Re: DC-7C Transatlantic Flight Questions

Date:         09 Mar 97 12:39:35 
From:         Steve Lacker <>
Organization: applied research laboratories
References:   1
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Tom Gibson wrote:
> I realize that this is not in the area of modern commercial aviation,

Which makes it no less interesting to me, personally ;-)

[The charter for sci.aeronautics.airliners refers simply to airliners,
and transport-category aircraft.  Not jetliners, no reference to age,
not even commercial.  Karl]

> First, I'd just like a subjective opinion of what it was like to fly the
> DC-7C.  Was it a joy to fly, or a real bear?  I know, for example, that
> many pilots didn't like to fly the Viscount, because of it's    quite slow
> roll rate.  Did the '7C have any similar quirks?  Any good DC-7 or DC-7C
> stories? <G>

I have a second-hand DC-7C story. A co-worker flew occasionally on
-7C's, and remembers his a nighttime flight very clearly. -7C's were
powered by a turbo-compound version of the (notorious?) Wright R-3350.
(When you see one in an old photograph, you might notice the trail of
black scorching across the wings behind each engine). My friend had
flown them in daylight several times, and never noticed anything "odd"
compared to other airliners at all. On his night flight, however, he
happened to have a window seat over the wing.  On climb-out, he looked
out and noticed what looked like a network of bright red veins visible
through the cowl flaps- the exhaust plumbing to the blow-down turbines
was glowing. When the  -7C approached cruise altitude, the pilots
shifted to cruise configuration with a reduction in propeller RPM,
increased boost, and thus increasing the power produced by the blow-down
turbines for maximum cruising efficiency. At this point, the manifolding
went from glowing red to bright orange! Nothing went wrong on his
flight- but the realization of just how hot things get inside the
cowling on an R-3350 TC left quite an impression on him.

Stephen Lacker
Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas at Austin
PO Box 8029, Austin TX 78713-8029