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Lockheed C-141 StarLifter

posted by Jiri Wagner

The C-141B Starlifter is the workhorse of the Air Mobility Command. The Starlifter fulfills the vast spectrum of airlift requirements through its ability to airlift combat forces over long distances, deliver those forces and their equipment either by air, land or airdrop, resupply forces and transport the sick and wounded from the hostile area to advanced medical facilities. The C-141B is a stretched C-141A with in-flight refueling capability.

The stretching of the Starlifter consisted of lengthening the planes 23 feet 4 inches (7.11 meters). The added length increased the C-141 cargo capacity by about one-third, for an extra 2,171 cubic feet (62.03 cubic meters). The lengthening of the aircraft had the same overall effect as increasing the number of aircraft by 30 percent. The C-141A, built between 1963 and 1967, was AMC's first jet aircraft designed to meet military standards as a troop and cargo carrier. The development of the B model was the most cost-effective method of increasing AMC's airlift capability. A universal air refueling receptacle on the C-141B, with the ability to transfer 23,592 gallons (89,649 liters) in about 26 minutes, means longer nonft flights and fewer fuel fts at overseas bases during worldwide airlift missions.

The C-141 force, nearing nine million flying hours, has a proven reliability and long-range capability. In addition to training, worldwide airlift and combat support, the C-141 has amassed a laudatory record in response to humanitarian crises. The C-141, with its changeable cargo compartment, can transition from rollers on the floor for palletized cargo to a smooth floor for wheeled vehicles to aft facing seats or sidewall canvas seats for passengers, quickly and easily, to handle over 30 different missions. C-141s are stationed at Charleston AFB, S.C.; McChord AFB, Wash.; McGuire AFB, N.J.; and Travis AFB, Calif. AMC began transferring C-141s to the Air Reserve and Air National Guard forces in July 1986. The first Air Reserve unit was Andrews AFB, Md., followed by others now at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and March AFB, Calif.; and Air National Guard units at Jackson, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn. The first C-141A, delivered to Tinker AFB, Okla., in October 1964, began squadron operations in April 1965. Starlifters made flights almost daily to Southeast Asia, carrying troops, equipment and supplies, and returning patients to U.S. hospitals. The C-141 was the first jet transport from which U.S. Army paratroopers jumped, and the first to land in the Antarctic.

A C-141 established a world record for heavy cargo drops of 70,195 pounds (31,588 kilograms). The first C-141B was received by the Air Force in December 1979. Conversion from A to B models was completed in 1982. The C-141 continues to be the backbone of military airlift capability and the cornerstone of a valuable national asset, airlift. The C-141's reliability and intrinsic capabilities enable AMC to meet any commitment anywhere national interest dictates.

General characteristics

Primary function Cargo and troop transport
Contractor Lockheed-Georgia Comp.
Power  plant Four Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-7 turbofan engines
Trhust 4x 21 020 lb 4x 93,5 kN
Wingspan 160 ft 48,74 m
Length 168 ft 4 in 51,29 m
Height 39 ft 3 in 11,96 m
Wingarea 3227,9 sq ft 299,88 sq m
Cargo compartment height 9 ft 1 in 2,77 m
length 93 ft 4 in 28,45 m
width 10 ft 3 in 3,12 m
Cargo door width 10,25 ft  31,24 m
height 9,08 ft 27,6 m
Speed max. 567 mph 912 km/h
cruising 495 mph 797 km/h
Ceiling 41 000 ft 12 496 m
Range max. loading 2935 miles 4723 km
Weight empty 149 295 lb 67 719 kg
max. takeoff 343 000 lb 155 582 kg
Loading capacity 200 combat troops or 155 fully equipped paratroops or 103 litter and 14 seats or 68 725 lb (31 239 kg) load.
Unit cost $40,9 million
Crew Five: two pilots, two flight engineers and one loadmaster (one navigator added for airdrops). Aeromedical teams of two flight nurses and three medical technicians each are added for aeromedical evacuation missions
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Last updated 01.01.2017