Thursday, February 7, 2019
FDR's "Sacred Cow"-- Part 3: A Very Modified C-54C
Preferring that the president be flown on an Army Air Force plane operated by an Army Air Force crew, General "Hap" Arnold, the commander of the USAAF, ordered the Consolidated C-87, a transport version of the famous B-24 bomber, be converted for the president, but the Secret Service voiced safety concerns and the job was turned over to the Douglas Aircraft Company to build a suitable plane that would be able to accommodate the special needs of the president.
This became the only C-54C built, so it was heavily modified on the production line. A C-54A fuselage was fitted with wings from a C-54B which gave greater fuel capacity.
The unpressurized cabin included an executive conference room with a large desk and a bulletproof picture window. For additional comfort, a private lavatory was installed next to the president's seat, and a fold-down bed was concealed behind the sofa. The galley even had an electric refrigerator.
All the Comforts of Home. --GreGen