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Designation: VC-118A

Douglas VC-118A

Douglas VC-118A Liftmaster

A picture of the Douglas VC-118A Liftmaster

The C-118 is a militarized version of the Douglas DC-6 airliner.  Just over 100 C-118s were acquired for use by the Air Force as passenger and cargo transports.  The main difference between the military and civil versions is the installation of a large cargo door on the left side of the aircraft.  The C-118s were used primarily as passenger aircraft and several eventually served in the Presidential fleet.  This aircraft served as the official Air Force One for Presidents Kennedy and Johnson.  It was the last propeller driven aircraft to be designated as the primary Presidential transport.  The VC-118A was overshadowed during its service by the introduction of the first Boeing VC-137s.  Both Presidents preferred to travel in the larger, faster jet aircraft and the VC-118 was used primarily for short trips to airports that were too small for the big Boeings.  Once the VC-137 became the primary Presidential aircraft the VC-118 was used as a back up plane and to transport lower ranking VIPs.

Wingspan 117 ft 6 in .


Length 100 ft 7 in.


Height 28 ft 8 in.


Weight 107,000 lbs (loaded)


Max. Speed 380 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 29,000 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 4,720 miles


Engines Four Pratt & Whitney R-2800-52W radials with 2,500 horsepower each


Crew 5 with 24 passengers



1254th Air Transport (Special Missions) Wing, Andrews AFB, Maryland, 1962

Serial Number

VC-118A “Air Force One”

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