HARS Aviation Museum
HARS Aviation Museum

Douglas DC-4 (aka C-54, Skymaster)


Four engine military transport or civilian passenger/transport

History of Type

Designed in USA in the early 1940s by the Douglas Aircraft Company as a replacement for the DC-3.  The first DC-4 flew in early 1942.  During WW2 all production was used by the US Military where it was known as the C-54 Skymaster.

The DC-4 was very popular with airlines after the war and was used in Australia by QANTAS, TAA (Trans-Australia Airlines), ANA (Australian National Airways) and later ANSETT-ANA.  It was typically configured to carry up to ~60 passengers.

History of VH-EAY (ex VH-PAF)

The HARS aircraft was built by Douglas Aircraft Company Inc. at Santa Monica and delivered to the U.S.A.A.F. (US Army Air force) on 14/5/1945 seeing war service as 44-9126  and used for troop and cargo transport till 1971, when she was retired and stored at Davis Montham Airbase in Arizona.  She was sold in 1975 and she had many subsequent owners, including being impounded twice – once in the USA for non-payment of fees and once in the Bahamas for alleged smuggling.  Ultimately she was brought to Australia in 1995 for Pacific island freight operations, eventually being stored at Archerfield until being donated to HARS in 2008.  She was flown to Albion Park in December 2009.

She is being restored to full airworthiness by HARS members into a passenger configuration.  At this stage (2014) she will be the only flying DC-4 in Australia.

For a history of VH-EAY and a collection of great images go here.

Technical Specifications

Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney R2000 (~2,000 cu in or ~32.7 L, 14 cylinders, 1,450 bhp each) – same engines used on DHC-4 Caribou

Payload: up to ~60 passengers or up to 6.44 Tonnes of cargo

Maximum takeoff weight: 33,113 kg

Length: 28.6 m

Wing span: 35.8 m

Height: 8.4 m

Maximum speed: ~450 km/h,  Cruising speed: ~350 km/h

Range: ~4,000 km

Crew: 2 x pilots, 1 x engineer, 1 x navigator