The Douglas DC-7 is a transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1953 to 1958. It was the last major piston engine-powered transport made by Douglas, being developed shortly after the earliest jet airliner—the de Havilland Comet—entered service and only a few years before the jet-powered Douglas DC-8 first flew. Unlike other aircraft in Douglas’s collection of propeller-driven aircraft, no examples remain in service in the present day, as compared to the far more successful DC-3 and DC-6
In 1945 Pan American World Airways requested a DC-7, a civil version of the Douglas C-74 Globemaster military transport. Pan Am soon canceled their order. That proposed DC-7 was unrelated to the later airliner.
American Airlines revived the designation when they requested an aircraft that could fly the USA coast-to-coast non-stop in about eight hours. (Civil Air Regulations then limited domestic flight crews to 8 hours’ flight time in any 24-hour period.) Douglas was reluctant to build the aircraft until American Airlines president C. R. Smith ordered 25 at a price of $40 million, thus covering Douglas’ development costs.
|Role||Airliner and transport aircraft|
|National origin||United States|
|Manufacturer||Douglas Aircraft Company|
|First flight||18 May 1953|
|Introduction||29 November 1953|
|Primary users||American Airlines (historical)|
United Airlines (historical)
Eastern Air Lines (historical)
Pan Am (historical)
|Developed from||Douglas DC-6|
DC-7s were used by Alitalia, American Airlines, BOAC, Braniff Airways, Caledonian Airways, Delta Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines, Flying Tigers, Japan Airlines, KLM, Mexicana de Aviacion, National Airlines, Northwest Orient, Panair do Brasil, Pan American World Airways, Riddle Airlines, Sabena, SAS, South African Airways, Swissair, Turkish Airlines, Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux, and United Airlines.
Seventeen DC-7s remained on the U.S. registry in 2010, they were used mainly for cargo and as aerial firefighting airtankers. Due to its engine problems, the DC-7 has not had the same longevity as the DC-6, which is still used by a number of commercial operators.
The Douglas DC-7 is a transport aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company from 1953 to 1958.