wasp 14-cylinder radial engines driving three bladed propellers|
|Range||1500 miles (2400 km) loaded
3900 miles (6300 km) ferry at 190 mph (306 km/h)
|Production||1242 from 2/42 at Douglas Aircraft Company, Santa
Monica, CA and
C-54B had integral wing tanks and provisions for stretchers.
The C-54D had R-2000-11 engines.
The C-54E increased the fuel capacity.
The C-54G had 1450 hp R-2000-9 engines.
The C-54 was a slimmed down and simplified DC-4 taken over by the U.S. military. It could carry up to 50 passengers, though the unpressurized cabin must have made for an unpleasant trip. It had a strong floor and large freight door, 44 removable seats, and provisions for towing gliders. Large flaps and a tricycle gear made it possible to operate this aircraft off of ordinary military runways.
The DC-4 was first prototyped as a 52-seat
pressurized commercial passenger aircraft, but it was judged too large
and expensive for the market. The aircraft was redesigned as the
42-seat unpressurized DC-4A, of which 24 were in production for
civilian airlines when war broke out. The Air Force commandeered the
production line and the first units, which went into service unchanged
from the commercial configuration. The aircraft proved extremely
reliable in operation, with just 3 aircraft lost in 80,000 ocean
About 23 went to the British, and Churchill used one as his
official transport. The U.S. Navy designated it the R5D.
About 30% of C-54 crews were deployed against Japan.
The Pacific War Online Encyclopedia © 2007 by Kent G. Budge. Index