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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 Airforces
Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport:
United States' Douglas C-54 Skymaster transport
Aeronautics Aircraft Spotters' Handbook
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. The DC-4 was to be a civilian transport and 24 were in production at the time of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The United States Army Air Force took over the aircraft and designated it the C-54.

Prototype

The C-54 first flew on February 14, 1942.

Production

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

  • Douglas C-54: 24
  • Douglas C-54A: 207
  • Douglas C-54B: 220
  • Douglas C-54D: 350
  • Douglas C-54E: 75
  • Douglas C-54G: 76
  • Douglas XC-54K: 1
  • Douglas R5D-1: 58
  • Douglas R5D-2: 30
  • Douglas R5D-3: 98
  • Douglas R5D-4: 20
  • Douglas XC-114: 1
  • Douglas YC-116: 1
  • Douglas DC-4: 79
  • Total: >1,100, 1,242
    • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company

Variants

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

Usage

Britain and the United States used the C-54.

The C-54s flew 79,642 / ~80,000 ocean crossings and only lost three aircraft.

United Kingdom

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

Berlin Airlift

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

1960s

The last of the C-54s were withdrawn from active service.

Specifications

  Douglas C-54 Skymaster
Type Transport
Crew  
Passengers 50
Engine (Type) 4: Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7
OR 4: Pratt & Whitney R-2000-11 Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling  
HP 1,350 each
Propeller blades 3 each
Capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 117' 6"
35.81 m
Length 93' 10"
28.6 m
Height 27' 6", 27' 9"
8.38 m
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty  
Loaded 52,000 lb
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed 250 mph
Cruising speed  
Climb  
Service ceiling  
Maximum range 2,540 miles
Armament  
  Douglas C-54A Skymaster
Type Transport
Crew 4
Passengers 50
Engine (Type) 4: Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7 Twin Wasp
Cylinders Radial 14
Cooling Air
HP 1,290 each
Propeller blades  
Capacity  
Dimensions  
Span 117' 6"
Length 93' 10"
Height 27' 6"
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 37,300 lb
16,919 kg
Loaded 62,000 lb, 68,000 lb
30,845 kg
Maximum load  
Performance  
Speed 265 mph
Speed @ 14,000' /
4,267 m
275 mph
442 kph
Cruising speed 190 - 239 mph
306 -385 kph
Climb 1,010'/minute
308 m/minute
Service ceiling 22,000', 22,500'
6,858 m
Range with maximum
payload
1,500 miles
2,414 km
Maximum range 3,900 miles
6,276 km
Armament None
  Douglas C-54B Skymaster
Type  
Crew  
Passengers  
Engine (Type)  
Cylinders  
Cooling  
HP  
Propeller blades  
Capacity  
Dimensions  
Span  
Length  
Height  
Wing area  
Weight  
Empty 38,200 lb
17,327 kg
Loaded  
Maximum load 73,000 lb
33,113 kg
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