Minicraft 14459 Douglas DC-6B "Civil Air Transport"

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                 Douglas DC-6B "Civil Air Transport"

The DC-6 was developed as a faster, larger, and pressurized version of the DC-4 which first flew in 1946.  This popular airliner was faster than TWA's new 049 Constellation, and allowed one-stop transcontinental service in 10 hours.  When more powerful P&W R-2800 engines became available, Douglas decided to stretch the DC-6 by over 4.5 feet to produce the DC-6B.  The first DC-6B flew in February, 1951, and the first operator was American Air Lines.  Production of the DC-6B reached 288 by the close of the production line in November, 1958. The DC-6A was a very similar plane designed especially for freighter service.  Produced in parallel with the DC-7 series, many airlines found the DC-6B to be preferable to the DC-7's.

The reason for this preference is due to the impressive operating statistics of the DC-6B.  It had the best operating economics of any large piston airliner of it's time, and passengers also appreciated its quietness, smoothness, and general comfort.  Douglas sold more DC-6B's than any other civil airliner in the DC-4 to DC-7C series, which indicates it's popularity with the public and the airlines.  The virtues of the DC-6A/DC-6B/C-118A have endeared it to many recent operators, and several are still flying today.

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