The Fairchild C-123 Provider is an American military transport aircraft designed by Chase Aircraft and then built by Fairchild Aircraft for the U.S. Air Force. In addition to its USAF service, which included later service with the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, it also went on to serve most notably with the U.S. Coast Guard and various air forces in Southeast Asia. During the War in Vietnam, the C-123 was used to deliver supplies, to evacuate the wounded, and also used to spray Agent Orange. The first recipients of C-123 aircraft were USAF transport units, soon followed by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) which used the aircraft for search and rescue (SAR) missions, and even the U.S. Air Force Demonstration Team, the "Thunderbirds," used C-123s for a time as a logistics support aircraft for transporting the team's ground crews and equipment. The type would also be widely exported under various U.S. military assistance programs, directly from USAF stocks. A C-123 was used to transport President John F. Kennedy's limousine during his November, 1963, Texas tour. The C-123 was nearly ignored by the USAF for service in Vietnam, but a political rivalry with the U.S. Army and the Army's use of the CV-2 Caribou and later pre-production order for the de Havilland Canada C-8 Buffalo, led to a decision to deploy C-123s there. To compete with the well-performing CV-2, the USAF and Fairchild furthered development on the C-123 to allow it to do similar work on short runways. This additional development increased the utility of the aircraft and its variants to allow it to perform a number of unique tasks, including the HC-123B which operated with the USCG fitted with additional radar equipment for search and rescue missions through 1971, and the C-123J which was fitted with retractable skis for operations in Greenland and Alaska on compacted snow runways. By 1962, the C-123K variant aircraft was evaluated for operations in Southeast Asia and their stellar performance led the Air Force to upgrade 180 of the C-123B aircraft to the new C-123K standard, which featured auxiliary jet pods underneath the wings, and anti-skid brakes. In 1968, the aircraft helped resupply troops in Khe Sanh, Vietnam, during a three-month siege by North Vietnam. A number of C-123s were configured as VIP transports, including General William Westmoreland's White Whale. The C-123 also gained notoriety for its use in "Operation Ranch Hand" defoliation operations in Vietnam. Oddly enough, the USAF had officially chosen not to procure the VC-123C VIP transport, opting instead for the Convair VC-131D. The first C-123s to reach South Vietnam were part of the USAF's Special Aerial Spray Flight, as part of Operation Ranch Hand tasked with defoliating the jungle in order to deny rebels their traditional hiding places. These aircraft began their operations at the end of 1961. Aircraft fitted with spraying equipment were given the U prefix as a role modifier, with the most common types being the UC-123B and the UC-123K. Aircraft configured for this use were the last to see military service, in the control of outbreaks of insect-borne disease. The C-123 was also used as "jump aircraft" for U.S. Army Airborne students located at Lawson Army Airfield, Fort Benning, Georgia from the early 1970s through the early 1980s. This aircraft was used in conjunction with the Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Lockheed C-141 Starlifter. In 1958, the U.S. Coast Guard received its first HC-123B, followed by seven more in 1961. Installation of a dome on the nose of the aircraft accommodated a large radar allowing the plane to meet the requirements for search and rescue and long range flight over water. The Coast Guard manned the aircraft with a crew of five: two officers serving as the pilot and copilot, augmented by an enlisted flight mechanic, an enlisted navigator, and an enlisted loadmaster. With the end of the Vietnam War, remaining C-123Ks and UC-123Ks were transferred to tactical airlift units of the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) and the Air National Guard (ANG) that were operationally-gained by Tactical Air Command (TAC) before 1975 and Military Airlift Command (MAC) after 1975. The 302nd Tactical Airlift Wing at Rickenbacker AFB (later Rickenbacker ANGB), Ohio, flew the last UC-123Ks Providers in operational service before being converted to the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. Known as the Special Spray Flight, these aircraft were used to control insect-borne diseases, with missions to Alaska, South America, and Guam being among the humanitarian missions performed by this Air Force Reserve unit. The final examples of the C-123 in active U.S. military service were retired from the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard in the early 1980s. Some airframes were transferred to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for test and evaluation programs while others were transferred to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for miscellaneous programs. These aircraft were also retired by the end of the 1990s. Specifications Crew: 4 Capacity: 60 passengers, 50 litters, or 24,000 pounds of cargo Length: 76 ft 3 in Wingspan: 110 ft 0 in Height: 34 ft 1 in Empty weight: 35,366 lb Gross weight: 51,576 lb Max takeoff weight: 60,000 lb Fuel capacity: 1,462 US gal internal + 2x 450 US gal underwing drop-tanks Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-99W Double Wasp 18-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 2,500 hp each Powerplant: 2 × General Electric J85-GE-17 turbojet engines, 2,850 lbf (12.7 kN) thrust each Propellers: 3-bladed Hamilton Standard constant-speed fully feathering reversible-pitch propellers Performance Maximum speed: 228 mph at 10,000 ft Cruise speed: 173 mph maximum at 10,000 ft Stall speed: 95 mph flaps and undercarriage down Range: 1,035 mi with maximum payload Service ceiling: 21,100 ft with one engine inoperative Rate of climb: 1,220 ft/min at sea level with one engine inoperative Take-off run: 1,167 ft ... See more
Some more pictures from the Glenn Miller Orchestra performance Friday evening from another one of our volunteers!
