Postwar airliner history in the United States

The United States gained a huge advantage in design and production in the airline industry in the years leading up to the war, but many of the developments would be put off until after the war as the manufacturing efforts were placed on the war effort. The advancements that the United States would make in this industry were in large due to the cooperation of the airlines discussing what they desired with the airliner manufacturers. Soon after the war though Douglas made a large advancement with the DC-4, although this could not cross the Atlantic at every point, it was able to make a nonstop flight from New York to the United Kingdom. Due to the war going on, the first batch of these planes went to the U.S. Army and Air Forces, and was named the C-54 Skymaster. Some of these that were used in the war would later be converted for the airline industry, along with the passenger and cargo versions that were placed on the market once the war ended. Douglas would later develop a version of this plane that was pressurized and five feet longer; this redesigned plane would become the DC-6. These DC-6s would be grounded for six months to rectify a few safety issues that were causing in-flight fires. Soon after the DC-4, Lockheed developed the distinctive triple-tail Constellation. An aviation breakthrough, it was the first pressurized airliner, allowing it to fly higher, and therefore further and faster than ever before. Its fuselage was some 127 inches wider than the DC-4's. Drafted by the military in World War II, it experienced a similar late entry into the civilian airline industry. Safety concerns grounded it for six months soon after it entered service while problems were investigated and repaired. In 1947 the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser entered the industry with a completely different de ign than Douglas and Lockheed aircraft. Based on the C-97 Stratofreighter military transport, it had a double deck and pressurized fuselage. Luxury and a 100-passenger capacity distinguished it from its rivals. While 900 C-97s were supplied to the military, only 55 were produced for civil aviation. The American companies had done a great job of advancing the status of transcontinental travel, but there was also the aging fleet of DC-3s that had to be addressed. Convair decided that they were going to address this market, and would begin producing the Convair 240, which was a 40 person fully pressurized plane. There were 566 of these planes that would fly, including two that were equipped with jet-assisted take off units. Convair would later develop the Convair 340, which was slightly larger and could accommodate between 44 and 52 passengers, and 311 of this model plane were produced. Finally Convair would create a Convair 440, which had small modifications, including much better soundproofing than the previous models. Convair would experience a little bit of competition from the Martin 2-0-2 and Martin 4-0-4, but in general Convair was able to control this market, as the 2-0-2 had safety concerns and was unpressurized, and the 4-0-4 only sold around 100 units.[4] The United States was dominant in this industry for several reasons, including a large domestic market for these planes. The market would also work in the United States favor as the American companies began to build pressurized airliners. During the postwar years engines became much larger and more powerful, and safety features such as deicing, navigation, and weather were added to the planes. Lastly, the planes produced in the United States were more comfortable and had superior flight decks than those produced in Europe.