The DC-4 was born as a passenger liner, but with the debut of WWII, production quickly shifted to the military variant, and over 90% of the 1200 that were built started in the C-54 Skymaster configuration. In the years following World War II, as normal passenger service resumed, Douglas began converting many of these planes to the civilian type, and they were used by airlines all over the world.
During this period, the market for large passenger aircraft was a face-off between the Douglas DC-4 and the Lockheed Constellation. "Everybody says the Connie is very attractive, but nobody says they think the DC-4 is beautiful," says Koike, with clear dissatisfaction. "In the DC-4, I get a sense of the good ol' dependable American era. The way its nose is scrunched vertically is charming and I think its got an honest beauty about it overall," he offers in support. His painting of the plane shows the beautiful Pan Am DC-4 "Clipper Racer" soaring over a sea of clouds, that gorgeously accents the livery's white and blue. This aircraft, after serving with Pan Am for seven years, was returned to the US Air Force where it kept flying until 1972. Even today, a few DC-4s are still flying in South Africa and other countries.
This original painting is acrylic on heavy art board. The board measures 54cm x 39cm, and the painted area is approximately 45cm x 34cm.