The North American Aviation T-28 Trojan is a radial-engine military trainer aircraft manufactured by North American Aviation and used by the United States Air Force and United States Navy beginning in the 1950s. Besides its use as a trainer, the T-28 was successfully employed as a counter-insurgency aircraft, primarily during the Vietnam War. It has continued in civilian use as an aerobatics and warbird performer. On September 24, 1949, the XT-28 (company designation NA-159) was flown for the first time, designed to replace the T-6 Texan. The T-28A arrived at the Air Proving Ground, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in mid-June 1950, for suitability tests as an advanced trainer by the 3200th Fighter Test Squadron, with consideration given to its transition, instrument, and gunnery capabilities. Found satisfactory, a contract was issued and between 1950 and 1957, a total of 1,948 were built. Following the T-28's withdrawal from U.S. military service, a number were remanufactured by Hamilton Aircraft into two versions called the Nomair. The first refurbished machines, designated T-28R-1 were similar to the standard T-28s they were adapted from, and were supplied to the Brazilian Navy. Later, a more ambitious conversion was undertaken as the T-28R-2, which transformed the two-seat tandem aircraft into a five-seat cabin monoplane for general aviation use. Other civil conversions of ex-military T-28As were undertaken by PacAero as the Nomad Mark I and Nomad Mark II. After becoming adopted as a primary trainer by the USAF, the United States Navy and Marine Corps adopted it as well. Although the Air Force phased out the aircraft from primary pilot training by the early 1960s, continuing use only for limited training of special operations aircrews and for primary training of select foreign military personnel, the aircraft continued to be used as a primary trainer by the Navy (and by default, the Marine Corps and Coast Guard) well into the early 1980s. The largest single concentration of this aircraft was employed by the U.S. Navy at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, in the training of student naval aviators. The T-28's service career in the U.S. military ended with the completion of the phase-in of the T-34C turboprop trainer. The last U.S. Navy training squadron to fly the T-28 was VT-27 "Boomers", based at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, flying the last T-28 training flight in early 1984. The last T-28 in the Training Command, BuNo 137796, departed for Naval District Washington on 14 March 1984 to be displayed permanently at Naval Support Facility Anacostia, D.C. In 1963, a Royal Lao Air Force T-28 piloted by Lieutenant Chert Saibory, a Thai national, defected to North Vietnam. Saibory was immediately imprisoned and his aircraft was impounded. Within six months the T-28 was refurbished and commissioned into the North Vietnamese Air Force as its first fighter aircraft. T-28s were supplied to the Republic of Vietnam Air Force (RVNAF) in support of ARVN ground operations, seeing extensive service during the Vietnam War in RVNAF hands, as well as the Secret War in Laos. A T-28 Trojan was the first US fixed wing attack aircraft (non-transport type) lost in South Vietnam, during the Vietnam War. Capt. Robert L. Simpson, USAF, Detachment 2A, 1st Air Commando Group, and Lt. Hoa, RVNAF, were shot down by ground fire on August 28, 1962 while flying close air support. Neither crewman survived. The USAF lost 23 T-28s to all causes during the war, with the last two losses occurring in 1968. Specifications Crew: 2 Length: 33 ft 0 in Wingspan: 40 ft 1 in Height: 12 ft 8 in Wing area: 268.0 sq ft Empty weight: 6,424 lb Max takeoff weight: 8,500 lb Powerplant: 1 × Wright R-1820-86 Cyclone 9-cylinder air-cooled radial engine, 1,425 hp Performance Maximum speed: 343 mph at 10,000 ft Ferry range: 1,060 mi Service ceiling: 35,500 ft Rate of climb: 3,540 ft/min Armament Hardpoints: 6 with a capacity of 1,200 lb total ... See more
