Douglas DC-4

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Douglas DC-4
Douglas DC-4 cruising over Dominica.png
Type Airliner, Historical aircraft
Configuration Low wing aircraft
Propulsion Four-engine aircraft, Piston aircraft, Propeller aircraft
Manufacturer Douglas
Author(s) Syd Adams, Ron Jensen, Martien van den P.
--aircraft= dc4
Status Unknown
Download Download the Douglas DC-4 aircraft package for the current stable release (2020.3).
Forum 'Douglas DC-4' topic on the FlightGear forum.
DC-4 landing. Note the front wheels, as opposed to the DC-3's tail-dragger configuration

The Douglas DC-4 was a four piston engine airliner. It was based on the DC-3, and in a similar way it was produced in both civilian and military versions from 1942 to 1947. The military version is known as C-54 Skymaster, many of these were converted to civilian use after WWII. 80 DC-4s and 1,163 C-54s were built.

The C-54 was the most commonly used aircraft in the Berlin airlift.

The FlightGear model is based on Syd Adams and Ron Jensen's Douglas DC-6, modified by Martien van der P.


Max Take-Off Wt. 72,995 lbs.
Max Landing Wt.
Empty Wt. 43,299 lbs.
Max payload 31967 lbs. (5.37 times more than a DC-3)
Vne (never exceed) 243 kts
Max Cruising Speed 214 kts
Normal Cruising Speed 197 kts
Vfe (max flaps speed) 125 kts
Approach Speed 105 kts
Landing Speed 95 kts
Stall Speed 90 kts
Service Ceiling 22,310 feet
6800 m
Landing Distance at least 3500 ft recommended
Take-off Distance

Before flying

The model is in developement, as of 23/8/2021 two files need to be fixed:

  • in Aircraft/dc4/Sound/dc4-sound.xml, search for the string "Aircraft/dc6/" and replace all instances with "Aircraft/dc4/" (otherwise the sound will not work) ;
  • in Aircraft/dc4/Models/flightdeck.xml, do the same (otherwise the instruments will not show).

The problem will stay unnoticed if you have the DC-6 installed.

Online manual

Thanks to and its contributors, a premium source of information is available: the actual pilot training manual for the C-54 Skymaster. It is in the public domain and can be freely downloaded here: [1]

You will find a detailed description of the aircraft, explained procedures and ckecklists from pre-flight inspection to after landing, emergency procedures, etc, in fact almost all you need to fly the DC-4.

Basic procedures

--- Takeoff ---

  • Flaps: 15-20°
  • Throttle: 50" Hg, prop: 2700 RPM (always reduce in that order)
  • Lift nose at 85-95 KIAS, liftoff at 100-115 KIAS
  • Gear UP immediately
  • 40" Hg, 2550 RPM, climb at 135-139 KIAS
  • Flaps up at ~500 ft AGL (remember Vfe=125 kts)
  • 35" Hg, 2350 RPM

--- Descent ---

  • 300 fpm recommended, 175 kts max
  • Reduce speed early to below 125 kts

--- Before landing ---

  • Autopilot OFF, blowers LOW, mixture RICH
  • Check magnetos
  • Flaps typ.10-20°, 2250 RPM, gear LOW
  • 105 kts, 500 fpm, 20" Hg
  • Flaps 30°, 95 kts short before threshold, flare progressively
  • IDLE as soon as you are on ground

--- After landing ---

  • Props HIGH RPM
  • flaps UP
  • Cut No 1 and 4 engines

--- General ---

  • Max RPM 2700, max MP 50" Hg
  • Do not stay between 1600 and 1700 RPM

External links

  • Wikipedia article: [2]
  • Forum: [3]
  • Backup download URL: [4]