Aircraft By Type

Aircraft Make & Model:
Douglas DC-4
73,000 lb.
2,000 miles
215 mph
44 passengers
94 ft.
118 ft.
28 ft.
4 Pratt & Whitney Twin Wasp R-2000
HP or Thrust:
1,450 hp
No. flown by DL:
8 former military C-54B aircraft modified by Douglas
Fort Worth, Texas, to Charleston, South Carolina or Savannah, Georgia Chicago, Illinois, to Miami, Florida
First Delivery:
February 12, 1946
First Scheduled Service:
March 6, 1946
Reason Aquired:
Double the passenger capacity and 4 times the range of the Douglas DC-3
Last Retirement:
June 15, 1953
Reason Disposed:
Replaced with the larger, faster and pressurized Douglas DC-6.

Narrative:  Douglas DC-4 1946-1953

Technical Advances

"For the first time we had on the airline, an airplane that we didn't have to worry about fuel. We always had enough fuel on that DC-4 to go 2,000 miles, and somewhere in the United States, the weather was satisfactory for a let down within 2000 miles. So fuel was no problem…The DC-4 was very dependable airplane, had very dependable engines, had adequate anti-icing." Fritz Schwaemmle, hired as a Delta pilot in 1934.

The DC-4 had a simple autopilot system that provided altitude and directional hold.

Delta's first aircraft that was not a "tail-dragger." Because the cabin was level when the DC-4 was on the ground, it was easier to board and exit than earlier Delta aircraft.

Delta-Designed Galley
Chief Engineer J. F. Nycum designed the galley for Delta's DC-4 aircraft, which were being converted from military C-54B Skymasters. Douglas Aircraft Company made Delta's galley the standard for all DC-4s coming off its modification line after World War II.

Chicago-Miami Competition
A Delta DC-4 flew the world's first nonstop scheduled flight between Chicago and Miami on November 1, 1946.

Eastern Airlines met Delta's challenge on the Chicago-Miami run with pressurized Lockheed Constellations, allowing smoother flights avoiding more bad weather, to counter Delta's unpressurized DC-4s. In 1948, Delta put the pressurized DC-6 into service.

More Information

  • dc-4_freight
  • DC-4_interior
  • DC-4
  • Douglas DC-4
  • dc-4_galley
  • Chicago & Southern Douglas DC-4 - 1947