Some pictures from one of our volunteers that attended the Glenn Miller Orchestra performance Friday evening. We had a few batches of rain showers move through, which produced a rainbow back drop for Whiskey 7, and our C-119. ... See more
The Convair C-131 Samaritan is an American twin-engined military transport produced from 1954 to 1956 by Convair. It is the military version of the Convair CV-240 family of airliners. The design began life in a production requirement by American Airlines for a pressurized airliner to replace the Douglas DC-3. Convair's original design had two engines and 40 seats, and thus it was designated the CV-240. The first CV-240 flew on March 16, 1947, and production aircraft were first delivered to American on February 28, 1948. Seventy-five were delivered to American, with another fifty going to Western Airlines, Continental Airlines, Pan American Airways, KLM, Sabena, Swissair and Trans Australia Airlines. The CV-240/340/440 series was used by the United States Air Force (USAF) for medical evacuation and VIP transport and was designated as C-131 Samaritan. The first model Samaritan, the C-131A, was derived from the CV-240 model, and was delivered to the USAF in 1954. The initial trainer model, designated the T-29, was also based on the Convair CV-240 and was used to instruct USAF navigators for all USAF aircraft and United States Navy (USN) Naval Flight Officers (NFOs) selected to fly land-based aircraft. The first deliveries to the USAF were made in 1950 followed by large production quantities until early 1955. The USAF and the USN operated T-29s in separate units at separate locations until 1976. In 1974, the USAF T-29s with the 323d Flying Training Wing (323 FTW) at Mather AFB, California began to be replaced by the Boeing 737-derived T-43. In 1975, the Navy retired all of its T-29s assigned to Training Squadron Twenty-Nine (VT-29) at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, deactivated VT-29, and merged their advanced navigator training program for land-based NFOs with the Air Force's program at Mather AFB. From 1952, the USN and United States Marine Corps (USMC) took delivery of 36 R4Y-1 transport aircraft similar to the commercial CV-340 and USAF C-131D, configured with 44 passenger seats and powered by a pair of 2,500 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-52W engines. A single otherwise similar aircraft was acquired with a 24-seat VIP interior and designated R4Y-1Z. In 1957, the USN took delivery of two additional aircraft similar to the commercial CV-440 and designated R4Y-2. With the 1962 redesignation of USN/USMC aircraft, the three types were redesignated as the C-131F, VC-131F, and C-131G respectively. A number of R4Y-1 (C-131F) aircraft were converted to R4Y-1Z (VC-131F) or R4Y-2 (C-131G) standards after delivery, and several C-131F and C-131G aircraft were ultimately sold as military surplus and converted to civil use. Nearly all of the C-131s left the active USAF inventory in the late 1970s, but the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) operated the aircraft until 1983, while the Air National Guard (ANG) and USN units operated additional C-131 airframes, primarily as Operational Support Aircraft (OSA) for ANG flying wings and as naval air station "station aircraft" until 1990. The C-131 was primarily replaced by the C-9 Nightingale in regular USAF service, with the ANG replacing their OSA with C-130 Hercules aircraft and the USN with C-12 Hurons. Specifications: Crew: four Capacity: 48 passengers Length: 79 ft 2 in Wingspan: 105 ft 4 in Height: 28 ft 2 in Wing area: 920 sq ft Empty weight: 29,248 lb Max takeoff weight: 47,000 lb Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-99 "Double Wasp" 18 cylinder air cooled radial engines, 2,500 hp each Maximum speed: 293 mph Cruise speed: 254 mph Range: 450 mi Service ceiling: 24,500 ft Rate of climb: 1,410 ft/min ... See more
Sunset flight with the Stearman! It is owned by one of our pilot volunteers. They were nice enough to bring it down for the weekend, and take other volunteers up for a flight.
