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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9

Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52

   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell

   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation

Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander

   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto

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Douglas C-54 Skymaster

(Variants/Other Names: R5D; Also see History below)

A Douglas C-54D Skymaster repainted in WWII US Army Air Force markings at Chico, California in October 1992. (Photo by RuthAS, used via Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.)

History: When it was decided that the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, should have a personal airplane to transport him to meetings around the world, the aircraft of choice was the US Army Air Corps’ (USAAC) C-54A Skymaster. Dubbed ‘The Sacred Cow’, this was the plane that took the president to Tehran, Casablanca, Hawaii and other less exotic spots in the USA.

The C-54 was the military derivative of the Douglas DC-4, a four-engine long range airliner with a three-man crew and accommodations for up to 49 passengers or 26 troops. Originally designed to a specification from United Airlines, the DC-4 had a maximum speed of 274 mph and a range of 3900 miles. The first 61 civilian orders were followed by a further buy for 71 from the USAAC though, in the end, most ended up in Army service.

To meet the military’s more stringent needs, the DC-4 was given a cargo door, stronger floor, cargo boom hoist and larger wing tanks. First flight of the military C-54 occurred on 26 March 1942. During the war years, 1242 C-54s were delivered with a wide variety of modifications. A few of the major ones were the C-54A, the original, fully militarized model capable of lifting 50 soldiers or 32,500 pounds of cargo; the JC-54D, which was modified for missile nose cone recovery; the C-54E, with larger Pratt & Whitney engines, bigger fuel tanks for longer range and a specially designed cabin for quick conversion between passenger and cargo roles; the C-54M, which was a C-54E stripped out to serve as a coal-carrier during the Berlin Airlift; the EC-54U, a post-war modification as an electronic counter-measures platform; and at least 14 sub-variants built for the US Navy originally called the R5D. There were numerous other variants which performed countless other roles, from VIP transport to multi-engine training.

The C-54 offered sterling service for both the USAF and the US Navy after the war, and was not fully retired until the late 1960’s. Ex-military Skymasters became popular as cargo transports and fire bombers, and many are still in active use around the world in these roles. A lucky few have been acquired by appreciative warbird groups in the USA.

Nicknames: The Sacred Cow (FDR's personal transport); Rescuemaster (US Air Force's SC-54D air-sea rescue variant.)

        Engines: Four 1,450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-2000-2SD-13G Twin Wasp radial piston engines.
        Weight: Empty 43,300 lbs., Max Takeoff 73,000 lbs.
        Wing Span: 117ft. 6in.
        Length: 93ft. 10in.
        Height: 27ft. 6in.
            Maximum Speed: 280 mph at 14,000 ft.
            Ceiling: 22,300 ft.
            Range: 2,500 miles
        Armament: None

Number Built: 1000+ (military versions)

Number Still Airworthy: At least 100 

AeroWeb C-54 Specs Page
Air Force Association C-54 Page
Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation -- Operates C-54E / R5D "Spirit of Freedom."
CNAPG DC-4 (C-54) Page
Israeli Air Force Transports
Photovault C-54 Photo Page





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All text and photos Copyright 2016 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
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