DOUGLAS R4D-6
WALK-AROUND


 

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NOSE   MAAM's R4D-6 #50819 bears the two-star flag of a Vice Admiral and the insignia of the Naval Air Transport Service's VR-2 Squadron.  The ring under the nose is the Radio Direction Finder antenna.  Two L-shaped Pitot Tubes double as masts for radio antenna wires.  The Navigator's Astro-Dome was used to shoot star sights with an Astro-Compass.
 

WINGS   The wing is of full-cantilever, monocoque, stressed-skin construction.  It is made up of a center section of constant chord with the engine nacelles attached, and a left and right tapered outer panel.  Outer sections consist of a main section, a detachable trailing edge section at the inboard end, and a detachable tip.   Only the right aileron has an adjustable trim tab.  The hydraulically operated wing flaps are of the split trailing edge type and are all-metal.

ENGINE NACELLES   The cowl flaps, used to cool the engine in flight, are open.  The exhaust stack is on the outboard, lower side of the nacelle.   The light mounted in the nacelle is to check the wing for deadly icing.


FUSELAGE  The fuselage is of all metal, semi-monocoque construction.  There were several different window configurations in DC-3's.  The R4D has six on the port side, where the door is located, and seven on the starboard.  The lavatory port light can be seen above the roundel.

EMPENNAGE   The horizontal and vertical stabilizers are of all-metal, multi-cellular construction attached in fixed alignment to the fuselage.  Like the ailerons, the rudder and elevators are of fabric-covered, metal framed construction and all three are equipped with trim tabs controllable from the cockpit.

MAIN LANDING GEAR  The main gear is hydraulically operated.  Main wheels retract vertically into the engine nacelles and extend approximately 11 inches out of the nacelles when fully retracted.  In this position they are free to rotate and are subject to normal brake action.  This is a feature that has saved the underside of many a DC-3 forced to make a belly landing.  The brakes

TAIL WHEEL  The tail wheel is mounted on an oleo pneumatic strut and is non-retractable.  It is  free castoring through 360 degrees, but can be locked in the trailing position for takeoff and landing.

AIR STAIRS  The swing-down door with integral stairs was unusual for an R4D or C-47 which typically had dual passenger/cargo doors hinged at the sides and simple removable steps.  This more luxurious airline type entry arrangement reflects "819"s role as an Admiral's transport.  Some DC-3's had starboard side doors, usually as a specification by the ordering airline.



IN FLIGHT   Russ Strine executes a cross-controlled (check out that rudder) show pass in 819.
THE R4D AT HOME   In the recent photos below, the R4D is shown on the MAAM ramp with her huge ailerons removed.  The ailerons have been given new skins, doped and sanded, as the first step of a complete renovation of the Douglas which will bring her back to her former glory.


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photo credits:  Gary Chambers, Ralph Pettersen, Bill Rambow, Tom Turner, Tom McManus