We were a bit busy with ride flights this morning, and forgot to take pictures. So here are a few shots from the BT-13 from last weekend!
Skip Hyle and his T-6 Texan at GSOT 2022. Pics taken by one of our local photographers.
The Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter was a long-range heavy military cargo aircraft developed from the B-29 and B-50 bombers. Design work began in 1942, the first of three prototype XC-97s flew on 9 November 1944 (none saw combat), and the first of six service-test YC-97s flew on 11 March 1947. All nine were based on the 24ST alloy structure and Wright R-3350 engines of the B-29, but with a larger-diameter fuselage upper lobe (making a figure of eight or "double-bubble" section) and they had the B-29 vertical tail with the gunner's position blanked off. The first of three heavily revised YC-97A incorporating the re-engineered wing ( higher strength 75ST alloy), taller vertical tail and larger Pratt and Whitney R-4360 engines of the B-50 bomber, flew on 28 January 1948 and was the basis of the subsequent sole YC-97B, all production C-97s, KC-97s and civilian Stratocruiser aircraft. Between 1944 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). On 9 January 1945, the first prototype, piloted by Major Curtin L. Reinhardt, flew from Seattle to Washington, D.C. in 6 hours 4 minutes, an average speed of 383 mph (616 km/h) with 20,000 lb of cargo. The tenth and all subsequent aircraft were fitted with the 3,500 hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major engines and taller fin and rudder of the B-50 Superfortress. The C-97 had clamshell doors under its tail, so that two retractable ramps could be used to drive in cargo but was not a combat transport able to deliver to primitive forward bases. The doors could not be opened in flight, but could be removed to carry out air drops. The C-97 had a useful payload of 35,000 lb, which could include two 2½-ton trucks, towed artillery, or light tracked vehicles such as the M56 Scorpion. The C-97 featured cabin pressurization, which made long flights more comfortable. The C-97 was developed into the civilian Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a transoceanic airliner that could be fitted with sleeper cabins and featured a lower deck lounge. The first Stratocruiser flew on July 8, 1947. Only 56 were built. The C-97 entered service in 1947, during a period of rapid development of heavy transport aircraft. Only 77 were built before the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II was delivered in 1950, with nearly twice the payload capacity of the C-97. The USAF Strategic Air Command operated C-97 Stratofreighters from 1949 to 1978. 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. The KC-97 began to be phased out with the introduction of the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker in 1957. Many KC-97s were later refitted as C-97G transports and equipped several squadrons of the U.S. Air National Guard. One YC-97A (45–59595) was used in the Berlin Airlift during April 1949, operating for the 1st Strategic Support Squadron. It suffered a landing gear accident at Gatow and by the time it was repaired, the Soviet Blockade was lifted. 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. Only one C-97 is still airworthy (S/N 52-2718, named "Angel of Deliverance") operated by the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation. It is painted as YC-97A 45–59595, the only C-97 to participate in the Berlin Airlift. Specifications Crew: 5–6 (Pilot, Copilot, Navigator, Flight engineer, 1–2 Loadmasters) Capacity: 134 troops or 69 stretchers or refuelling boom (three KC-97A aircraft only) Length: 110 ft 4 in Wingspan: 141 ft 3 in Height: 38 ft 3 in Wing area: 1,734 sq ft Empty weight: 82,500 lb Gross weight: 120,000 lb Max takeoff weight: 175,000 lb Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360B Wasp Major 28-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 3,500 hp each Propellers: 4-bladed Hamilton Standard constant-speed fully-feathering propellers Performance Maximum speed: 375 mph Cruise speed: 300 mph Range: 4,300 mi Service ceiling: 35,000 ft ... See more
Some beautiful pics of the PBY Catalina that attended GSOT 2022 from of our local photographers!