Sky Talk

Throwback Thursday: A DC-4 at Meacham Airport in 1939

Star-Telegram archives

It’s a new year so we thought we’d start a new feature here on the Sky Talk blog.

Every Thursday, we will be posting a photo from the Star-Telegram archives that is aviation related, a la “Throwback Thursday.” We hope you enjoy the look back into aviation history.

For our first TBT, here’s a photo that appeared in the Star-Telegram’s evening edition on January 12, 1939. This caption was included:

“Development of planes has gone hand-in-hand with the progress of airports and ground aids in the last 10 years. As Municipal Airport here grew, the planes became speedier, roomier and safer...The bottom picture shows the latest development in land transports. It is the huge Douglas DC-4 now being test-flown and soon to take its place on America’s Airways. It is the largest commercial land plane yet built in this country and is the big sister of the DC-3, the large transport that wings its way into Fort Worth on several lines. The DC-4 will carry 42 passengers and a crew of five at a top speed of 240 miles an hour.”

Update: I knew that by pulling out old photos from our photo archives, an Avgeek would notice a detail that might have been missed by our 1930s reporters. Sky Talk reader Scott had the following observation of the photo that was posted today.

“Technically that isn’t a DC-4. It’s a picture of the only DC-4E (E being for Experimental) ever built, and that never entered production. You can tell by the triple tail on it. A DC-4 has only a single rudder instead of three,” Scott said in an email. “The idea was to use three low rudders so the plane would fit into the smaller existing hangers of the day. Interestingly, there was only one DC-4E built, so your photo is of the only one ever built. The DC-4 wasn’t built until 1942.”