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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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 Post subject: C54 Fleet up for grabs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:54 pm 
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Anybody notice Buffalo Airways has listed their fleet of DC4/C54's on "trade a plane" website. They've been retired at Buffalo for about 2 years now, but will be interesting to see if anybody finds a use for them. Maybe a few will be picked up by museums, I can't imagine many applications left other than possibly Caribbean or Alaskan freighter / bulk fuel? Might be too expensive to get them operational and fly out of Hay River to even be worth it to anyone. One is in Florida which was formerly on standby for pollution control as an aerial sprayer, maybe it can be used for a few more years. Not many trained mechanics left to keep these running in a commercial operation.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:21 am 
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Huge shame to see the end of these great planes. They sure lasted way longer than I thought they would. So what other countries are still using the old prop recip planes? They have to be ones that have a big supply of av gas.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:33 am 
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I believe they scrapped a couple in the UK recently.

As far as maintenance, they're not much different to work on than a DC-3 or B-17.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:47 am 
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JohnB wrote:
I believe they scrapped a couple in the UK recently.

As far as maintenance, they're not much different to work on than a DC-3 or B-17.


Except they use the "oddball" R-2000, and I'm sure that's probably where the bigger issue comes in since the only other type to use the R2000 as production standard is the DHC-4 and only seen sparingly in other types (like the Super PBY and Super DC-3). Also, I think the airframes are getting short on time and with the continued problems with acquiring 100LL in the Northern Territories (which grounded the fleet twice in the last 5 years), I think they're just ready to be done with them. Maybe the BAHF guys will get one or at least parts of one to continue supporting their aircraft? Would be a good fit.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:12 am 
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why is the R-2000 a odd ball? having flown both the C-54 and DHC-4, i thought it was a pretty good engine. we got 1200 hours out of them before O/H.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:32 am 
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Stoney wrote:
why is the R-2000 a odd ball? having flown both the C-54 and DHC-4, i thought it was a pretty good engine. we got 1200 hours out of them before O/H.


Think of all of the R-1820's built for DC-3's and B-17's, plus the ones in T-28's, Lodestars, Hudsons, Wildcats, Grumman E-1's and S-2's, and a bunch of other types. Some of those types were in serial production into the late '60's and in military service for another decade or more. Then, look at the R-2000, which basically went into DC-4's, C-54's, and Caribou. The production numbers are/were vastly different, meaning the parts supply and service network had a much longer tail for the 1820's.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:30 pm 
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CAPFlyer wrote:

Except they use the "oddball" R-2000, and I'm sure that's probably where the bigger issue comes in since the only other type to use the R2000 as production standard is the DHC-4 and only seen sparingly in other types (like the Super PBY and Super DC-3).


For the Super PBY (sic), read R-2600.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:00 pm 
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Luckily for me .. my home base airport, Rand Airport, Germiston (FAGM) South Africa, still has two DC-4's (ZS-AUB and ZS-BMH) that are operated commercially on passenger charters, another DC-4 (ZS-AUA) that is currently being returned to flight plus two static preserved DC-4's and a Carvair ... and yes .. two preserved static DC-6's .. 3 airworthy DC-3s plus 2 DC-3's stored for preservation


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:06 pm 
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So what does that leave for active aircraft? 2 in South Africa, 1 (or 2?) in Palmer Alaska any others?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:22 pm 
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you are comparing Wrights (wrong engines) with P&W engines

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:11 am 
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Preserving or restoring a DC-4 won't happen in Canada. We can't even properly support a North Star project, which of course is much more Canadian in content.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 7:40 am 
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One should go to the NASM, which does not have a commercial aircraft with four props and a nose wheel.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:00 am 
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DC-7 N836D would make a better candidate for the Smithsonian, with all the work that was put into it...

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Hello,

Bearcat SA wrote:
another DC-4 (ZS-AUA) that is currently being returned to flight plus

Is this the one bought by a Dutch Association with the plan to operated her from Netherlands ?

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2017 4:02 pm 
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Chris Brame wrote:
DC-7 N836D would make a better candidate for the Smithsonian, with all the work that was put into it...


This aircraft has an attractive, but fading from sitting outside without attention, Eastern Air Lines paint scheme. The interior is FAR from "restored". Aside from the couch at the aft bulkhead, the aircraft has NONE of it's original trappings. All of the seats are "modern" DC-9 seats. (Did Carlos and the guys that renovated her store the original interior??).

Beyond that is the fact that she has TWO bad engines...

She was essentially abandoned in place at the Carolinas Aviation Museum. A nice, unexpected "gift" for which the museum has repaid by doing absolutely ZERO cosmetic upkeep. Just washing the plane would do wonders...oh, there are no volunteers to do the job!

At least she wasn't turned into a freighter or tanker.

C2j


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