Douglas decided to produce a four-engine transport about twice the size of
the DC-3 and, in 1938, developed the single DC-4E to carry 42 passengers
by day or 30 by night. It had complete sleeping accommodations, including
a private bridal room.
It proved too expensive to
maintain, so airlines agreed to suspend development in favour of the less
complex DC-4, but it was not put into commercial service until 1946. Its
military derivative was the C-54 "Skymaster" transport, ordered by the
U.S. Army Air Forces in 1942.
Douglas built 1,241 of the
DC-4s and its military counterparts. During the war, C-54s flew a million
miles a month over the rugged North Atlantic - more than 20 round trips a
day. A special C-54C, nicknamed the "Sacred Cow" by the White House press
corps, became the first presidential aircraft, ordered for Franklin D.
In the years immediately
following the war, new DC-4s and used C-54s carried more passengers than
any other four-engine transport. Some were still flying through 1998.
After World War II,
commercial airlines placed more than 300 civilian DC-4 transports into
feet 6 inches
||93 feet 5 inches
||27 feet 7 inches
||Four 1,450 horsepower
Pratt & Whitney R-2000 "Twin-Wasp" engines
|44 to 80 passengers