The Douglas DC-6 was designed to be a lengthened, pressurised version of the DC-4. First flying on 15 February 1946, regular service began with American Airlines and United Airlines in March 1947.

Seating between 42 and 89 passengers, this popular aircraft carried passengers throughout the world during its heyday in the 1950s. Produced until 1958, Douglas sold 704 examples meaning it was very successful.

Douglas DC-6 Video

Following on from last weeks video about the Vickers Viscount, this week we go Stateside and look at the Douglas DC-6. This promotional film by United Airlines comes from 1950 and runs just over half an hour.

Much is made of the maintenance of the aircraft for the first 11 minutes. An interesting fact is that after eight years of maintenance, every part will have been replaced except for the skin. This is something that is true even today.

One interesting portion notes the aircraft will fly at over 300 miles per hour, and it can continue to climb with one engine out or maintain height with two engines out. Probably a good point, since mechanical failures were much more common in this era.

From 11 minutes, the film goes into a flight on the Douglas DC-6 – “The Hollywood” – from Los Angeles to New York with a stop in Chicago. There are excellent on board and air to air shots as well as a close look at airline operations in 1950.

Overall Thoughts

Flying on a Douglas DC-6 in the 1950s is not too different to today. The film explains how pilots navigate the aircraft and why they choose certain routes. All of it seems to be designed to make people feel comfortable flying.

Seeing the technology of the era shows just how much things have changed in the meantime. It’s all quite good – they certainly don’t make films like this anymore!

Have you ever flown on board a DC-6? What was it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image via twa1049g on Flickr.