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United States' Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport

Photos

Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport:
United States' Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport
US Army Airforces3
Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport:
United States' Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook3
Douglas C-54D Skymaster transport in 1950:
United States' Douglas C-54D Skymaster transport in 1950
USMC Photo
Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport:
United States' Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport

Design

The Douglas C-54 Skymaster was based on the DC-4.1,2,3 The DC-4 was to be a civilian transport and 24 were in production at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.1 The United States Army Air Force took over the aircraft and designated it the C-54.1

Prototype

The C-54 first flew on February 14, 1942.1

Production

Only 34 C-54s were ordered in the first order placed.2

  • Douglas C-54: 241
  • Douglas C-54A: 2071
  • Douglas C-54B: 2201
  • Douglas C-54D: 3501
  • Douglas C-54E: 751
  • Douglas C-54G: 761
  • Douglas XC-54K: 11
  • Douglas R5D-1: 581
  • Douglas R5D-2: 301
  • Douglas R5D-3: 981
  • Douglas R5D-4: 201
  • Douglas XC-114: 11
  • Douglas YC-116: 11
  • Douglas DC-4: 791
  • Total: >1,1002, 1,2421
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company2

Variants

  • Douglas C-54:
  • Douglas C-54A / Douglas R5D-1: Had a stronger floor.1 Added a cargo door and freight hoist.1 Could be converted from passengers, troops, or freight.1
  • Douglas C-54B / Douglas R5D-2: Had integral wing tanks.1 Could carry stretchers.1
  • Douglas C-54C: Conversion of one C-54A for use by President Roosevelt.1
  • Douglas C-54D / Douglas R5D-3: Had R-2000-11 engines.1
  • Douglas C-54E / Douglas R5D-4: Had extra fuel capacity.1
  • Douglas C-54G / Douglas R5D-5: Had R-2000-9 engines (1,450 HP).1
  • Douglas XC-54K: Long range.1
  • Douglas XC-114 / Douglas YC-116: Allison V-1710 engines.1

Usage

Britain and the United States used the C-54.1

The C-54s flew 79,6422 / ~80,000 ocean crossings and only lost three aircraft.1,2

United Kingdom

The Royal Air Force (RAF) received 23 C-54s and designated them Skymaster Mk. Is.1 Winston Churchill used one.1

Berlin Airlift

C-54s were used extensively during the Berlin Airlift.2

1960s

The last of the C-54s were withdrawn from active service.2

Specifications

  Douglas C-54 Skymaster1,3
Type Transport1
Crew  
Passengers 501
Engine (Type) 4: Pratt & Whitney R-2000-71
OR 4: Pratt & Whitney R-2000-11 Twin Wasp1
Cylinders Radial 141
Cooling  
HP 1,350 each1
Propeller blades 3 each1
Capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 117' 6"1,3
35.81 m1
Length 93' 10"1,3
28.6 m1
Height 27' 6"1, 27' 9"3
8.38 m1
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 52,000 lb3
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed 250 mph3
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Maximum range 2,540 miles3
Armament  
  Douglas C-54A Skymaster1,2
Type Transport2
Crew 42
Passengers 502
Engine (Type) 4: Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7 Twin Wasp2
Cylinders Radial 142
Cooling Air2
HP 1,290 each2
Propeller blades  
Capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 117' 6"2
Length 93' 10"2
Height 27' 6"2
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 37,300 lb1
16,919 kg1
Loaded 62,000 lb2, 68,000 lb1
30,845 kg1
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed 265 mph2
Speed @ 14,000' /
4,267 m
275 mph1
442 kph1
Cruising speed 190 - 239 mph1
306 -385 kph1
Climb 1,010'/minute1
308 m/minute1
Service ceiling 22,000'2, 22,500'1
6,858 m1
Range with maximum
payload
1,500 miles1
2,414 km1
Maximum range 3,900 miles1,2
6,276 km1
Armament None2
  Douglas C-54B Skymaster1
Type  
Crew  
Passengers  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Capacity  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 38,200 lb1
17,327 kg1
Loaded  
Maximum load 73,000 lb1
33,113 kg1
Performance  
Speed  
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Maximum range  
Armament  

Sources:

  1. Aircraft of WWII, Stewart Wilson, 1998
  2. World War II Airplanes Volume 2, Enzo Angelucci, Paolo Matricardi, 1976
  3. Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook, Ensign L. C. Guthman, 1943
20th Century American Military History Crucial Site