CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3251 times:
I think back to those days it was really interesting to see the competition between Douglas and Lockheed, the interesting fact was that during maybe a time line of 12 years both companies developed a few models each, and both got interest of different airlines during those years. Douglas came just after the war with the civil version of the C-54, the DC-4-1009 ( interesting to name the airliner DC-4...until that time it was the C-54 ) that a few orders from some airlines with strong status like Air France, KLM, SAS, SSA)">AA, Western, National, Northwest, ANA, Iberia and Sabena but it's looks to me that Douglas was already discussing with these airlines about the new DC-6. At the same time Lockheed did mostly the same, they had the C-69 that didn't have the same background has the C-54 ( I'm talking about how many built ) but the plane was superior, so after an initial period flying with the C-69 almost like proving the model Lockheed come out with the first civil model, the L-049 and again, they got interesting orders from Pan Am, AOA, KLM and Air France....TWA was a different case, they were directly involved in the project ( with Howard Hughes and Jack Frye ) and I think at one point TWA and Lockheed was like a marriage...that maybe influenced in the future the relation between Lockheed and other US major airlines ( actually a nice study that could be done here.... ). With the arrival of the DC-6, DC-6A, DC-6B also came the L-649, L-749, L-749A, then again orders to both sides, we see that regarding the Douglas product many US airlines ordered it ( SA)">UA, SA)">AA, SA)">NW, PA, BN, Western ) and also internationally like KL, SN, SK and many others. With Lockheed we had again SA)">TW, PA, EA and Chicago & Western....that will became SA)">DL, and also airlines like KL, AF, SA, AI, QF. We can see that more and more the Lockheed was a quite popular airplane outside USA getting more airlines ordering than in USA, this will be more evident when the Super Constellation arrived, only SA)">TW and EA got it and a few were sold to small airlines that were starting like Flying Tigers, Seaboard World and Slick Airways. Outside new airlines like TP, PIA, LH, IB, AV, Thai, LAV got it with others that were already flying this plane like KL, AF, QF! I think during most of this time Douglas was ahead of Lockheed except when Lockheed got the Super Constellation....with the arrival of the DC-7 I still think both airplanes were quite similar but with the DC-7B and DC-7C versions Lockheed couldn't fight anymore...the arrival of the Starliner was too late and jet's were just around the corner. But surely it was a very excited period of civil aviation those days!!!
KELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6658 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3125 times:
What was the point of the DC-7? With jets on the horizon, Douglas went out and built a new piston liner...and most of those ended up getting scrapped before their 10th birthdays!!!
Lockheed, on the other hand, sank their commercial business with the L-188 Electra...one must have wondered what the future would have held had the engineers caught the dynamic vibration problems that ended the Electra's civilian career early.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
RIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 803 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3100 times:
By the way, whatever happened to the Super Connie that was broken up and parked on Rt. 124 just outside of Faro. It laid there for many years. It was in TAP colors and then some kind of restaurant, and then it vanished when they widened the highway. When I say it was broken up, I didn't mean junked. The wings and engines were all embalmed, so that one day it could fly again -- maybe.
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3080 times:
Quoting RIXrat (Reply 3): By the way, whatever happened to the Super Connie that was broken up and parked on Rt. 124 just outside of Faro. It laid there for many years. It was in TAP colors and then some kind of restaurant, and then it vanished when they widened the highway. When I say it was broken up, I didn't mean junked. The wings and engines were all embalmed, so that one day it could fly again -- maybe.
Thanks for your question RIXrat, well that Super Connie was ex: TAP CS-TLA that ended is days in FAO after the Biafra war. After that the plane was stored and got very delapidated until it was recovered has a restaurant/bar...then when FAO airport started do grow up they had to dismatellated and it was moved to that road. When I was living in the south I still saw that airplane practically intact in the end of 1997, then one day I saw in the news that the plane was burned-out by some stupid guys and I lost track of it!
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 27514 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3071 times:
Quoting KELPkid (Reply 2): What was the point of the DC-7? With jets on the horizon, Douglas went out and built a new piston liner...and most of those ended up getting scrapped before their 10th birthdays!!!
If not mistaken the DC-7 was originally developed primarily to meet an AA and UA requirement for an aircraft that could operate US coast-to-coast routes nonstop reliably in both directions. It was the first aircraft with that capability. Early Super Constellations and even the DC-6B could do it eastbound but westbound flights against often strong headwinds usually required a stop. AA had a significant competitive advantage over other airlines when they began nonstop JFK-LAX/SFO service in both directions with their first DC-7s in 1954, followed soon after by UA DC-7s and TWA L1049G Super Connies.
However, as you say, the 707 and DC-8 arrived 4 and 5 years later, resulting in a very short active life for the DC-7 in and later Super Connie (and L1649 Starliner) models in scheduled passenger service.
