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Douglas C-124 Globemaster II

United States (1950)

Detailing the development and operational history of the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II Heavy-Lift Transport Aircraft.

 Entry last updated on 6/18/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  Douglas C-124 Globemaster II  
Picture of Douglas C-124 Globemaster II Heavy-Lift Transport Aircraft

The Globemaster II was a direct post-war design development of the World War 2-era C-74 Globemaster I.

With the close of World War 2 and the accompanying Berlin Airlift, the United States military saw a need to replace its aged C-74 "Globemaster I" systems with a newer and more capable platform. The C-124 was put forth as a product of the Douglas Aviation Company and accepted as the "Globemaster II". From 1950 to 1974, the C-124 served a pivotal role through two major conflicts in Korea and Vietnam and several smaller engagements along the way. As a cargo hauler, it was the best available at what it was asked to do. And what it was asked it do, the Globemaster II did extremely well.

Visually the C-124 was characterized by its enlarged frontal fuselage and low-mounted wings, each fitted with two engines. Cargo access was accomplished through a front twin door opening (sometimes called a clamshell) just underneath the flight deck. The forward cargo bay opening was also featured with a powered lift while an additional cargo entry/exit position was made available on the aft underside. A single vertical tail surface was mounted atop the empennage. Crew accommodations amounted to six personnel. Power was supplied from no fewer than 4 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360 piston engines of the "Wasp Major" type - powerful engines generating some 3,800 horsepower apiece.
Picture of the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II Heavy-Lift Transport Aircraft
Picture of the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II Heavy-Lift Transport Aircraft

The C-124 saw extensive action in the Korean War and into the Vietnam conflict. the system was quite capable of accomplishing any wartime feat that including the transportation of armor, artillery pieces, construction/engineering equipment, general supplies and ballistic missiles. The C-124 was also versatile enough as a passenger transport or medical patient mover, moving some 200 soldiers or 127 wounded at a time. In the end, the C-124 was an excellent logistical piece for the American military and its many years of service proved just that.

Operating branches of the C-124 system included the United States Air Force (SAC), the Air National Guard and the Military Air Transport Service. USAF C-124's were officially retired in 1974 and, in all, some near-450 examples were produced. Visitors to the United States Air Force Museum are treated to an indoor static display of an open C-124 (s/n 51-0135) to which they can walk up into the cargo hold of the aircraft.
Cockpit picture from the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II Heavy-Lift Transport Aircraft
Douglas C-124 Globemaster II Cockpit Picture
Douglas C-124 Globemaster II Specifications
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United States
Year: 1950
Type: Heavy-Lift Transport Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Douglas Aircraft - USA
Production: 448
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 6
Length: 131.23 ft (40 m)
Width: 174.08 ft (53.06 m)
Height: 48.23 ft (14.70 m)
Empty Weight: 101,413 lb (46,000 kg)
MTOW: 194,007 lb (88,000 kg)

Installed Power
4 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial engines delivering 3,800hp each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 323 mph (520 kph; 281 kts)
Maximum Range: 2,175 mi (3,500 km; 1,890 nm)
Service Ceiling: 32,808 ft (10,000 m; 6.21 mi)


Operators List
United States

Series Model Variants
• C-74 - Globemaster I model series on which the C-124 was based on.
• C-124 - Base Series Designation based on the C-74 Globemaster I design of World War 2.
• C-124A - Second Production Variant
• C-124C - Third production Variant; improved engines; radar fitted into new nose protuberance; specialized de-icing features implemented.

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