Object of the Day

C-54D Model Airplane

No, we don’t have a real airplane in the collection– but we do have this cool model plane!

C-54D Model Airplane
C-54D Model Airplane

Have you ever flown in a C-54D airplane, either as a passenger or at the controls?  How about seeing one flying overhead in the Canal Zone?

What would a plane like this have been used for?  Was it mainly a passenger plane, or was it used to transport materials?

Does anyone know what years this type of plane may have flown in the Canal Zone?

Was there perhaps something interesting or special about this type of plane that it was available as a model?

If you know of any information we can add to the database record for this model airplane, or have a great story about a C-54D airplane, please share it with us in the comments section!

6 Comments

  • Gerry De

    This model, and any others you may find in the collection were used in our “Military In The Canal Zone” exhibit during the PCS reunion (2004, 2005??). I tried to show as many models of aircraft that were stationed in the Canal Zone or in areas of Panama to support the defense of the Panama Canal. Many of the models in this exhibit were on loan and returned to the owner prior to transferring the collection to UF.

    The C-54D would have been used mainly as a passenger plane but some were probably used for cargo as well. They were probably used in the ’50s and ’60s and mainly flew out of Albrook Air Force Base or Howard Field on the Pacific side of the Isthmus. To my knowledge none flew out of France Field on the Atlantic side.

    • Gerry DeTore

      This model, and any others you may find in the collection were used in our “Military In The Canal Zone” exhibit during the PCS reunion (2004, 2005??). I tried to show as many models of aircraft that were stationed in the Canal Zone or in areas of Panama to support the defense of the Panama Canal. Many of the models in this exhibit were on loan and returned to the owner prior to transferring the collection to UF.

      The C-54D would have been used mainly as a passenger plane but some were probably used for cargo as well. They were probably used in the ’50s and ’60s and mainly flew out of Albrook Air Force Base or Howard Field on the Pacific side of the Isthmus. To my knowledge none flew out of France Field on the Atlantic side

  • Jerry Bliss

    Left CZ in 1950 at age 11. In 1957 I joined the US Navy. We new recruits were flown from San Francisco to San Diego, CA for recruit training in a DC4 with Pacific Southwest Airlines. I think it took about 2 or 3 hours for that trip. Later PSA was flying the Lockheed Electra.

  • Jerry Bliss

    Another US Cargo aircraft I saw in the CZ (at Albrook AFB) was the early C-74 Globemaster. Only 14 of these were build. About 1947-50 I saw this aircraft flying in and out of Albrook. Besides being LARGE, an unusual feature of the aircraft was the TWO bubble canopy for the cockpit area. You can see a photo of the C-74 on the web at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-74_Globemaster#mediaviewer/File:C-74_long_beach_2.jpg

    C-74s began to be used on scheduled MATS overseas routes though the late 1940s and mid-1950s
    “Panamanian”, between Brookley AFB, Alabama and Albrook AFB, Panama
    (and other routes)

  • Jerry Bliss

    In the late 1940s, PanAm flew the 4-engined Boeing StratoLiner (B-307) out of Albrook on commercial passenger service. I flew to Miami, FL and back on one of these. Only 9 were build. There one on display at the Smithsonian Institute Museum in Washington DC. You will see a photo of this a/c on the web at http://www.panamair.org/aircraft/boeing307.htm – I read that TWA also flew this a/c. Howard Hughes was reported to have owned one.

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