aviationzone

Douglas C-74 Globemaster

Overview Immediately after the United States became engaged in World War II, it was clear that transport aircraft would be of vital importance. Because of the theater of operations envisaged, such aircraft would require both long range and great load-carrying capability. In early 1942, the Douglas Aircraft Company began development of a new, very large …

Douglas C-74 Globemaster Read More »

Douglas C-54 Skymaster

Overview The Douglas C-54 (designated R5D by the U.S. Navy) was the military variation of the DC-4 four-engine commercial transport. It was the first four-engine transport to enter USAAF service. The USAAF accepted a total of 1,164 Skymasters from 1942 to 1947. Its maximum load capacity was 28,000 pounds of cargo or 49 passengers. Although …

Douglas C-54 Skymaster Read More »

Douglas C-47 Skytrain

Overview Few aircraft are as well known or were so widely used for so long as the C-47 Skytrain, nicknamed “Gooney Bird.” The aircraft was adapted from the DC-3 commercial airliner which first appeared in 1936. The first C-47s were ordered in 1940 and by the end of WWII, over 10,000 had been procured for …

Douglas C-47 Skytrain Read More »

McDonnell Douglas YC-15

The McDonnell Douglas YC-15, like Boeing’s YC-14 prototype, had a high-set wing, fuselage blister fairings for the main landing gear units, and an upswept T-tail above the rear ramp/door arrangement. The primary difference between the two aircraft was the way each achieved STOL performance. Unlike the YC-14, the YC-15 wings were configured with sets of …

McDonnell Douglas YC-15 Read More »

Boeing YC-14

The Boeing Model 953 design for STOL performance was based on the use of a supercritical wing, developed by NASA from the wind-tunnel research of Dr. Richard Whitcomb, which provides highly efficient performance from the wing at high subsonic speeds. To this wing Boeing added an advanced wing upper-surface blowing concept, mounting the twin turbofan …

Boeing YC-14 Read More »

Boeing VC-137 Stratoliner

Overview The Boeing VC-137B Stratoliner is a modified version of the Boeing 707 commercial intercontinental airliner and the first jet aircraft designed exclusively for presidential use. For almost 30 years it served as the presidential aircraft, commonly known as “Air Force One.” Today, the president’s aircraft is the VC-25A, a heavily modified Boeing 747-200 derivative. History …

Boeing VC-137 Stratoliner Read More »

Boeing VC-25A

Overview The presidential air transport fleet consists of two specially configured Boeing 747-200B aircraft (tail numbers 28000 and 29000) with the Air Force designation VC-25A. When the President of the United States is aboard either aircraft, or any Air Force aircraft for that matter, the radio call sign is “Air Force One”. History of ‘Air …

Boeing VC-25A Read More »

Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker

Mission The Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker’s primary mission is to aerial refuel compatible U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps aircraft. It also provides refueling support to compatible allied aircraft when required. Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker Background On 15 July 1954, Boeing’s famous Model 367-80 prototype took to the air for the first time. The four-jet, swept-wing transport provided …

Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker Read More »

Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter

Overview The KC-97 Stratofreighter, with its “double-bubble” fuselage, was basically a military version of the Boeing Model 377 Stratocruiser; though its wing, engine, and tail were acquired from the B-29 Superfortress bomber. The C-97 served a varied mission when active; in addition to both transport and tanker roles, it was used for medical evacuation and …

Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter Read More »

Boeing KB-50

Overview The U.S. Air Force had planned for a total of 134 B-50As, RB-50Bs, and B-50Ds to be converted to aerial tankers, once they were no longer needed by the atomic bombing forces of SAC. All of their armament would be deleted, the outer wings would be reinforced, and equipment would be added that would …

Boeing KB-50 Read More »