Douglas DC-4 Cockpit - c.1950
Bendix drift sightfold down jumpseatMorse keyradio logracked radio equipment

This photo shows the cockpit of an unidentified Australian National Airways (ANA) Douglas DC-4, c.1950.

At left sits the radio operator, with racks of radio equipment to his left. On his desk is a Morse key, as most air/ground radio communication until about the mid-1950s was by HF Morse between the aircraft and Aeradio (VHF was introduced in 1949). This photo illustrates why only large aircraft carried radio in those days - the weight and space of the equipment and dedicated operator was prohibitive in smaller aircraft.

The navigator's station is situated at about the position the photo is taken from and at bottom right of the shot can be seen the top of a Bendix drift sight, mounted vertically in the floor and used to measure wind drift.

ANA owned a total of 12 DC-4s, starting with the delivery in 1946 of flagship VH-ANA Amana. ANA also operated DC-4s on behalf of British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines (BCPA) and Air Ceylon. The last DC-4 service by the merged Ansett-ANA took place in December 1970.

(Photo: W. Crowther #573/CAHS collection / ANA ticket folder: CAHS collection)


Read about the Q code, used in wireless telegraphy

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