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Everts Air Cargo

McDonnell Douglas DC-6

After WWII, many commercial airlines began operating war surplus aircraft. These aircraft had done the yeoman's duty for the military but most did not include the technology developed during these years. As the flying public discovered the convenience of flight, they called for faster, higher and smoother flying aircraft. Lockheed and Boeing responded to this new demand, as did McDonnell Douglas.

The DC-6 was an expansion to the war time C-54 which had been intended to be the civil DC-4. The DC-4 first flew in 1942 and was followed almost immediately by enhancements that would, by the end of the war, surpass it. These included more powerful engines, cabin pressurization, reversing propellers, numerous electronic modifications and an 81inch stretch in fuselage for more passenger and cargo capacity. It also received a new designation. It was now called the DC-6 and it flew for the first time in 1946. Even this plane was not what was needed and it again got another stretch, even more powerful engines and a cargo door for some of the production. This new version was called the DC-6A (cargo and passengers) and the DC-6B (passengers only). These versions became one of the primary aircraft used by commercial airlines until the advent of the jet. There is not a major airline that comes to mind that did not operate (at some time) at least one version of the DC-6, DC-6A or DC-6B. As a historical note, at the same time the military ordered a few hundred of these aircraft to be flown as the C-118 for the air force and the R6D for the navy. They last flew for the military in the mid-80's and some of those planes are still flying today as either cargo planes or fire bombers.

Our fleet comes either from the military batch or from other civil operators. As we are cargo only operators, all of our planes now have cargo doors and are fitted out for that type of flying. At one time, however, they carried passengers and freight for United, Sabena, South West Airlines, Western, North East Airlines, Japan Airlines, Cathy Pacific, the U.S.A.F., the Navy and a few more beyond that.

This is another plane that is impossible to address in a brief history. The stories that this plane has been involved with are well documented in lengthy books. One thing I will point out though is that while there were other competitive planes being built during her years, they are now gone and she is not.

Marty Hall