OceansWorld From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3058 times:
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6): If not mistaken the DC-7 was originally developed primarily to meet an AA and UA requirement
The Douglas design team wasn't enthusiastic to launch the DC-7 because they weren't sure that the market existed. However, C.R. Smith (AA) persuaded them and placed an order for 25 aircraft (later augmented to 34) for $40 million, which covered almost all the design costs. In the end, DAC has sold a total of 338 DC-7s, DC-7Bs and DC-7Cs Seven Seas.
And indeed, as you said, the DC-7 allowed for the first time since the DC-4 to fly transcontinental routes nonstop, and this with a longer fuselage and at a higher speed of up to 360 mph. The DC-7 was exclusively sold to US trunk carriers: Delta 10, National 4, and United 57.
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3048 times:
I was trying to find out if the first DC-7's had much more advantages than the L1049G and it looks that was not the case. The L1049G was far better over the Douglas DC-7/DC-7B variants, with the arrival of the DC-7C then things changed dramatically! The TWA factor I think played a big role in the fact that Lockheed wanted to work mostly exclusively with TWA and that really killed some good orders that could come from other airlines...when the DC-7C arrived airlines like Pan Am and Northwest could finally had a revenge over Lockheed, the plane was far better and even with the arrival of the L1649A, it came too late to play a role over the DC-7C.
It was impressive to see that even coming close to the early jets there was a time line for the DC-7C to survive....and we cannot forget that the bigger airlines that ruled the air transportation at that time got this airplane; KL, SK, SR, JL, BOAC, AZ, Panair.
Tornado82 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3045 times:
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 6): AA had a significant competitive advantage over other airlines when they began nonstop JFK-LAX/SFO service in both directions with their first DC-7s in 1954, followed soon after by UA DC-7s and TWA L1049G Super Connies.
What was the flight time on a westbound JFK-LAX/SFO in one of those? They had to be nothing but a giant fuel tank one would think?
Timz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7031 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3009 times:
TWA started scheduling LAX-IDL nonstop in late 1953, a month or two before AA started it with DC-7s. TWA used nothing but 1049s until 1955, when they got their first 1049Gs-- so seems like they could have started transcon nonstops in 1952 or earlier, if they had wanted.
Remember several airlines flew DC-4s and DC-6s between Hawaii and the US, which isn't much shorter than US transcon. But you weren't allowed to schedule a domestic flight for more than 8 hours with one flight crew, and the DC-4/DC-6 couldn't make that. With the DC-7/1049 westward schedules were usually 7 hr 55 minutes at first; after a few years they must have changed the rule, because westward schedules did eventually increase beyond 8 hours.
TWA and AA tried BOS-LAX nonstop-- in their timetables anyway. Somebody said AA often couldn't do it, but dunno whether fuel was the limiting factor.
Andz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8535 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2841 times:
South African Airways operated 8 DC-4s, the first arriving in March 1946 and they flew the "Springbok" service between Johannesburg and London, replacing Avro Yorks on this route. When the Constellation replaced the DC-4 on the international routes the DC-4s operated domestic and regional services, then the "Skycoach" economy service, introduced in March 1959. SAA withdrew DC-4s from service in 1967 and 5 of the aircraft went to the South African Air Force.
SAA took delivery of 4 Connies in 1950 to replace the Skymaster on the London-Johannesburg route, cutting the route duration to 28 hours. It carried 42 passengers at 20,000ft and was SAA's first pressurised aircraft. Later a tourist fare was introduced on this route and the Connie was reconfigured to carry 58 pax. In 1953 the Connie was joined by the Comet but when this was withdrawn due to the inherent design problems Connie flew the flag until newer types became available. The Connie was replaced on the overseas routes by the DC-7B and Connies operated domestic and regional services until the last one was sold in 1964.
One Connie that was leased by Trek Airways operated a service to Australia on behalf of SAA.
After the Connie SAA used the DC-7B on overseas routes to Europe and Australia, and they were the first non-American airline to operate the type. The DC-7B was configured to carry up to 99 pax. The Australian route was a fortnightly service introduced in November 1957, increasing to weekly in 1965. Flight time JNB-SYD was 25 hours. The DC-7B was replaced on the Australia route by the Boeing 707 in March 1967.
Because of the engine problems with the DC-7B it is seen as one of three 3-engined types to see service with SAA, along with the JU-52 and Boeing 727
SAA have a Connie sitting at JNB and a couple of DC-4s that are still flying.One of these is the last DC-4 ever built. At one stage my wife had a real mix of types on her cabin crew certificate: DC-3, DC-4, JU-52, A300, 737
After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2824 times:
SAA had a very nice history of long-haul services indeed...we cannot forget that they received the last ever built DC-4-1009's ( ZS-BMF, BMG and BMH ) and 3 years latter they got what is probably the most reliable Constellation of the family, the L-749A Constellation ( ZS-DBR, DBS, DBT and DBU ). Latter the L-749A was replaced by the Douglas DC-7B ( ZS-DKD, DKE, DKF and DKG ).
The photo that Andz shared is a very nice looking and well preserved L-1649A Starline ex: Trek Airways with the registration ZS-DVJ. That plane originally belonged to Lufthansa has D-ALOL.