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Lockheed C-141 Starlifter

 

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The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter was designed to a 1960 requirement as a military strategic airlifter.
First flown on 17 December 1963, production deliveries of an eventual 248 entering USAF service began in 1965 as the C-141A.

The original Starlifter model, the C-141A, could carry 138 passengers, 80 litters for wounded, or ten standard 463L pallets with a total of 62,700 pounds (28,900 kg) of cargo.

A number were modified to allow the carriage of a containerized Minuteman ballistic missile.

The C-141 volume capacity was relatively low in comparison to its lifting capacity; it generally ran out of physical space long before it hit its weight limit.

Lockheed produced the prototype C-141B version in 1977, a conversion of a standard C-141A with a 23 ft 4 in (7.11 m) longer fuselage, other airframe changes and flight refuelling equipment producing the C-141B, flown for the first time on 24 March 1977. The conversion program took place between 1977 and 1982. It was estimated that this stretching program was the equivalent of buying 90 new aircraft, in terms of increased capacity.

Additional 'plug' sections were added before and after the wings, lengthening the fuselage by 23 ft 4 in (7.11 m) The modifications raised the StarLifter's carrying capacity from ten standard freight pallets to 13, or a similar rise in the 154 troops, from 123 paratroops. All C-141As were being brought up to the new C-141B standard.

Sixty-three aircraft have been upgraded to C-141C status, with improved avionics and navigation systems.

In 1994, thirteen C-141Bs were given SOLL II (Special Operations Low-Level II) modifications, which gave the aircraft a low-level night flying capability, enhanced navigation equipment, and improved defensive countermeasures. The USAF operates these aircraft for the Air Force Special Operations Command.

On 16 September 2004 the C-141 left service with active duty USAF units, being confined to reserve units for the remainder of its service life. As of September 25th, 2005, there werere only 8 C-141 aircraft still flying (All from Wright-Patterson AFB) near Dayton, Ohio. One of them is the same aircraft that was used at the end of the Vietnam War to repatriate American POWs from North Vietnam, and was to be moved to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, also at WPAFB.

C-141A

Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-7 turbofan, 21000 lb (9,525 kg) st.
Wing span: 159 ft 11 in (48.74 m).
Length: 145 ft 0 in (44,20 m).
Height: 12.0 m / 39 ft 4 in
Wing area: 299.8 sq.m / 3227.02 sq ft
Gross weight: 316,600 lb (143,600 kg).
Max speed: 571 mph (919 km/h) at 25,000 ft (7,620 m).
Cruise speed: 885 km/h / 550 mph
Ceiling: 12500 m / 41000 ft
Capacity: 154 troops, 123 paratroops, 80 stretchers, 5,283 cu.ft (169.6cu.m) cargo
Range w/max.fuel: 11400 km / 7084 miles
Range w/max.payload: 6440 km / 4002 miles
Typical range: 4080 miles (6,565 km) with 70,847 lb (32,136 kg) payload.
Crew: 4

C-141B

Engines: 4 x Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-7 turbofan, 21000 lb (9,525 kg) st.
Length: 168 ft 4 in / 51.31 m
Height: 12.0 m / 39 ft 4 in

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Lockheed C-141A Starlifter

 

 


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