The Curtiss (or Curtiss-Wright) C-46 Commando was the largest two-engine cargo plane in the USAAF fleet. Its civilian incarnation, the CW-20E saw service up into the early years of the jet age. The plane was the subject of Design Analysis articles in the August, 1943 number of Aviation and the March, 1945 issue of Industrial Aviation.
A foldout color illustration (the same one missing from my copy of Industrial Aviation) in the June, 1945 issue of Flying provided the source for the wallpapers provided here.

The March, 1940, issue of Aviation included a large section (articles and ads) dedicated to the introduction of the CW-20 Curtiss-Wright Substratosphere Transport, featuring an "Engineering Close-Up" article. [ HTML ]. This was followed up with an article on the Design For Maintenance principles in the CW-20, "Maintenance at a Profit" [ HTML ]. Since the CW-20 was introduced before US entry into the war, it got a fair amount of press, being one of the largest two-engined planes yet produced.

An early Design Analysis article draft of the Aviation [ PDF, 17.2 MiB ] , [ HTML ] includes some supplementary material detailing some of the changes made when converting military C-46 airframes to CW-20E configuration for civilian use.

The Design Analysis article in Industrial Aviation [ HTML ] describes the CW-20E, the civilian version of the C-46. When the last contracts were let, the C-46 was up to -G revision. It can be assumed that all of the pertinent changes would have been incorporated into the CW-20E. The first delivered C-46s were C-46A revision level.

The CW-20 was envisioned as an efficient, large-capacity high-altitude transport, with pressurized fuselage. For much of its life it was the largest and heaviest operational two-engined landplane. The prototype featured a twin-tail empennage, which was subsequently changed to a more modern single fin. The cockpit was originally designed with glazing flush to a streamlined fuselage profile, reminiscent of the Boeing Stratoliner, but this was changed to a design with stepped windscreen, more similar to the Douglas DC-3. These changes lead to a substantial visual difference between the earliest and later models of the plane. The prototype was assigned the designation C-55 during some of its development.

Articles
Apart from the Design Analysis articles, the C-46 didn't get a lot of coverage in the magazines in my collection. In late 1944, Curtiss started an advertising campaign for their civilian adaptation of the airframe, the CW-20E.

Images