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2017-11-20

BACKGROUND  NOTES

 
     
 

Douglas DC-4  Skymaster

Douglas C-54  Skymaster

 
     
  The story which did happen ... outside Atlantic Air Combat  
     
  See also : AAC Aircraft Notes
 M054E15.CloudLifter.Notes
 AAC.Transport.Aircrafts
 AAC.Airliners
Sources
 C54 www.prop-liners.com
 C54 www.uswarplanes.net
 C54 www.historyofwar.org
   
 DC4 www.prop-liners.com
 CL2 www.rwrwalker.ca
Other Background Pages :
 DC4.Skymaster
 DC6 Liftmaster
 DC7 Seven Seas
 

INTRODUCTION

The DC-4/C-54 was an airliner/transport aircraft produced during the second world war.  It was powered by four P&W R-2000-3 Twin Wasp engines (1,350 hp takeoff power, 1,100 hp at low altitude, and 1,000 hp at high altitude), driving three-bladed Hamilton Standard variable-pitch propellers.  Her typical crew was : pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, radio operator, navigator and load master.  A crew relief compartment with toilet and bunks was available behind the cockpit while two lavatories were located at the rear for passenger use in the airliner version..  The C-54 and ensuing DC-4 airliner were not pressurized; some of the Canadian-built North Stars were (most airliners and the unique CL-5).  It was developped into the DC-6/C-118 and later into the DC-7 series.

The aircraft saw world wide use after WWII.  To only name a few operators within the AAC time frame of interest :

Production - - Qty DC4 Skymaster 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
USA AF TM 24 C54 Slymaster 1942                          
USA AF TM 252 C54A Slymaster 1942                          
USA AF TM 220 C54B Slymaster 1943                          
USA AF TM 380 C54D Slymaster 1944                          
USA AF TM 125 C54E Slymaster 1944                          
USA AF TM 162 C54G Slymaster 1945                          
USA - TA 79 DC4 Slymaster 1945 1946                        
Canada AF TM 24 CL-2 North Star Mk1 1946 1948                        
Canada - TA 46 CL-4 North Star Mk2 1949                          
Canada AF TM 1 CL-5 North Star Mk3 1950                          
Operators Op Role DC4 Aircraft Name 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967
USA AF TM 1163 C-54* Skymaster 1942 196+ >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
France AF TM 1 C-54E Slymaster 1945 1982 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Netherlands AF TM 4 C-54 Slymaster 1946 ?? >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Canada AF TM 24 CL-2 North Star 1947 1966 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> 1966 -
Argentina AF TM 9 C-54 Slymaster 1947 1982 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Argentina NA TM 9 C-54 Slymaster 1948 1981 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Venezuela AF TM 1 C-54 Slymaster 1949 1979 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Belgium AF TM 2 C-54A Slymaster 1950 1969 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Portugal AF TM 4 C-54D Slymaster 1952 1976 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Cuba AF TM 2 C-54 Slymaster 1956 1967 1956 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Dominican.R AF TM 2 C-54 Slymaster 1957 1967   1957 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Rhodesia AF TM 4 CL-2 North Star 1959 1964       1959 >> >> >> >> 1964 - - -
Spain AF TM 17 C-54 Slymaster 1959 1976       1959 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Denmark AF TM 6 C-54G Slymaster 1959 1977       1959 >> >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Brazil AF TM 12 C-54G Slymaster 1960 1969         1960 >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Mexico AF TM 7 C-54B Slymaster 1960 1994         1960 >> >> >> >> >> >> >>
Portugal AF TM 4 C-54A Slymaster 1961 1976           1961 >> >> >> >> >> >>
Iceland AF TM 1 C-54 Slymaster 1962 1971             1962 >> >> >> >> >>
France NA TM 1 C-54B Slymaster 1962 1978             1962 >> >> >> >> >>
Peru AF TM 5 C-54 Slymaster 1962 1984             1962 >> >> >> >> >>
Paraguay AF TM 2 C-54 Slymaster 1962 1986             1962 >> >> >> >> >>
Portugal AF TM 14 C-54D Slymaster 1965 1976                   1965 >> >>
South Africa AF TM 8 C-54 Slymaster 1966 1994                     1966 >>

DC-4/C-54 Short Notes
24  C-54

Integral wing fuel tanks and four fuel tanks in the fuselage, for a total fuel capacity of 3,580 US gallons.

252  C-54A

Double cargo / passenger door in the rear instead of the simple passenger door.  Folding metal bucket seats along fuselage walls for 33 troops or 24 litters + seats for medical attendants.  Larger wing fuel tanks : 3,620 US gallons for a 2,600 nautical miles range carrying a 9,000 lb load.

R5D-1: 56 C-54As - some refitted with C-54B fuel system & renamed R5D-1C - to the US Navy
C-54N : post 1962 designation of the R5D-1

220  C-54B

No fuselage fuel tanks but extra outer wings fuel tanks for a total fuel capacity of 3,740 US gallons. Metal bucket seats replaced by lighter frame-cloth type.  Passenger capacity raised to 49, and litters raised to 36.

