a website collaboration between Science Service and the Smithsonian Institution

1952 - the beam picks up a mountain and gives pilot adequate warning on the radarscope mounted in cockpit


E&MP 103.041


May 12, 1952

New aircraft radar just announced by Radio Corporation of America and the Navy gives pilots a "flashlight" that can pinpoint obstacles up to 200 miles from a plane.

Picture above shows how the beam picks up a mountain and gives pilot adequate warning on the radarscope mounted in cockpit.

The lightweight radar also can be used to navigate through clouds.

The new system has been installed on the Independence, President Truman's personal plane, as well as on a number of Navy and Air Force transports.

Original Caption by Science Service
© Carl Byoir & Associates, Inc. - Radio Corporation of America

Additional Information

Truman's New DC-4 Plane Will Be Called "Independence"

President Truman's new private transport plane was revealed for the first time at the Douglas aircraft plant on June 3, 1947. It's name "Independence" is enhanced with a painted eagle. The interior features mahogany, elk hide, and transparent plastic. The seating capacity is 24, but is able to accommodate 12 persons for sleeping.

The plane is a four-engine DC-6, the same kind of plane that was used to set a transcontinental record of 6 hours and 47 minutes. The plane will replace the current plane called the "Sacred Cow". It is about 100 miles per hour faster with a cruising speed of 315 miles an hour and a maximum speed of 358 miles. It also has the advantage of having a pressure cabin for high-altitude flying, whereas the old plane required individual oxygen supplies.

According to the makers, it is equipped with "every known device for flying safety" including radar and a radio typewriter with a 3000 mile range which can code and decode messages and print them on tape.

The Presidential stateroom in the plane is decorated in colors of chocolate brown, dark blue and light gray, giving the area distinction without being elaborate. The President has a pedestal conference table, an upholstered swivel chair, and a sofa bed. There is also a small dressing area.

The cost for the plane was not available. It is the property of the U.S. Air Force, Air Transport Command, and will be operated by the present crew and staff of the current plane, "The Sacred Cow."

Courtesy: The Harry S. Truman Library

National Museum of American History


Search - Site Map - Subjects to Choose From - Numbering Format

Credits - Copyright - Comments