The Douglas C-54 Skymaster is a four-engined transport aircraft used by the United States Army Air Forces in World War II and the Korean War. Like the Douglas C-47 Skytrain derived from the DC-3, the C-54 Skymaster was derived from a civilian airliner, the Douglas DC-4. Besides transport of cargo, the C-54 also carried presidents, prime ministers, and military staff. Dozens of variants of the C-54 were employed in a wide variety of non-combat roles such as air-sea rescue, scientific and military research, and missile tracking and recovery. During the Berlin Airlift it hauled coal and food supplies to West Berlin. After the Korean War it continued to be used for military and civilian uses by more than 30 countries. It was one of the first aircraft to carry the President of the United States.

General characteristics

Crew: 4
Capacity: day transport: 44 pax with baggage and freight; sleeper transport : 22 pax with baggage and freight
later, up to 86 in high density seating
Length: 93 ft 10 in (28.60 m)
Wingspan: 117 ft 6 in (35.81 m)
Height: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Wing area: 1,460 sq ft (136 m2)
Airfoil: root: NACA 23016; tip: NACA 23012
Empty weight: 43,300 lb (19,641 kg)
Gross weight: 63,500 lb (28,803 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 73,000 lb (33,112 kg)
Fuel capacity: 2,868 US gal (2,388 imp gal; 10,860 l) normal capacity or 3,592 US gal (2,991 imp gal; 13,600 l) with alternative inner wing tanks
Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney R-2000-2SD13-G Twin Wasp 14-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 1,450 hp (1,080 kW) each for take-off
1,100 hp (820 kW) at 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton-Standard Hydromatic, 13 ft 1 in (3.99 m) diameter constant-speed propellers


Maximum speed: 280 mph (450 km/h, 240 kn) at 14,000 ft (4,300 m)
Cruise speed: 227 mph (365 km/h, 197 kn) 60% power at 10,000 ft (3,000 m)
Maximum cruise speed 246 mph (214 kn; 396 km/h) in high blower at 20,800 ft (6,300 m)
Range: 3,300 mi (5,300 km, 2,900 nmi) at 10% above max L/D speed

Ferry range: 4,250 mi (6,840 km, 3,690 nmi) with inner wing fuel cells
Wing loading: 50.1 lb/sq ft (245 kg/m2) at maximum gross weight
Power/mass: 0.0787 hp/lb (0.1294 kW/kg) at maximum gross weight with take-off power

Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Company
First flight: 14 February 1942
Introduction: 1942
Retired: 1975

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