View Full Version : Propliner Ordinary/First Class pitch

21st Apr 2007, 09:39
What was the pitch in the Ordinary/First Class, before and after Pan Am invented Tourist Class?

The cabin width of Constellation, DC-7 and Stratocruiser is pretty similar to each other and to DC-9 family. Tourist Class 5 abreast was not wider than 5 abreast tourist class on DC-9. 6 abreast like on DC-8 and B707 was out of question.

The standard seating on propliners was 4 abreast, 2-2 - thus rather similar to DC-9 shorthaul first class. But what was seat pitch like?

How would you compare the legroom of 1950-s propliners to the business and first class of modern jets?

21st Apr 2007, 15:44
On the DC-6B's that I flew, first class seating had 38 inch pitch, whereas the 'economy' seating was 32 inch, as I recall.
In addition, some DC-6's had a first class lounge, with club seating.
That way, if there was an engine fire, the rear facing passengers had a good view...:eek:

21st Apr 2007, 19:49
"If" there was an engine fire?

Shouldn't that be "whenever"?

I was once privileged to be on board the CAF's FiFi. First a good look round, then the engine start sequence. But we had to disembark before flight, due to the FAA's observations after the Marauder accident.

But what I clearly remember was the 'diagnosis of engine failure by smoke' chart in the back. Various diagrams of smoke belching from poorly motors allowed diagnosis of engine failure, supercharger failure or whatever.....

Presumably the DC-6B's passengers could make similar observations?

22nd Apr 2007, 02:01
Oddly enough, BEagle, in my many hours on the 'ole DC-6B, I never experienced any engine problems, let alone a fire.
Propellor overspeeds...another kettle of fish altogether.
Had two of those...that was quite enough.:uhoh:

On another forum, I posted about propellor problems and how they can be quite deadly...

I personally witnessed this terrible accident, and oddly enough, this was the only DC-6 ever produced equipped with Curtis Electric propellers.
When a propeller malfunctions, or as in this case, a blade separation, the results are many times quite fatal.
The 'ole DC-6 was a wonderful airplane to fly, and it does surprisingly well on two engines, but not with the landing gear extended.


Here is another example of a propeller problem.
All DC-6's that I flew were equipped with a Martin Bar, and it surely was necessary.


15th May 2007, 02:45
From age 8 to 10, paxed on DC 3, 6, 7, Connie, Stratocruiser, Martin 404, North Star:uhoh: , Viscount:ok: when father took me and sis for the summer.

As a pilot, he always insisted that we sit well away from the propellers in case they let go -- he followed the accident reports.

17th May 2007, 09:09
Wasn't the DC6B one of the more reliable piston airliners? At least the P&W R2800's gave a lot less trouble compared to the Wright turbo-compound engines on DC7's and Super Connies.

Even so, I remember one of my earliest flights, in the back of a KLM DC6B, Amsterdam to Khartoum. We had an engine failure en-route, and I can still remember the oil flowing back over the engine cowling and wing. This required a lengthy wait at Frankfurt while a new engine was fitted, and off we went again.

My father reckoned he could read a book at night with the glare from the exhaust stacks of the no.3 motor. The inner motors were certainly close to the fuselage. Not as spectacular as the torching from a Wright turbo-compound though, when the fire could sheet back over the wing on take-off and initial climb. The KLM information booklet in the back of the seat cautioned pax not to be alarmed by flaming engines at night, as it was "perfectly normal". I can't imagine pax these days being so easily reassured!

I remember being told a story by a chap who had just arrived in East Africa from London on a South African DC7B. One of the engines had a prop overspeed and then threw the prop as they were crossing the Alps! Luckily the prop trajectory spun it away from the fuselage and no-one was hurt.

17th May 2007, 13:40
The DC-6B, kala87, was the most economical four engine piston airliner to operate, by any statistical measure.
And yes, you are quite right, it was primarily because of the R2800CB16 engines.
With the ten fuel tank arrangement (5512 US gallons), it was a long ranger as well.
Several were delivered non-stop SMO-ORY.

17th May 2007, 15:21
RatherBeFlying stated:-
As a pilot, he always insisted that we sit well away from the propellers in case they let go -- he followed the accident reports.

I recall seeing the result of a propeller having let go on a Vickers Viscount, I believe it was a 810. I was working at Marshall of Cambridge circa June 1964and in the Hangar was a Viscount where the inboard port propeller had let go and ripped up and over the top of the cabin. Fortunately the port toilet was located at that point and I believe that there were no casualties. I cannot remember the operator of the aircraft.
The only other incident of a similar incident involving a Viscount was on a Trans-Canada Airlines Vickers Viscount, CF-TGR,on the 07/07/56,which shed a propeller blade over Flat Rock, Michigan. The blade entered the passenger cabin, killing one.