Model Airplane News
May, 1948

Model Airplane News Cover for May, 1948 by Jo Kotula Douglas DC-4

Douglas DC-4
Model Airplane News Cover Art for May, 1948
by Jo Kotula
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The Douglas DC-4 is a four-engined propeller-driven airliner developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company. It served during World War II, in the Berlin Airlift and into the 1960s in a military role. From 1945, many civil airlines operated it worldwide.

The Douglas DC-4      The Douglas DC-4

Douglas DC-4
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The DC-4 was intended to fulfil United Airlines' requirement for a long-range 42-passenger airliner. The DC-4 first flew in June of 1938, The type proved to be ahead of its time: it was complicated to maintain and uneconomical to operate. The sponsoring airlines, Eastern and United, decided to ask instead for a smaller and simpler derivative, but before the definitive DC-4 could enter service the outbreak of the Second World War meant production was channeled to the United States Army Air Forces and the type was given the military designation C-54 Skymaster. Additional versions used by the US Navy were designated R5D. The DC-4 had a notable innovation in that its tricycle landing gear allowed it to incorporate a fuselage of constant cross-section for most of its length. This lent itself to easy stretching into the later DC-6 and DC-7. A total of 1,163 C-54/R5Ds were built for the United States military services between 1942 and January 1946. Douglas continued to develop the plane during the war in preparation for a return to airline services when peace returned. However, the type's sales prospects were hit by the offloading of 500 wartime C-54s and R5Ds onto the civil market. Douglas produced 79 new-build DC-4s between January 1946 and cessation of production in August 1947. Pressurization was available as an option, but all civilian DC-4s (and C-54s) were built unpressurized. Purchasers of the new build aircraft included National Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Western Airlines in the USA and KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines, Scandinavian Airlines System, Sabena Belgian World Airlines and South African Airways in overseas markets. The DC-4 featured extensively in the 1954 John Wayne motion picture The High and the Mighty

Here is a video of the Douglas DC-4:

The Louis Marx toy company made a pressed tin model of the DC-4, as shown below:

 The Marx Pan-Am DC-4     The Marx Pan-Am DC-4

The Marx Pan-Am DC-4
Left: Bob's Plane Right: Tom's Plane

 The Marx Pan-Am DC-4 with Marx Air-Stairs    Left: Bob's Plane Right: Tom's Plane

 The Marx Pan-Am DC-4 with Marx Air-Stairs

DC-4 with the Marx Air-Stairs

 Marx-Charlmar DC-6

The Marx DC-6

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First is a pressed tin model of a DC-4, made by the Louis H. Marx Toy Company, sent in by readers Bob (left) and Tom (right). Tom has done some work placing his model in context. Marx also made a DC-6 that was marketed by the "Charlmar" Division (named for his wife Charlotte). [Thanks to reader Tom for this information!]

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