Airplanes of the Past Home Page

Prop Airliners of the Past

Boarding a United Air Lines propliner in earlier times of the airline industry

Today we are accustomed to travel in "the jet age" ... but prior to the 1950s all of the airlines of world depended on propliners as the mainstays of their fleets.

A series of improvements over the years led the industry from the DC-3 to the DC-7, Electra, Constellation and other propeller-based airliners.

Seen on this page are images of those early propliners, and airlines that still exist, such as American, Delta and United.

Also included are images from airlines that have been engulfed in takeovers, and victims of bankruptcy and changing times: Northwest, Eastern, National, Pan American and Trans Texas.

Enjoy our Propliners of the Past !

Douglas DC-3

American Airlines Douglas DC-3 Flagships
American Airlines Douglas DC-3 Flagship American Airlines Douglas DC-3 Flagship
Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-3
Eastern Airlines Douglas DC-3
Eastern DC-3 at Jacksonville, FL
Eastern DC-3 at Jacksonville, FL
Pan Am Douglas DC-3
Pan Am Douglas DC-3
DC-3 of Trans Texas Airways
DC-3 of Trans Texas Airways

 

 

Douglas DC-6 and DC-7: Four Engines and More Capacity

DC-6B of Western Airlines
DC-6B of Western Airlines
DC-7 of National Airlines
DC-7 of National Airlines
DC-7B of Eastern Airlines
DC-7B of Eastern Airlines
United DC-7 Mainliner N6302C
United DC-7 Mainliner N6302C
Delta Air Lines DC-7 Airliner
Delta Air Lines DC-7 Airliner

 

Lockheed Electra

Lockheed Electra - National Airlines
Lockheed Electra - National Airlines
Lockheed Electra - American Airlines
Lockheed Electra - American Airline

Boeing Stratocruiser

Boeing Stratocruiser - Northwest
Boeing Stratocruiser - Northwest
Boeing Stratocruiser - Pan American
Boeing Stratocruiser - Pan American

 

 

Lockheed Constellation

Trans World Airlines Super-G Constellation
Trans World Airlines Super-G Constellation
Lockheed Constellation - TWA
Lockheed Constellation - TWA
Lockheed Constellation - Pan Am
Lockheed Constellation - Pan Am
Trans World Airlines "Star of Switzerland" at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson AZ (Staff Photo)
Trans World Airlines "Star of Switzerland" at the Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson AZ

 

Martin 4-0-4

Eastern Airlines Martin 4-0-4 airliner
Eastern Airlines Martin 404 airliner

The Convairs: 240, 440 and More

Convair 440 of the Scandinavian Airlines System
Convair 440 of the Scandinavian Airlines System

Sikorsky VS-44A Excambian at the New England Air Museum
Sikorsky VS-44A Excambian at the New England Air Museum

Convair Model 37: The Commercial Variant of the XC-99 and B-36

Convair Model 37 airliner
Convair Model 37

Convair also considered developing a commercial airliner based on the B-36 and XC-99, but ultimately scrapped the idea in favor of pursuing the Convair 880 jetliner.

The Convair Model 37 was to have a wing span of 230 feet, 182 feet in length, and a double-deck fuselage.

Passenger capacity of the plane was planned at 204. Cruising speeds were projected to be between 310-342 mph, and be able to operate at altitudes up to 30,000 feet, with a range of 4,200 miles.

Fifteen (15) aircraft were ordered by Pan American World Airways for transatlantic service. However, fuel and oil consumption of the six 3,500 hp Wasp Major radials led to the decision that the Model 37 was not economically feasible. With only orders for 15 Model 37s, Convair cancelled the plane.