Post-War Developments: 1946-1956

The Douglas Aircraft Co. ... "The Seven Seas"

In May 1953, Douglas introduced the DC-7, a larger and faster airplane than its predecessor. It could fly anywhere in the world, so the DC-7C was called "The Seven Seas"; 338 DC-7s were produced between 1952 and 1958. By the mid-1950s, Douglas was again leading the commercial aircraft industry.

The DC-7 was the last Douglas commercial propeller-driven airplane and the last built at the Santa Monica, Calif., plant.

Douglas continued to deliver propeller-powered military transports until 1961. The C-74 Globemaster made its first flight Sept. 5, 1945. Douglas built 14 of these; they were superseded by the even larger C-124 Globemaster II, delivered in May 1950, a month before the start of the Korean conflict. The C-133 Cargomaster, with a circular fuselage and top-mounted wings, was the only Douglas turboprop-powered military transport. After delivery of the last Cargomaster in 1961, Douglas did not design and build another military transport for 10 years.

The AD Skyraider attack bomber was conceived in the summer of 1944 for use from new Navy supercarriers. However, production did not begin until 1946. Nicknamed "Able Dog," the Skyraiders served during the Korean War with Navy and Marine Corps air units. Redesignated A-1, Skyraiders were still in service during the Vietnam War.

Despite the accomplishments of the Skyraider, its sibling, the Skyshark, was not as successful. The turboprop-powered Navy attack bomber, with a tapered nose and streamlined shape, first flew in May 26, 1950, but could not surmount engine problems.

Another post-war development at Douglas was the "think tank." It began during the war as Project RAND (Research and Development) under General "Hap" Arnold. In 1948, the Air Force transferred the staff from Douglas to the independent RAND Corp.

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