R5D-2: 30 C-54Bs to the US Navy
C-54P : post 1962 designation of the R5D-2

VC-54C

Customized airframe for the US President featuring a C-54A fuselage, C-54B wings, with outer wing tanks (4,510 US gal)

380  C-54D

Same as C-56B with R-2000-11 high altitude engines

R5D-3: 95 C-54Cs to the US Navy
C-54Q : post 1962 designation of the R5D-3

125  C-54E

Similar to C-54D, with additional inner wings fuel tanks (3,540 US gallons).

R5D-4: 20 C-54Es to the US Navy
C-54R : post 1962 designation of the R5D-4

162  C-54G

Similar to C-54E, with R-2000-9 engines.

R5D-5: 13 R5D airframes upgraded to a C-54G standard to the US Coast Guard
C-54S : post 1962 designation of the R5D-5

XC-114

Allison V12 engines plus a fuselage stretch

XC-116

Similar to XC-114"

79  DC-4

Airliners assembled postwar (DC-4-1009 to  be accurate) - presumably with R-2000-9 equivalent engines

(??)  C-54M

Stripped down airframes used during the Berlin Air Lift (1947-1948)

(30)  MC-54M

C-54Es reconfigured for 32 litters + medical attendants (Korean War)

(21)  Carvair

Modified C-54 airframes with a raised cockpit, highter tail and bulged front landing gear doors for car & passengers ferry:
- first modified in 1961 and last in 1968, initially for Laker Airways
- 5 cars + 22 passengers (rear compartment) or 3 cars + 55 passengers, or 65 passengers

24  CL-2

North Star Mk1 - hybrid design powered by RR Merlin V12 engines, using shortened (6'08") DC6 fuselage, nose and landing gear, DC4 tail, tail plane & rear fuselage, and mixed C54/DC4 wing arrangement.  Built by Canadair for RCAF

c/n RCAF Douglas Note-1 Built Ret. Note2
101 17525 C-54GM/CL-2 1957:radar.fitted 1946 1959 Crash
102 17518 C-54GM/CL-2 Built.as.DC-4M-1 1946 1962 Wfu
103 17519 C-54GM/CL-2 Built.as.DC-4M-1 1947 1948 Crash
104 17520 C-54GM/CL-2 Built.as.DC-4M-1 1947 1962 Crash
105 17521 C-54GM/CL-2 Built.as.DC-4M-1 1947 1963 Wfu
106 17522 C-54GM/CL-2 Built.as.DC-4M-1 1947 1954 Crash
107 17523 C-54GM/CL-2 Built.as.DC-4M-1 1947 1951 Crash
108 17501 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1947 1953 Fire
109 17502 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1947 1966 Wfu
110 17503 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1947 1953 Crash
111 17504 C-54GM/CL-2 1960:radar.fitted 1947 1966 Wfu
112 17505 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1947 1953 Crash
113 17506 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1947 1965 Wfu
c/n RCAF Douglas Note-1 Built Ret. Note2
114 17507 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1947 1966 Wfu
115 17508 C-54GM/CL-2 1960:radar.fitted 1947 1965 Wfu
116 17509 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1947 1960 Fire
117 17510 C-54GM/CL-2 1960:radar.fitted 1948 1965 Wfu
118 17511 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1948 1963 Wfu
119 17512 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1948 1963 Wfu
120 17513 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1948 1956 Fire
121 17514 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1948 1975 Wfu
122 17515 C-54GM/CL-2 1960:radar.fitted 1948 1965 Wfu
123 17516 C-54GM/CL-2 - 1948 1965 Wfu
124 17517 C-54GM/CL-2 1959:radar.fitted 1948 1963 Wfu
171 17524 C-54GM/CL-5 Pressurized 1950 1967 Wfu
- # C-54GM/CL-2 Type.retirement 1947 1965 -

20 

CL-4

North Star Mk2 - airliners for Trans-Canada Airlines - most were pressurized

22  CL-4

C-4 Argonaut    - airliners for BOAC (1949 and 1960) - most were pressurized

CL-4

North Star C-4  - airliners for Canadian Pacific Air Lines - most were pressurized

CL-5

North Star Mk3 - single P&W R-2800 Twin Wasp variant for the RCAF - pressurized

Key DC-4/DC-6 Differences

DC-4 has round/oval windows, DC-6 has square windows

DC-4 rarely had propeller spinners, most DC-6 had

DC-4 had a rounded tail top while DC-6 had a flatter area at the top of the tail

DC-4 had rounded propeller tips while DC-6 hand squared propeller tips

DC-4 had a long single exhaust on the outboard side of engines while DC-6 had hardly discernable exhausts covered by cowl flaps.

