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A propliner is a large, propeller-driven airliner. Typically, the term is used for piston-powered airliners that flew before the beginning of the jet age, not for modern turbine-powered propeller airliners. With the notable exception of the de Havilland Albatross (1937), which was largely fabricated of wood, propliners featured all-metal wings and structural members, retractable landing gear, and generally two or four engines.
The first propliner was the Boeing 247 (1933), with the Douglas DC-1 and DC-2 closely following. The most successful is the Douglas DC-3, which was produced in the thousands, and is still in widespread use. Other American-designed propliners included the Douglas DC-4, DC-5, DC-6, and DC-7; the Lockheed Constellation, Super Constellation and Starliner; the Martin 2-0-2 and 4-0-4; the Convair CV-240, CV-340, and CV-440; and Boeing Stratocruiser and Stratoliner. British propliners included the Airspeed Ambassador, Vickers Viking, and Handley Page Hermes, while the Canadair North Star was produced in Canada. The French produced the Breguet Deux-Ponts, and the Soviet Union produced the postwar twin-engined Ilyushin Il-12 and Ilyushin Il-14, both produced in quantity through the 1950s. Finally, the Swedish SAAB Scandia was produced in small numbers.
Within the United States, among the dwindling list of US passenger airlines which at one time operated propliners directly or as a result of mergers and acquisitions include the following airlines: Air Wisconsin, Alaska, American, Delta, Envoy, Hawaiian, and Sierra Pacific Airlines.
- The De Havilland Canada Dash 8, Fokker F50 and the Tupolev Tu-114 are examples of turboprop airliners.
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