by Carl Kuhns

Photographs were taken by my father, John W. Kuhns, 1914-1987.
He was a physician, pilot and Harley rider.


I find the most interesting part of an aircraft to be its engine.

Every year from 1950 through 1969, my parents would take an airline trip to Europe, South America, or Hawaii. The photographs taken on those trips are the basis for my engine nacelles photo essay.

The progression of propeller spinners is noteworthy. The DC-4 had no spinner. The Boeing 377 had a small one. The DC-7 and the Constellation were equipped with large spinners and an afterbody (cowling interliner) behind the propellers.

Although the DC-7 and Constellation used the same engines, the designers had different ideas when selecting propellers. The DC-7C had a 4-blade propeller with a diameter of 167.875 inches. A 3-blade propeller with a diameter of up to 181.312 inches was installed on the Constellation.

There is a side note on two of the airlines featured in this photo essay. Pan American Airways Boeing 377 N90944 was lost on November 8, 1957. N90944 Clipper Romance of the Skies was on a flight between San Francisco and Honolulu when it went down in the Pacific Ocean, leaving no survivors. The passengers on the Fawcett DC-4 were given oxygen masks on a flight over the Andes Mountains because of the unpressurized cabin.