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Douglas DC-7


Display Status:

This object is on display in the America by Air exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

The Douglas DC-7 was an advanced development in large piston-engine airliners. American Airlines introduced the aircraft on its New York to Los Angeles route on November 29, 1953. It was the first airliner to provide nonstop transcontinental service both east-to-west and west-to-east.

The DC-7 cruised at 580 kilometers (360 miles) per hour and was the fastest transport aircraft in service. As a result, 338 DC-7s were purchased by 18 different airlines. Piston-engine airliners were made obsolete by turbine-engine Boeing 707s and Douglas DC-8s. Some DC-7s were later used as cargo planes and for charter work.

This nose section is from the American Airlines flagship Vermont, which carried about 130,000 passengers in its nearly 13,500 hours aloft.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum


Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of American Airlines, Inc.


Overall: Aluminum


  • Wingspan: 35.8 m (117 ft 6 in)
  • Length: 33.2 m (108 ft 11 in)
  • Height: 8.7 m (28 ft 7 in)
  • Weight, gross: 55,429 kg (122,200 lb)
  • Weight, empty: 30,076 kg (66,305 lb)
  • Overall Wt.: 12,890, on wooden and steel cradle
  • Top speed: 656 km/h (410 mph)

Country of Origin

United States of America



Physical Description

Forward fuselage only.



Inventory Number


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