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Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter

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Old September 2nd 16, 02:56 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
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Posts: 23,857
Default Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter


The Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter is a long-range heavy military cargo aircraft
developed from the B-29 and B-50 bombers. Design work began in 1942, with the
prototype's first flight being on 9 November 1944, and the first production
aircraft entered service in 1947. Between 1947 and 1958, 888 C-97s in several
versions were built, 811 being KC-97 tankers. C-97s served in the Berlin
Airlift, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Some aircraft served as flying
command posts for the Strategic Air Command, while others were modified for use
in Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadrons (ARRS).

Design and development

The C-97 Stratofreighter was developed towards the end of World War II by
fitting an enlarged upper fuselage onto a lower fuselage and wings which were
essentially the same as those of the B-29 Superfortress with the tail, wing, and
engine layout being nearly identical. It was built before the death of Boeing
president Philip G. Johnson. It can be easily distinguished from the 377
Stratocruiser by the "beak" radome beneath the nose and by the flying boom and
jet engines on later tanker models.

The prototype XC-97 was powered by the 2,200 hp (1,600 kW) Wright R-3350 engine,
the same as used in the B-29. The XC-97 took off for its first flight on
November 9, 1944.

The tenth and all subsequent aircraft were fitted with the taller fin and rudder
of the B-50 Superfortress. The C-97 had clamshell doors under its tail, so that
a retractable ramp could be used to drive in cargo. However, unlike the later
Lockheed C-130 Hercules, it was not designed as a combat transport which could
deliver directly to primitive forward bases using relatively short takeoffs and
landings. The rear ramp could not be used in flight for air drops.

Military transport aircraft


First flight
9 November 1944



Primary users
United States Air Force
Israeli Air Force


Number built
77 (total of 888 in all variants)

Unit cost


Developed from
Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Boeing B-50 Superfortress

Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter
Boeing 377 Stratocruiser
Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy
Aero Spacelines Super Guppy
Aero Spacelines Mini Guppy

The C-97 had a useful payload of 35,000 lb (16,000 kg) and could carry two
normal trucks, towed artillery, or light tracked vehicles such as the M56
Scorpion. The C-97 was also the first mass-produced air transport to feature
cabin pressurization, which made long range missions somewhat more comfortable
for its crew and passengers.

The civilian derivative of the C-97 was the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a very
luxurious transoceanic airliner which featured a lower deck lounge and could be
fitted with sleeper cabins. The first Stratocruiser flew on July 8, 1947. Only
56 were built.

C-97s evacuated casualties during the Korean War. C-97s also participated in the
Biafran airlift, delivering relief materials to Uli airstrip in Biafra during
the Nigerian Civil War. Flying under the cover of darkness and at treetop level
to evade radar, at least two C-97s were lost.[6]

Boeing KC-97G Stratofreighter of the Minnesota Air National Guard in 1971 after
service as part of Military Airlift Command
The USAF Strategic Air Command operated C-97 Stratofreighters from 19491978.
Early in its service life, it served as an airborne alternative SAC command
post. While only 77 C-97 transports were built, 811 were built as KC-97
Stratofreighters for inflight refueling. Many KC-97s were later refitted as
C-97G transports and equipped several squadrons of the US Air National Guard.

Two C-97s are still airworthy at the present day, one (s/n 52-2718, named "Angel
of Deliverance") operated as a privately owned warbird, the other operated as a
fire bomber in the United States.

Specifications (C-97)

General characteristics
Crew: 56 (Pilot, Copilot, Navigator, Flight engineer, 12 Loadmasters)
134 troops[45] or
69 stretchers or
tanker equipment

Length: 110 ft 4 in (33.7 m)
Wingspan: 141 ft 3 in (43.1 m)
Height: 38 ft 3 in (11.7 m)
Wing area: 1,734 ft (161.1 m)
Empty weight: 82,500 lb (37,410 kg)
Loaded weight: 120,000 lb (54,420 kg)
Useful load: 37,500 lb (17,010 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 175,000 lb (79,370 kg)
Powerplant: 4 Pratt & Whitney R-4360B Wasp Major radial engines, 3,500 hp
(2,610 kW) 28-cylinders each

Maximum speed: 375 mph (603 km/h)
Cruise speed: 260 knots (300 mph, 482 km/h)
Range: 4,949 mi (4,300 nm, 6,920 km)
Ferry range: 5,000 nm (5,760 mi, 9,270 km)
Service ceiling: 35,000 ft (10,670 m)
Wing loading: 69.2 lb/ft (337.8 kg/m)
Power/mass: 0.117 hp/lb (192 W/kg)


Old September 2nd 16, 04:12 AM posted to alt.binaries.pictures.aviation
external usenet poster
Posts: 4,490
Default Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter

"Miloch" wrote in message ...


Here's the one I'll always remember:


Here was this "apron queen" that had been sitting on the tarmac, exposed to
the elements for twenty years until someone got the bright idea to get it
into their air and make a quick buck by flying a load of race horses to
Florida. Taking off overloaded and in the thin air of Mexico City, the crew
discovered they couldn't fly over the mountains. Once they saw there was no
hope of making it back to the airport, they aimed for the Mexico City-Toluca
highway, fled the cockpit and raced back to the tail section, awaiting the
impact, which killed one crewman, four passengers, and 44 on the ground. One
of the survivors was the man in charge of caring for the horses, two of
which actually survived. I won't soon forget the news footage of this
forlorn-looking horse just standing there amid the wreckage...



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