The Douglas DC-6 is a piston-powered airliner and cargo aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1946 to 1958. Originally intended as a military transport near the end of World War II, it was reworked after the war to compete with the Lockheed Constellation in the long-range commercial transport market. More than 700 were built and many still fly today in cargo, military, and wildfire control roles.
The DC-6 was known as the C-118 Liftmaster in United States Air Force service and as the R6D in United States Navy service prior to 1962, after which all U.S. Navy variants were also designated as the C-118.
The United States Army Air Forces commissioned the DC-6 project as the XC-112 in 1944. The Army Air Forces wanted a lengthened, pressurized version of the DC-4-based C-54 Skymaster transport with more powerful engines. By the time the prototype XC-112A flew on 15 February 1946, the war was over, the USAAF had rescinded its requirement, and the aircraft was converted to YC-112A, being sold in 1955 Douglas Aircraft modified the design into a civil transport 80 in (200 cm) longer than the DC-4. The civil DC-6 first flew on 29 June 1946, being retained by Douglas for testing. The first airline deliveries were to American Airlines and United Airlines on 24 November 1946
|Manufacturer||Douglas Aircraft Company|
|First flight||February 15, 1946|
|Introduction||March 1947 with American Airlines and United Airlines|
|Status||Out of production, in limited service|
|Primary users||Pan American World Airways|
Northwest Orient Airlines
Everts Air Cargo
|Produced||1946 – 1958|
|Developed from||Douglas DC-4|
|Developed into||Douglas DC-7|
Today, most DC-6s are inactive, stored, or preserved in museums. A number of DC-6s are still flying in northern bush operations in Alaska and Canada, while several are based in Europe and a few are still in operation for small carriers in South America.
Propulsion4 Radial Engines
Engine ModelPratt & Whitney R-2800-CB17 Double Wasp
Engine Power (each)1864 kW 2500 hp
Speed 507 km/h 315 mph
Service Ceiling 7.620 m 25.000 ft
Range 4.815 km2.600 NM 2.992 mi.
Empty Weight25.110 kg
max. Takeoff Weight 48.534 kg
Wing Span35,81 m 117 ft 6 in
Wing Area135,9 m²
Length 32,18 m 105 ft 7 in
Height 8,74 m 28 ft 8 in
Douglas DC-6/C-118 Liftmaster
The military version, similar to the DC-6A, was the USAF C-118 Liftmaster; the USN R6D version used the more powerful R-2800-CB-17 engines. These were later used on the commercial DC-6B to allow international flights. The R6D Navy version (in the late 1950s and early 1960s) had Curtiss Electric constant-speed reversing propellers.
The Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) was developed to meet a requirement from the United States Army Air Service for an aircraft suitable for an attempt at the first flight around the world. The Douglas Aircraft Company responded with a modified variant of their DT torpedo bomber, the DWC.