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DC4 DC6 DC7 - Balance On Ground  
User currently offlineNZ8800 From New Zealand, joined May 2006, 425 posts, RR: 2
Posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5323 times:

The DC4,6,7 series seem to have their mainwheels quite far forward - did they need a tail prop when on the ground to stop them overbalancing?
Was wondering why the wings were not further back on the aircraft.

MDZWTA ~ Mobile Disaster Zone When Travelling Abroad
15 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineJetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2612 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5310 times:

Probably not, the main wheels are aft of the centre of gravity. Cargo operators might use tail jacks during loading for safety reasons, as the c.g. can move outside limits.

How about these as well:

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Photo © Nik Deblauwe
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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.

[Edited 2006-07-09 15:05:48]

[Edited 2006-07-09 15:06:33]

The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineVikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 11904 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5295 times:

I don't know specific numbers, but I'd assume that having the engines forward of the wheels (as they are) goes a long way towards the CG being in front of the wheels. Engines are typically pretty darn heavy.


I'm watching Jeopardy. The category is worst Madonna songs. "This one from 1987 is terrible".
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 5293 times:

Well, after dusting off and looking over my DC-6/7 operating manuals, I have not seen any particular instructions involving the support of the tail for aircraft loading proceedures. So the CG envelope was apparently good for all but the most extreme loading proceedures. Certainly tri-pods would have been used with engines removed as a saftey measure.

I do however remember NW using tri-pod supports under the tails of their DC-7CF's when loading. I also recall (during my days at FLL) the old Caicos-Carribean using tri-pods to support the tails of their DC-4's (somewhere I know I have photo's of that). And I remember Airlift and Riddle using tri-pods to support the tails of their old "windmills" here in ATL back in the good 'ole days.

"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineSlamClick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 65
Reply 4, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 5286 times:

My memory tells me that it was probably only needed for cargo ops.

I remember an article in the Navy's aviation safety pub, Approach about an engine change on a Navy C-121 (Connie)

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Photo © Jim Newton

... which has a pretty similar configuration to the planes you asked about.

They pulled the number three engine, mount and all, and put it on a truck. Then the crewchief was standing on the ramp looking up at that big bare firewall and it occurred to him: "Hey! We took a lot of weight off from forward of the CG!" So he decided to put on the tailstand. So he walked up the stairs, boarded the plane, and walked back to the aft end of the cabin to get the stand . . .

Major damage to all three fins and rudders.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14811 posts, RR: 61
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5257 times:

Quoting NZ8800 (Thread starter):
The DC4,6,7 series seem to have their mainwheels quite far forward - did they need a tail prop when on the ground to stop them overbalancing?
Was wondering why the wings were not further back on the aircraft.

Definitely yes. Years ago I was working on a C-54 (military version of the DC-4) on a museum project. There I also met the guys operating the DC-4 from SAA. The first thing that happened after the plane arrived at it's parking place was the F/E dropping a small bag from the hatch on the r/h side, just aft of the cockpit. It contained the gear down lock "blocks" and the key for the lower deck cargo holds. Then somebody of the ground crew would insert the gear down lock "blocks" and would get the tail stand from the forward cargo hold and install it on the tail skid. Only after this was completed were the passengers allowed to get up and walk to the cabin door, which was aft on the L/H side.
Just prior to departure the tailstand and the locks would be removed, the key and the locks stuck into the bag and the bag hauled up by the F/E by a lanyard.

The position of the wings was most likely determined to provide balance in the air, less so on ground.


[Edited 2006-07-09 18:36:26]

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User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8957 posts, RR: 58
Reply 6, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5256 times:

The Il-38 always made me wonder about the same thing:


Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineGQfluffy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 5229 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 1):

Fairchild Metros (and Merlins) are VERY nose-heavy...

