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Aircraft Make & Model:
Douglas DC-7
MTOW:
122,200 lb.
Range:
2,760 miles
Speed:
360 mph
Seats:
70 passengers (8-seat luxury Sky Room, 5-seat Sky Lounge and two main cabins)
Length:
109 ft.
Wingspan:
118 ft.
Height:
29 ft.
Engines:
4 Wright Double Cyclone R-3350
HP or Thrust:
3,250 hp
No. flown by DL:
21 including 10 model -7Bs
RoutesFlown:
Initially Chicago-Miami route. Later to San Juan and Caracas from New Orleans; and to Washington, DC and New York from Atlanta, Houston and Dallas.
Advantages:
Drawbacks:
First Delivery:
March 3, 1954
First Scheduled Service:
April 1, 1954
Reason Aquired:
Last Retirement:
1968
Reason Disposed:
Replaced by jet aircraft.

Narrative:  Douglas DC-7 1954-1968

Setting Records
After setting record-breaking 6½ hour transcontinental delivery flights, Delta promoted its DC-7 fleet as "America's Fastest and Finest Airliner."

Delta operated the world's first intercontinental DC-7 scheduled flight on April 1, 1955, with service from New Orleans to San Juan and Caracas.

Luxury Interiors
Deluxe Douglas DC-7 aircraft carried passengers in all-first-class seating. The "luxurious interior" featured tan, turquoise and aqua fabric and leather accented in gold and silver. Gold window curtains depicted scenes along Delta's routes, "setting the mood for a Millionaire Dream Vacation in such gay holiday spots as New Orleans, Jamaica and Havana."

Golden Crown Service

Delta introduced DC-7 Golden Crown Service in 1954, with extra onboard amenities, including a typewriter for the workaholics and a shaver for the last-minute arrivals.

Royal Service
Delta launched industry-leading, luxury Royal Service with the Douglas DC-7 on September 22, 1958. Royal Service flights featured:
  • Three flight attendants (instead of the usual two) for the "finest and the swiftest service available."
  • Complimentary champagne
  • A choice of entrées at mealtime, and canapés and cocktails in the afternoon.
  • Muzak tape recordings played during boarding.
  • Children received Delta's first "kiddie wings" souvenir pins. Junior Pilot pins for boys and Junior Stewardess pins for girls.
  • At the airport, Royal Service customers had a special check-in desk and priority handling of bags.
Model DC-7B
Delta received its first DC-7B on June 14, 1957.

The -7B model was slightly improved to allow either more range, with optional saddle fuel tanks in the engine nacelles, or more payload with increased gross weights.

Of the 21 DC-7 aircraft that Delta flew, 10 were Model 7Bs. Delta originally ordered eleven DC-7Bs, but when the airline took delivery of Douglas' prototype DC-7B it was certified as a DC-7.

Delta retired its last Douglas DC-7B in 1967.


More Information

  • 1955 Golden Crown DC-7 Brochure: Promotes the DC-7 to Delta customers.
  • 1954 Delta DC-7 Review Booklet: 45-page booklet introduces DC-7 to Delta employees outside aircraft maintenance and flight crews. Provides an overview of "the DC-7's operating functions related to sales features, passenger comfort, ramp servicing, cargo and baggage handling, and cabin service equipment." 
  • Boeing.com : Development and specifications of the Douglas DC-7

 

Pictures
  • dc-7
  • dc-7_royal_service
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