DC-4 Summary Table
Aircraft.ID C-54 C-54A C-54B VC-54C C-54D C-54E/G DC-4 CL-2 CL-5
Aircraft.NAME Skymaster Skymaster Skymaster Skymaster Skymaster Skymaster Skymaster North Star North Star
Dimensions 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7 3 7
Length 26.80 m 26.80 m 26.80 m 26.80 m 26.80 m 26.80 m 26.80 m 28.89 28.89
Span 35.81 m 35.81 m 35.81 m 35.81 m 35.81 m 35.81 m 35.81 m 35.81 m 35.81 m
Body Ř W×H 125"×138" 125"×138" 125"×138" 125"×138" 125"×138" 125"×138" 125"×138" 125"×138" 125"×138"
Height 8.38 m 8.38 m 8.38 m 8.38 m 8.38 m 8.38 m 8.38 m 8.38 m 8.84 m
Equipment C-54 C-54A C-54B VC-54C C-54D C-54E/G DC-4 CL-2 CL-5
Avionics:Radar // // // // // AN/APS-42 AN/APS-42 (some) AN/APS-42
Avionics:IRST // // // // // // // // //
Avionics:Warn // // // // // // // // //
Pressurized No No No No No No No No Yes
Engine×4 R.2000-3 R.2000-7 R.2000-7 R.2000-7 R.2000-11 E:R.2000-11
G:R.2000.  9
R.2000-9 Merlin.622 R.2800CB17
Pwr:Military 1 100.hp 1 100.hp 1 100.hp 1 100.hp 1 200.hp 1 100.hp 1 760.hp 2 300.hp
Pwr:Extra 1 350.hp 1 350.hp 1 350.hp 1 350.hp 1 450.hp 1 450.hp -.hp 2 500.hp
Propeller 13'02" 13'02" 13'02" 13'02" 13'02" 13'02" 13'02"   13'06"
Fuel C-54 C-54A C-54B VC-54C C-54D C-54E/G DC-4 CL-2 CL-5
Fuel:Internal: US 3580 US 3 620 US 3 740 US 4510 US 3 740 US 3 520 US 3 592 US 3 740 US 3 740 US
Fuel:Internal: gal 2 981 gal 3 014 gal 3 114 gal 3 755 gal 3 114 gal 2 931 gal 2 991 gal 3 114 gal 3 114 gal
Weights C-54 C-54A C-54B VC-54C C-54D C-54E/G DC-4 CL-2 CL-5
Empty           38 930 lb 43 300 lb 43 500 lb 49 475 lb
Crew: 200 lb/@                     4 800 lb 6 1 200 lb        
Fuel: gal×4.9           14 362 lb 14 656 lb    
Loads 30 000 lb 32 000 lb 32 000 lb 32 000 lb 32 000 lb 32 000 lb 22 000 lb  lb  lb
Cargo 500lb/@
- - - - - - - - - - - 18 908 lb - 3 137 lb - lb × -
Pax 225lb/@
26 - 33 - 49 - - - - - 50 - 60 13 500 lb 60 13 500 lb 60 13 500 lb
Stetch 225lb/@
- - 24 - 36 - - - - - 32 7 200 lb - lb × lb × lb
Nurse 225lb/@
- - - - - - - - - - 4 900 lb - lb × lb × lb
Troop 300lb/@
- - 33 - - - - - - - 50 15 000 lb - lb × lb × lb
Para 360lb/@
// lb // lb // lb // lb // lb // lb // lb // lb // lb
Total lb lb lb lb lb lb lb lb lb
MTOW 70 000 lb 73 000 lb 73 000 lb 73 000 lb 73 000 lb 73 000 lb 73 000 lb 78 000 lb 86 000 lb
Performances   C-54 C-54A C-54B C-54D C-54E/G DC-4 CL-2 CL-5
Speed:max - - - - -

238.kn

238.kn

307.kn

313.kn

Speed:cruise - - - - -

213.kn

213.kn

282.kn 285.kn
Climb.rate - - - - - 700.ft/min - 972 ft/min -
Ceiling - - - - - 22 300.ft 22 300.ft 26 700.ft 29 500.ft
Range: Max.Fuel - - - - - 3 700.nmi - - .nmi
Range: 10,000 lb - 2 600.nmi - - - 3 475.nmi - 3 354.nmi 4343.nmi
Range: 14,000 lb - - - - - 2 693.nmi 2 172.nmi - -
Range: 20,000 lb - 2 175.nmi - - - 1 737.nmi - - -
Range: 28,000 lb - - - - - - - - -
Range: 32,000 lb - - - - - - - - -
Features C-54 C-54A C-54B C-54B C-54D C-54E/G DC-4 CL-2 CL-5
Engine-1:Reverse no no no no no no no Yes Yes
Windows oval oval oval oval oval oval oval square square
Tyres:main 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2
Tyres:front 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2 44 x 15,50 - 2
 
 
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