Aviation 101 Douglas DC-4
The Douglas DC-4 is a four engine propeller-driven aircraft developed in the early 1940's. Before the DC-4 could enter civilian service, the entry of the US into World War II caused all aircraft production to be channeled
into the US military. The military designation for the DC-4 was C-54 Skymaster which first flew in Feb. 1942. Between May 1942 and Aug 1947, a total of 1245 aircraft were built by Douglas including 79 DC-4's following the war.
- Crew: four
- Capacity: 40 to 80 passengers
- Length: 93 ft 10 in (28.6 m)
- Wingspan: 117 ft 6 in (35.8 m)
- Height: 27
ft 6 in (8.38 m)
- Wing area: 1,460ft² (135.6 m²)
- Empty weight: 43,300 lb (19,640 kg)
- Loaded weight: 63,500 lb (28,800 kg)
- Max. takeoff
weight: 73,000 lb (33,100 kg)
- Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney R-2000 radial engine, 1,450 hp (1,081 kW) each
Transocean Air Lines DC-4
Find out more about the DC-4 at this link:
LAB Douglas DC-4 Aircraft Fleet
Histories and photos of three aircraft operated by Lloyd Aereo Boliviano
The only photo of LAB
DC-4's I can find; two of the three in the fleet
Douglas C-54B-1-DC c/n 10510 / DC241
Built by Douglas Aircraft Co at the Chicago,IL plant Douglas Line No.
2 Jan 1945
- converted to DC-4
China National Aviation Corp. XT-T06
China National Aviation Corp.
CNAC XT-T06 ca. 1946 - Photo by TT and Frieda Chen
Historical note: In 1949 when mainland China became a Communist state, 12 aircraft operated by CNAC were flown
from their base of operations in Hong Kong to the mainland. The remaining 71 aircraft were sold by the Nationalists to the Delaware-registered Civil Air Transport Inc., in an effort to save them from the Communists. After a lengthy legal battle and diplomatic
efforts, the planes, (including this aircraft, the future CP-609), were delivered by the Hong Kong government to CATI in 1952.
Civil Air Transport (CAT) N8346C
Purchased 1 Oct 1949 - delivered in 1952
Continuation: As far as I can tell, this aircraft
became part of Civil Air Transport (CAT), a Nationalist Chinese airline, later owned by the CIA, that supported United States covert operations in East and Southeast Asia thru the mid 1970's. In 1950 the airline was facing financial difficulties and as a result
the CIA formed a private Delaware corporation called Airdale Corp., which formed a subsidiary called Civil Air Transport Inc. (CATI). This provided CAT with an infusion of cash which kept the covert airline in operation. In 1959 CAT was reorganized as Air
America. What involvement our aircraft in question (the future CP-609) had in all of this is unknown. What is known is that by 1952 this aircraft was owned by CATI and was either located in the US or in East Asia.
California Eastern Aviation N4837V
Transocean Air Lines - TALOA "
1 Feb 1953
- leased from CEA
California Eastern Aviation "
5 Feb 1960
Fifteen minutes after takeoff from Cochabamba en route to La Paz on a scheduled passenger flight, the DC-4 crashed near Laguna Huanacota, a mountain lagoon. Reportedly one engine had caught fire. A two year old girl survived the impact but died on the
way to the hospital. Location: 15 km. south of Laguna Huancota. Fatalities: 59, 4 crew and 55 passengers. - Information from Aviation Safety Network.
CNAC mechanic Bill Sanford with XT-T06 in Shanghai in
CEA N4837V (photo labeled with old USAAF 42-72405 reg)
Photo from Dusty Carter via Norman Malayney
Similar DC-4 operated by Transocean Air Lines in the 1950's
LAB CP-610 - Photo from
Roll Out - Spotting Aeronautico del Cono Sur
Douglas C-54B-1-DC Skymaster c/n 10538
Built by Douglas Aircraft Co. - Chicago, IL plant l/n DC269
23 Jan 1945
Reconstruction Finance Corp. "
- converted to DC-4
China National Aviation Corp. XT-T-04
1946 - Shanghai
re-registered as XT-104
Civil Air Transport
Purchased 1 Oct 1949 - Delivered in 1952 after legal dispute
Note: This aircraft
was is the same group of aircraft as the future CP-609 described above.
Transocean Air Lines
- TALOA - Oakland, CA
- leased from CAT
- aircraft used in "Royal Hawaiian" flights-Oakland to Honolulu
- named "African Queen"
- aircraft used in filming "The High and the Mighty" starring John Wayne
28 Mar 1955
27 Sep 1956
During Sept of 1956, there was considerable civil unrest in Bolivia with the opposition political party (FSB) protesting against the National Government of President Hernan Siles Zuazo
and their MNR party. More than 1000 people had been "detained" by the national security forces. In the lowland city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, so many people had been rounded up that there was no place to put them.
On the morning
of 27 Sept a total of 47 "political prisoners" were selected and transported to El Trompillo airport and were loaded onto an aircraft of Lloyd Aereo Boliviano - (CP-610) - to be flown to a government detention center near La Paz.
after takeoff the prisoners rebelled and took control of the aircraft. One of their group just happened to be LAB pilot Captain Saul Pinto Landivar and he was assisted by three trained flight crewmen. They turned to the south and headed to Argentina, landing
in Salta and possibly continuing to Buenos Aires. There they requested political asylum. It is not known what happened to these "rebels", but in 2006 apparently some of them gathered together to commemorate the event that became known as the "Salto a Salta".
