The Douglas company designed in the 1940s a commerical transport aircraft designated DC-4 for about 40 or even up to 80 passengers. The design had four piston Pratt and Whitney R2000 Twin Wasp engines with four propellers and a nose wheel undercarriage. First flight was in February 1942. More aircraft were manufactured in military versions designated C-54 and R5D. Many served during World War II and later in the Berlin Airlift and Korea.

Over 1,200 aircraft in several versions were manufactured and the Skymaster was used by many airlines including KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and later for decades in cargo transport roles.

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Douglas C-54A NGAT

This aircraft is painted in a scheme of a C-54 as used by the Netherlands Government Air Transport (NGAT) for  long haul liaison with the Dutch East Indies after 1945. The NGAT aircraft were usually fitted to carry 28 passengers and up to 2,000 kgs cargo. The NGAT eventually used no less than 22 aircraft. A subsidiary in the Indies was also the NIGAT. Many aircraft went from 1946/1947 to KLM.

The C-54A shown here is not original a NGAT aircraft but painted in that scheme. This particular aircraft flew first with USAAF as 42-107469 (c/n 7488) and later with various airlines in South East Asia and Southern Africa (ex ZS-IPR). It was sold in 1995 to the Dutch Dakota Association. It was repainted as a NGAT C-54 with the code "Nl-316". Is now on display at the Aviodrome at Lelystad airport.

Photographed 2014 and 2017 by Meindert de Vreeze (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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VC-54C "Sacred Cow"

This special version of the C-54 is the VC-54 used from 1945 by the US President. It is a significantly modified aircraft with -B wing for longer range and special interior. It flew president Roosevelt to Yalta in February 1945 for the Allied Conference during the Second World War.

This VC-54 has the serial 42-107451 , has been restored from 1983 and now is displayed as the 42-72252 as Sacred Crow. The aircraft is on proud display at the USAF museum at Dayton, Ohio.

Photographed 2019 by Ronald van Voorst (C) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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Some plastic scale model kits exist. In 1/144 scale Minicraft has a nice model. In 1/72 for many years the Rareplanes vacuform was the obvious choice, later followed by a short run MACH2 kit. But Revell released a very good 1/72 kit in 2015. (see our IPMS NL review here...)


Enthusiasts and historians find more info about Dutch C-54's on our IPMS NL Nedmil pages....


This walk around page was first published on September 2017 by M. de Vreeze