Fairchild C-123 Provider
Chase Aircraft developed the larger C-123 Avitruc, first flown 14 October 1949, derived from XG-20 cargo glider. Chase Aircraft constructed the first five examples before Fairchild took over production. Taken over by Fairchild as C-123B and renamed Provider. An XC-123A prototype (four General Electric turbojets) flew on April 21,1951: first flight of a U.S. transport powered by jet engines. Chase became wholly owned subsidiary of Willys Motors Inc. of Toledo, Ohio, in 1953, itself owned by Kaiser- Fraser.
A production order for 300 C-123B, held by the Kaiser-Frazer Corporation (which had acquired a majority interest in the Chase company in 1953), was cancelled in June 1953. New bids were asked for, as a result of which production of the C-123B was assigned to Fairchild. The first Fairchild-built C-123B flew on 1 September 1954 and production aircraft entered service with the USAF's 309th Troop Carrier Group in July 1955. Orders totalling more than 300 aircraft were completed by mid-1958, six going to Saudi Arabia and 18 to Venezuela.
The M.205 was designated C.123B, H and J.
In 1955 the prototype C-123B was fitted experimentally with two Fairchild J44-R-3 1000-lb static thrust turbojet engines mounted at the wingtips to provide auxiliary power for use in an emergency. As a result ten production aircraft were modified into C-123J with P&W 2,500 bhp R-2800-99W radials and turbojet engines fitted. Meanwhile a small number of C-123H had been produced with wide-track landing gears.
The prototype YC-123H was later experimentally fitted with CJ610 auxiliary turbojet engines and flown on 30 July 1962. Having been tested in South Vietnam as a counter-insurgency aircraft, 183 more C-123B were given 12.68kN General Electric J85-GE-17 auxiliary turbojet engines in underwing pods and designated C-123K (M.473). Some were further converted to AC-123K Spectre gunships for service during the Vietnam conflict.
The C-123 grossed out at 60,000 lbs and cruised on piston power at 160 knots.
When C-123 production ceased on 31 July 1958, Fairchild had built 303, 138 more than the original contract called for.
By 1956, Stroukoff Aircraft Corporation had already gained experience working on the C-123 Provider, having completed two contracts based on that airframe. During November 1954 the Air Force assigned Stroukoff Aviation one of the Providers to be equipped with the system of boundary layer control.
Its YC-123D had introduced a Boundary Layer Control (BLC) system to the C-123B. With the aid of the turbocompressor air was selected from under the inboard flaps between the fuselage and the pods and was blown out through the slots above the ailerons and the outboard flaps. The modernized aircraft XC-123D successfully underwent tests, after showing low stalling speed, small takeoff and path. This greatly improved landing and take-off performance, gross weight capability, and lowered the C-123's stall speed.
The Air Force hurried to give Stroukoff a contract to build a troop series of six XC-123D. However the head of the firm proposed a more attractive modification, finished in accordance with the advanced concept "Pantobase" (being rested everywhere). The aircraft had a pressurized fuselage, lower part of which were attached the form, which resembles the bottom of boat, usual chassis, two removed water skis even two underwing floats. It could be operated practically from any surface: the earth, water, ice, snow and sand.
The YC-123E had been another experiment in improving the C-123's ability to operate wherever it might need to, introducing Stroukoff's own Pantobase system: two high-stress skis fitted to the lower fuselage, wingtip mounted floats, along with sealing the fuselage itself. The first flight took place on 28 July, 1955 and this gave the YC-123E the ability to operate on water, as well as ice and snow, and with the BLC from the previous YC-123D, the new aircraft could effectively be operated from almost any runway surface available, and airstrips of shorter length.
YC-123E with pantobase landing gear
Engines; 2 x P+W R-2800-99W, 1840kW
Take-off weight; 27240 kg / 60054 lb
Empty weight; 14100 kg / 31085 lb
Wingspan; 33.6 m / 110 ft 3 in
Length; 23.3 m / 76 ft 5 in
Height; 10.4 m / 34 ft 1 in
Wing area; 113.6 sq.m / 1222.78 sq ft
Max. speed; 392 km/h / 244 mph
Ceiling; 7000 m / 22950 ft
Range w/max.fuel; 2350 km / 1460 miles
Engines: 2x Pratt & Whitney R2800-99W, 2500 h.p.
Wingspan: 110 ft
Length: 75 ft. 9 in
Loaded weight: 71,000 lb
Max. speed: 245 m.p.h.
Ceiling: 29,000 ft.
Typical range: 850 miles at 205 mph at 5,000 ft with full load.
Capacity: 61 troops or 16,000 lb cargo.
Engines: 2 x P&W R-2800-99W radials, 2,500 bhp & 2 x J44-R-3 turbojet, 1000-lb thrust.