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Douglas C-124 Globemaster II

The Douglas Aircraft Company, situated in Long Beach, California, constructed the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, which is commonly referred to as “Old Shaky”.

This American heavy-lift cargo aircraft was utilized as the primary heavy-lift transport for the United States Air Force (USAF) Military Air Transport Service (MATS) during the 1950s and early 1960s until the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was introduced.

The C-124 was in service with MATS, later Military Airlift Command (MAC), units of the Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard until its retirement in 1974.

The C-124 was developed by Douglas Aircraft between 1947 and 1949, utilizing a prototype derived from the World War II-era Douglas C-74 Globemaster design.

The development process was informed by the lessons learned during the Berlin Airlift.

The aircraft was powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major piston engines, each producing 3,800 hp (2,800 kW).

Notably, the C-124 was designed with two large clamshell doors, a hydraulically actuated ramp in the nose, and a cargo elevator under the aft fuselage.

The cargo bay, measuring 77 ft (23 m), featured two overhead hoists, each capable of lifting 8,000 lb (3,600 kg), and the aircraft was capable of carrying up to 68,500 lb (31,100 kg) of cargo.

In its passenger-carrying role, the C-124 could accommodate 200 fully equipped troops on its double decks or 127 litter patients and their attendants.

It was the only aircraft of its time capable of transporting fully assembled heavy equipment, such as tanks and bulldozers.

The C-124 made its first flight on November 27, 1949, with the C-124A being delivered in May 1950.

The C-124C followed, featuring more powerful engines, an APS-42 weather radar, and wingtip-mounted combustion heaters for cabin heating and wing and tail surface de-icing.

The C-124As were later retrofitted with these improvements.

One C-124C, 52-1069, c/n 43978, was used as a JC-124C for testing the 15,000 shp (11,000 kW) Pratt & Whitney XT57 (PT5) turboprop, which was installed in the nose.
Prototype rebuilt from a C-74 with a new fuselage and powered by four 3,500 hp R-4360-39 engines, it was later re-engine and redesignated YC-124A.
Prototype YC-124 re-engineered with four 3,800 hp R-4360-35A engines.
Douglas Model 1129A, production version with four 3,500 hp R-4360-20WA engines; 204 built, most retrofitted later with nose-radar and combustion heaters in wingtip fairings.
Douglas Model 1182E was a turboprop variant of the C-124A with four Pratt & Whitney YT34-P-6 turboprops; originally proposed as a tanker, it was used for trials on the operation of turboprop aircraft.
Originally designated C-127.
Douglas Model 1317, same as C-124A but with four 3,800 hp R-4360-63A engines, nose radar, wingtip combustion heaters and increased fuel capacity; 243 built.
6 or 7
200 troops / 123 litter patients with 45 ambulatory patients and 15 medical staff.
Maximum payload 74,000 lb (34,000 kg)
130 ft 5 in (39.75 m)
174 ft 1.5 in (53.073 m)
48 ft 3.5 in (14.719 m)
Wing area
2,506 sq ft (232.8 m2)
Empty weight
101,165 lb (45,888 kg)
Gross weight
185,000 lb (83,915 kg)
Max take-off weight
194,500 lb (88,224 kg)
Fuel capacity
11,128 US gal (42,120 L; 9,266 imp).
2x 30 US gal (110 L; 25 imp gal) water/alcohol tanks
4 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-63A Wasp Major 28-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines,
3,800 hp (2,800 kW) each with water/alcohol injection
3-bladed Curtiss Model C634S-C402, 16 ft 6 in (5.03 m) diameter fully feathering reversible-pitch constant-speed propeller
Maximum speed
304 mph (489 km/h, 264 kn) at 20,800 ft (6,300 m)
Cruise speed
230 mph (370 km/h, 200 kn)
4,030 mi (6,490 km, 3,500 nmi) with 4,030 lb (1,830 kg) payload
Ferry range
6,820 mi (10,980 km, 5,930 nmi)
Service ceiling
21,800 ft (6,600 m)
Rate of climb
760 ft/min (3.9 m/s)
Wing loading
73.8 lb/sq ft (360 kg/m2)
0.041 hp/lb (0.067 kW/kg).

Air Mobility Command Museum.
McDonnell Douglas aircraft since 1920: Volume I-René J Francillon.
San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
Air Force Legends No.206, Douglas C-124 Globemaster II-Earl Berlin.

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