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Douglas C-133 Cargomaster


Heavy-Lift Military Transport Aircraft (1957)


Aviation / Aerospace

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Image courtesy of C.T. of the C-133 Project via email
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Jump-to: Specifications

Before the arrival of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy, no transport aircraft could match the hauling capabilities of the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 02/26/2018 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
Since setting up shop in 1921, the Douglas Aircraft Company emerged as a major aircraft-maker prior to, and during, the World War 2 years (1939-1945). This continued into the Cold War period as the company put out more successful aircraft that included the A-1 "Skyraider" attacker, the A-4 "Skyhawk" navy fighter, and various impressive experimental / research types. Another part of the Douglas aircraft stable became the transport section where its DC-series shined during the Second World War. Douglas continued this tradition in the post-war period by selling the USAF on its C-133 "Cargomaster" turboprop-powered heavy hauler - 50 of the type were produced from the period spanning 1956 to 1961 and these served into the early 1970s.

The C-133 was born from a USAF requirement for a new strategic transport primarily intended for the heavy hauling role. The Douglas approach was to use a high-winged monoplane arrangement for strong inherent lift and to each wing would be fitted two engine nacelles. The tail was raised to allow access to the cargo hold aft and the general fuselage shape was rather simplistic - slim and rounded. The tail unit sported a large, high-reaching single vertical fin with low-mounted horizontal planes. A multi-wheeled tricycle was fitted for ground running and its short legs aided in access to the cargo hold. The flight deck sat at the extreme forward end of the aircraft, affording the pilots excellent vision over the short nose assembly which incorporated a noticeable protrusion.

Rather interestingly, no prototypes were ordered for the C-133 program and the type was quickly inducted into service through the C-133A production models. A first-flight of one of these was had on April 23rd, 1956 and service entry occurred as soon as August 1957. The complete production run of the C-133 was just fifty aircraft and the series was not exported to American allies. Thirty-five of the stock were C-133A production models and the remaining fifteen were made up of the follow-on C-133B.
C-133s operated during the Vietnam War (1955-1975) where their heavy haul expertise was put to the test (no other American transport could match its heavy-haul capabilities). The line was in constant use until it was succeeded by the mammoth Lockheed C-5 "Galaxy" jet-powered heavy transport. The C-5 was introduced in June of 1970 and the C-133 was out of service in 1971. During its time aloft, the C-133 managed several air records (both officially and unofficially) for aircraft of its class. Some after-service aircraft went on to see extended lives under the banners of the Cargomaster Corporation and the Foundation for Airborne Relief.

As completed, the C-133 featured a crew of six personnel consisting of two pilots, two flight engineers, a loadmaster, and a navigator. The fuselage measured 157.5 feet in length and the wingspan was 179.7 feet. The tail gave the large aircraft a reach up to 48.2 feet. Empty weight was 109,415lb against an MTOW of 286,000lb. Power was from 4 x Pratt & Whitney T34-P-9W turboprop engines delivering 7,500 horsepower each. This provided a maximum speed of 360 miles per hour with a cruise speed of 322 mph, a range out to 3,560 nautical miles, and a service ceiling up to 32,300 feet.

Specifications



Service Year
1957

Origin
United States national flag graphic
United States

Status
RETIRED
Not in Service.
Crew
6

Production
50
UNITS


Douglas Aircraft Company - USA
National flag of the United States United States (retired)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Transport
General transport functionality to move supplies/cargo or personnel (including wounded and VIP) over range.


Length
157.5 ft
(48.00 m)
Width/Span
179.8 ft
(54.80 m)
Height
48.2 ft
(14.70 m)
Empty Wgt
110,231 lb
(50,000 kg)
MTOW
275,578 lb
(125,000 kg)
Wgt Diff
+165,347 lb
(+75,000 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Douglas C-133B production variant)
Installed: 4 x Pratt & Whitney T34-P-9W turboprop engines developing 7,500 horsepower.
Max Speed
359 mph
(578 kph | 312 kts)
Ceiling
32,152 ft
(9,800 m | 6 mi)
Range
4,101 mi
(6,600 km | 12,223 nm)


♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030


(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Douglas C-133B production variant. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database. View aircraft by powerplant type)
None.


C-133A - Initial Production Model; 35 examples.
C-133B - Second batch production model; 15 examples.


Cockpit image of the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster
(Cockpit image represents the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster production model)


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