A much more detailed account of this interesting affair can be found at the excellent website (in Spanish) Roll Out: Spotting Aeronautico del Cono Sur at this link:
Another good account of the incident- also in Spanish:
Apparently, CP-610 was retrieved from Argentina and continued operating with LAB until 1961.
Purchased by Boreas Corp. N538G
- New York City
Leased to Miami Airlines "
- Greensboro, NC
Leased to Martin's Air Charter PH-MAE
1 Jun 1962
- Martin's Luchtvervoer Maatschappij NV
Bought by Martin's Air Charter "
6 Mar 1963
Bought by Trans World Leasing "
All Air (Allgemeine Lufttransport) D-ADAC
6 Feb 1967
- named "Main"
Sold to TF Transportflug "
- West Germany
- ceased operations
Sold to SODEMAC 9Q-CTD
28 Oct 1970
- Belgian Congo (later Zaire)
Transferred to Zaire
Air Force "
- wfu and stored
- aircraft was stripped for parts and left derelict
N4665V of Transocean Air Lines - "Royal Hawaiian"
PH-MAE of Martin's Air Charter - Photo at Rotterdam, Netherlands 1967 from Alfred Damon Collection
A similar DC-4 operated by Western Airlines
Douglas C-54B-20-DO c/n 27249
Built by Douglas Aircraft Co. at the Santa Monica,
Ca plant Production line # DO 195
11 Jan 1945
- assigned to Tejgaon Air Field, India
- assigned to the 1346th Army Air Force Base
Unit, Air Transport Command 1945
- taxiing accident at Kunming Air Field, China
30 Aug 1945
- Pilot: Warren A. Roth
Reconstruction Finance Corp. N88816
15 Nov 1945
Douglas Aircraft Co. "
1 Dec 1945
- converted to DC-4 #10
16 Oct 1946
- purchased for $90,000, financed by United Airlines
- W.A. fleet # 209
Guest Aerovias Mexico
XA-MAA 18 Dec 1956
Aerovias Panama Airways HP-256
11 Sep 1957
- leased from Guest A.M.
- re-registered HP-268
Guest Aerovias Mexico XA-MAA
21 Mar 1960
- returned from A.P.A.
The Babb Co.
N9326R 22 Mar 1960
International Aircraft Sales / Services - New York
1 Apr 1960
- one yr. lease for $96,000
The Babb Co.
23 Mar 1961
- returned from LAB
International Aircraft Sales/Services "
17 Jan 1962
- ferried to Paris, stored at
Aviation Traders Ltd. - England
G-ASHZ 24 Oct 1962
- converted to ATL-98 Carvair - c/n
9 of 21
- car ferry - held 5 cars plus 25 passengers
British United Air Ferries
Ltd. - BUAF "
6 May 1963 - name changed to British Air Ferries - BAF
- named "Maasbrug" until 1967
named "Fat Annie" after 1967
- wfu and stored
SOACO - France
- Societe Anonmede Construction
- short lease for construction projects in Libreville,
Gabon Nov 1976 to Feb 1977
Trans World Leasing
24 Feb 1977
Returned to British Air Ferries
- conversion to all cargo configuration "
Jun-6 Jul 1977
- damaged by heavy winds
Red Cross "
- two month lease for disaster relief in Middle and Far East
Returned to BAF
7 Sep 1978
24 Dec 1978
Falcon Airways - Griffin,GA
N89FA Jun 1979
Mercantile Texas Corp. "
Mercantile National Bank of Dallas
- ownership transferred from MTC
Leasing of California - offices in Incline Village, NV 1980
James Blumenthal - Tucson, AZ "
Custom Air Service / Robert D. McSwiggen
" 19 Mar 1987
- Griffin, GA
painted with "Fat Annie - Miss 1944" emblem
Academy Airlines - leased from CAS "
- Griffin, GA
Air Service "
- returned from Academy Airlines
Avignon Inc. / Deems Clifton - Cincinnati, OH "
9 Feb 2001
- purchased for $275,000
- parked at Sherman, TX
Gator Global Flying Service Inc. - Denison, TX "
9 Jan 2003
- name changed from Avignon Inc.
- aircraft parked at Gainesville, TX
- participated in skydiving event in Rantoul, IL
80 skydivers and crew of 5
- last flight ?
Jan 2010 - wfu
South African Air Lease LLC
" 13 Mar 2012
- Clayton, OH
- aircraft stored at Gainesville,
as of 2014
extensive and wide-ranging career of this aircraft appears to have come to an end. Every source of information that I found contained some of this information, but none listed everything that I have here. Certainly, some errors have crept into this listing
and possibly some omissions, if so I apologize in advance.
A similar DC-4
After conversion to ATL-98 Carvair - aircraft #9 of 21: capacity 5 cars and 25 passengers.
G-ASHZ operated by British United Air Ferries - mid-1960's
GASHZ after name change to British Air Ferries - early 1970's - Aerial Visuals
N89FA "Fat Annie - Miss 1944" - Willow Run, MI - 2005 - Photo: Central Imaging - JetPhotos
end of this section - LAB DC-4
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