User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 5226 times:

Having flown (as a pilot) the DC-6 and DC-7 series aircraft, the tailstand was only required for cargo loading or an engine change, the tailstand was not required for normal passenger operation.
In addition, my father was engineering project manager at Douglas in Santa Monica on both these aircraft, and I still have his engineering notes related to these very fine aircraft.

It also might surprise many to realise that the DC-6B was the most cost-efficient four engine piston transport to operate, on a seat/mile basis....thanks mainly to the Pratt & Whitney R2800 CB series engines fitted.

And, like many Douglas aircraft, were a delight to fly.

User currently offlineVc10 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1432 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5207 times:

If I remember correctly all these piston powered airliners tended to load /unload their passengers from the rear door, which is no problem , however when these aircraft such as the DC-4 were converted to freighter the freight door was normally at the rear, which meant that when you loaded a heavy load[which you would want towards the front] on first, the A/C
C of G would go very rearwards and could hazard the aircraft until that heavy load got positioned forward. Now Aircraft like the Connie 1049 could have freight doors fore and aft of the wings so that problem was over come.
On a 749 Connie when off loading a heavy piece of cargo[ which was the last item] through the rear door we actually tied two fifty gal drums filled with concrete to the nose leg to stop the aircraft from tipping on it's tail


User currently offlineAvioniker From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1109 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 5143 times:

In 1972 the USAF "gave" their C-54 ( 47?-545) based in Taipei to the Chinese Air Force when it ran out of airframe time.
The first thing the CAF did after towing it to their hanger was sit it on its tail as a result of all the "new owners" trying to get in for a look at the same time.
We wouldn't tow the plane without a tail stand. A quick start sometimes resulted in the nose coming off the ground.
The Navy with their C-118 thought we were pretty funny with all our safety gear.

One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 5130 times:

Quoting Jetlagged (Reply 1):
How about these as well:

the one on the right is an oldie. There weren't too many round window Metros made-maybe 4.

User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8582 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 5110 times:
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My wife is a flight attendant on the SAA Historic Flight DC-4s and she says that they make an announcement after landing for the passengers to stay in their seats until the tail pole is in place.

After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineDH106 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 627 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5110 times:

Sounds like the DC-4 is quite critical, but the DC-6 & 7 less so. They're probably more tolerant due to their increased length either side of the CG

...I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tanhauser Gate....
User currently offlineRatzz From Sweden, joined Sep 1999, 198 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5093 times:

-The DC6 is really tricky to load,Atlantic Cargo from Great Britain still use the aircraft together with the L-188 Electra.

-Always a thrill (in a positive way) to work on either one of them,regardless of ground balance problems,hence they don´t make aircrafts like´em anymore  
-Whenever we load/unload the palletised cargo,we always take care in doing it the right way with caution to prevent a tailstrike since they don´t carry a tailstand.

-The last time I worked on the DC6,I ended up doing a visual startup in the middle of the night and removed my headset just to hear the P&W´s roar to life...the crew noticed that I took off my headset and offered me a real treat :
-The first engine they started,they overused the booster pumps thus making the engine fire almost one cylinder at the time,throwing large flames out of the exhaust....I still get goosebumps when thinking about it..  

-Finally,I come to think of a good ol´sayin´:
-"it´s always better with four slow screws than two or more fast blowjobs"..

[Edited 2006-07-10 20:55:13]

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30263 posts, RR: 57
Reply 15, posted (9 years 7 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 5048 times:

I have actually put DC-6's hard down on their tailstand while loading two.

This first time we where taking a 15,000 lb generator out of aft cargo door and had to set it down to get a better bite on it wth the forklift.

The other time was putting a bobcat tractor on a swingtail conversion. In that case we picked the bobcat up on the forks of our forklift, the crew had me bring the forklift forward and then push down on the deck of the airplane until it was sitting on the ground...they then drove the bobcat off the forks. The reason they did this was so the tail wouldn't suddenly drop when the bobcat's weight got on the airplane. Could have ended up putting the bobcat through the roof of the cabin if that happened.

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