Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Something You Don't See Every Day Anymore

A DC-7 taking off. They've been working towards this day for six years.

The DC-7 was the penultimate piston-engined airliner as made by Douglas Aircraft, capable of fly westbound from London and Paris to Idlewild Airport non-stop. It suffered from persistent engine problems with its Wright R-3350 turbo-compound engines and engine shutdowns were almost a routine event. One retired airline captain once said that the major difference between the DC-6 and the DC-7 was that the DC-6 was a 4-engined airplane with 3-bladed propellers, while a DC-7 was a 3-engined airplane with 4-bladed propellers.

DC-7s had flight engineers and navigators. (Earlier transoceanic airliners also had radio operators; better HF voice sets allowed the airlines to stop using Morse Code on HF and the radio operators were history.) The flight engineers were often real mechanics, not young pilots just starting out. The navigators used the sun and starts for over-ocean navigation. The much better reliability of jet engines eventually made the flight engineers obsolete. Inertial navigation systems displaced the navigators.

As soon as the airlines can figure out how to do it safely, the pilots will be gone as well.


Frank Van Haste said...

Dear Miss Fit:

As he said, "Son of a gun!" Thank you for posting that. There's nothing quite like the sound of big round engines.

I wonder if they are operating with the Parts Recovery Turbines enabled?



Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

Frank, I don't know if they have disabled the PRTs. I know the warbird operators tend to disable the turbos in their radials.

Nangleator said...

The first day a robot passenger plane flies is the last they'll let a human fly a GA aircraft, if the airlines have any say. They'll try to pin every accident on the nearest flying human until the law is passed.

Wicked Penguin said...

Beautiful! I'm thrilled that old lady got off the ground, and in Eastern colors too! (My dad worked for EAL for 23+ years)

Just to give you an idea of how far that aircraft has come, this is a pic I took in October 2006 while I was doing my flight training at Opa Locka (where that vid was filmed).


Sarah said...

"Son of a gun!" Sounded like uncle Walter there.

I hear there is to be a DC7 @OSH this year; is this the one? I look forward to the sound of 4 ( or even 3 ) big round radials.

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

Sarah, that's the one.