Tracing our Douglas C-54 Skymaster roots has been a wild ride, but one thing is certain - this Skymaster has one heck of a story to tell! Meet Tanker #109.
The Douglas C-54 is a four-engined, piston-powered plane, derived from the DC-4, and produced during World War II. It was a workhorse transport for the USAAF and the US Navy, ferrying cargo and troops - even dignitaries including President Franklin Roosevelt - under the call sign Sacred Cow. The Skymaster played a major role during the Berlin Airlift in 1948 when every available USAF C-54 was put into service along with other Allied aircraft, delivering food, fuel, and other goods - to the sum of 2.3 million tons of cargo in just over a year.
OUR PLANE'S STORY
Our C-54 served in the Navy from 1945 until the mid 1970’s. This is where things get interesting and a bit confusing. Many of these tough birds went on to civilian service, including our C-54. Because of a mix up of a few numbers it was reported lost in the Pacific Ocean at one point. Yet, it appears to have been reregistered as HK-1807 and flown many years as a charter aircraft in Colombia. It is certain, however, that Bill Dempsay added it to his fleet of fire bombers. Tanker #109 was fitted with a 2,000 gallon belly retardant tank and used for fighting wildfires for USFS and BLM contracts until the mid 1980’s.
This C-54 remained at Marana, AZ, for decades, with the hopes the fleet would fly again. It was parted out, but we were able to acquire material for a limited edition of 3000 tags. MotoArt is thrilled to add this storied C-54 Skymaster to our growing fleet of PlaneTags. Don’t miss adding a memento from this warbird-turned-firefighter to your collection.
Douglas - C-54 Skymaster - # N6816D
- Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft Co.
- Tail #: N6816D
- Crew: 4
- Empty weight: 38,930 lbs
- Wing Span: 117 ft 6 in
- Length: 93 ft 10 in
- Height: 27 ft 6 in
- Max Takeoff: 82,500 lbs
- Range: 3600 nmi
- Max Cruise Speed: 207 knots
- Ceiling: 10,000 ft
- Rate of Climb: 1,020 ft / minute
- Engine: 4x Pratt & Whitney R-2000-9 Twin Wasp Piston
PlaneTags are Handmade Aviation Tags
- Authentic - made from actual retired aircraft fuselage, not merely stamped metal.
- Unique - each PlaneTag bears the color, thickness, and wear and tear from the portion of the fuselage from which it was cut and it is therefore rare to create two identical PlaneTags.
- Collectible - each one is numbered in a limited edition and comes attached to a display card.
- Versatile - comes with a durable metal ring, strong enough to attach to luggage or keys or display.
- Please Note: Due to limited quantities, combination colors you may receive will vary.
*Important Notice – Please Read Carefully
PlaneTags are made from actual retired aircraft fuselage, not merely stamped metal. Because PlaneTags are made from real fuselage, each PlaneTag bears the color, thickness, and wear and tear from the portion of the fuselage from which it was cut and it is therefore rare to create two identical PlaneTags. These variations and imperfections are not product flaws. They are part of the beauty of PlaneTags. As a result, you will not have an option to select the color of your PlaneTag. The images on this website are provided for reference only and should not be used as the sole basis for choosing a particular PlaneTag.