Lockheed С-141 StarLifter


Though the C-141B is slowly being retired, in favour of the C-17, the USAF cannot afford to replace its hard-working C-141s on a one-for-one basis.



irst fiown on 17 December 1963, the Lockheed C-141A StarLifter has orovided the USAF with a fast and versatile long-range jet transport since it entered serv’ce in 1964. The design features a fuselage of similar cross-section to the C-130, two large clamshell doors and a rear ramp which can be opened in flight for зіг-droppirg. Swept wings were adopted for high-speed cruise, with powerful high – lift devices provided for good low-speed field performance. Power came from four podded TF33 fuei-eff;cient furbofans, ano ell fuel was housed in integral wing tanks. The aircraft commenced squadron operations with MAC in April 1965, supplying the war effort in Vietnam.

If soon became apparent that the C-141A’s maximum payload os 32136 kg {70,847 lb! (or 4Л731 kg/92,000 lb on C-141As configured to carry LGM-30 Minuteman ICBMs) was rarely achieved, with the aircraft ‘bulking out’ before iis weight limit was approached. During the 1970s, the entire fleet (minus four NC-141A test aircraft) was cycled through a programme to bring ail 270 aircraft to C-141B standard. This added a 7.11-m (23-ft 4-in) fuse age stretch and an in-flight refuelling receptacle above the coc<pit for true global airlift capacity. Overall cargo capacity has been increased by over 30 per cent, aoding the equivalent 0і 90 new C-141s to the airlift fleet (in terms of capacity) at a much lower relative cost. The prototype YC-141B StarLifter made its first flight on 24 March 1977 and

Lockheed completed the final C-141B conversion in June 1982. USAF Special Operations Command operates 13 modified C-141B SOLL II (Special Operations Low-Level! aircraft with a FLIR turret and extra defensive aids.

Palletised seats can be fitted for 166 passengers, while by using canvas seats some 205 passengers or 168 paratrooos can be carried, For medevac missions, the C-141B can carry 103 litter patients and 113 walking wounded. It can also carry light armoured vehicles, an AH-1 or U F-|-1 helicopter or five FIMIVIWVs. Thirteen standard cargo pallets can be carried, and other loads can Include aircraft engines, food supplies, fuel drums or nuclear weapons.

As the Boeing C-17 has entered service many of the older StarLifters have been retired with the AMC airlift fleet suffering a shortfall in capacity. Sixty four C-141BS are being converted to C-141C standard with a ‘glass’ EFIS cockpit, GPS navigation, collision-avoidance systems tTCAS) and an all – weather "light control system.

Подпись: White most C-141Bs are in the hands of Air Mobility Command, some are operated by the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve (as seen here). td Specification: Lockheed C-141В StarLifter Powerplant: four9341-kN [21 .DOO-ib) Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-7 turbofans Dimensions: wing span 48.74 m (159 ft 11 in): length 51.79 m (168 ft 34 in); height 11.96 m 139 ft 3 in)

Weights: operating empty 87186 kg (148,120 lb): maximum payload 41222 kg (90.88C lb); maximum take-off і 5558C kg (343,000 lb) Performance: maximum cruising speed at high altitude 910 kmh (566 mph); maximum rate of climb at sea level 890 m (2,920 ft) per minute; service ceiling 12680 m |41,600 ft); ferry range 10280 km (8,390 miles); range with maximum payload 4725 km (2,935 miles)

United States