|Type:||Cargo / Transport|
|Length:||79' 2"||24.13 M|
|Height:||28' 2"||8.58 M|
|Wingspan:||105' 4"||32.10 M|
|Wingarea:||920.00 Sq Ft||85.46 Sq M|
|Empty Weight:||31305.0 lbs||14197.0 Kg|
|Gross Weight:||49700.0 lbs||22539.0 Kg|
|Max Weight:||52414.0lbs||23770.0 Kg|
|No. of Engines:||2|
|Powerplant:||Pratt & Whitney R-2800-103W|
|Range:||1300 miles||2093.00 Km|
|Cruise Speed:||299.00 mph||481.00 Km/H||260.00 Kt|
|Max Speed:||337.00 Mph||542.00 Km/H||292.97 Kt|
|Climb:||1260.00 Ft/min||384.03 M/min|
|Ceiling:||24900.0 Ft||7589.10 M|
The C-131 was a military transport version of the Convair-Liner 240 built by General Dynamics. It was the first pressurized, twin engine transport ordered by the Military Air Transport Service. The T-29 version of this aircraft filled the back of the plane with student stations and was used to train bombardiers, navigators and electronic warfare officers.
(In the section below, C-131 is the military designation while the numbers 240, 340, 440 are the manufacturer's model designations)
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C-131A Variants (four types)
(1.) C-131A (240-53) - C-131A "Samaritan" or "Good Samaritan" was the military transport version of the model 240 which was ordered by MATS for use as a medical evacuation transport, and known unofficially as the MC-131A. The cabin could be arranged to carry 37 passenger in backward-facing seats or 27 stretchers or several combinations of both. A large cargo door was installed in the port aft side of the fuselage to facilitate handling of litter patients. The standard integral stairway was located on the starboard side of the fuselage forward of the wing. 26 were built; 52-5781/5806 (c/n 53-1/26).
(2.) VC-131A (240-53) - Designation used for a short period of time for the few C-131A aircraft used as staff transports. Became C-131A after 1962.
(3.) AC-131A (240-53) - Airways checking conversions of the C-131A. At least two were built. 52-1106and 1139.
(4.) HC-131A (240-53) - USAF surplus C-131A aircraft transferred to the USCG in 1976 for an interim aircraft between the HU-16 and HU-25. These aircraft carried distinctive pug-nose radomes, and the "last four" of their USAF serial number for a USCG serial number.
The model 340 and 440 were stretched and improved versions of the model 240
C-131B Variants (four types)
(1.) C-131B (340-70) - Purchased for airborne electronics equipment testing. Equipped with port side integral stairway forward of the wings and a large cargo door in the port aft fuselage, and one astrodome. There were provisions for 48-aft-facing seats which could be removed for cargo duties. Most all C-13lB's were operated with one or two Solar T41 gas-turbine units, mounted in pods under the wing's center section. These units drove generators which supplied electrical power to the aircraft. 36 were built; 53-7788/7823 (c/n 240/275).
(2.) JC-131B (340-70) - Designation for the C-131B aircraft used for missile tracking by the 6560th Operations Group (Range Support) and by C-131Bs used on their electronic test projects where modifications rendered the aircraft unusable as a transport.
(3.) VC-131B (340-70) - The C-131B when used as a staff transport.
(4.) NC-131B (340-70) - C-131B, 53-7797, used for permanent testing.
C-131C Variant (one type)
YC-131C (340-36), (340-64)- Two model 340s equipped with two 3,750 s.h.p. Allison YT-56 turboprop engines. Take-off weight was increased to 53,200 lbs. And cruising speed was increased to 320 m.p.h. First flight was on June 29th 1954. Two were converted; 53-7886/7887 (c/n 91,131).
C- 131D Variants (three types)
(1.) C-131D (340-79)- Model 340 transport version with provisions for 44 passengers. 16 were built; 54-2806, 54-2807, 54-2809, 54-2810 (c/n 201, 203, 205, 207), 55-290, 55-291, 55-292, 55-293, 55-294, 55-295, 55-296, 55-297, 55-298, 55-299, 55-300, 55-301 (c/n 206, 212, 315 ,316, 321, 223, 224, 322, 229, 326, 233 ,329).
(2.) VC-131D (340-68)- One model 340, 54-2805 (c/n 183), used as a staff transport. Originally ordered by Lufthansa and diverted to the USAF.
(3.) VC-131D (340-67)- Staff transport. 16 built; 54-2808 (March Field Museum's aircraft), 54-2811, 54-2812, 54-2813, 54-2814, 54-2815, 54-2816, 54-2817, 54-2818, 54-2819, 54-2820, 54-2821, 54-2822, 54-2823, 54-2824, 54-2825, (c/n 204, 208, 209, 215, 216, 217, 220, 221, 225, 226, 228, 231, 232, 234, 235, 238).
C-131E Variants (two types)
(1.) C-131E (440-72)- Electric countermeasures trainer version. 15 were built; 55-4750/4759 (c/n 337/346), 57-2548/2552 (c/n 476/480). Five aircraft procured through the Air Force and configured as RC-131G airways checking aircraft were delivered to the CAA (later FAA) for that duty. They were; 55-4756 (c/n 343), 572548/2551 (c/n 477/480). The remaining ten aircraft were used as TC-13lE's with six being converted to fulfill the RC-131F role at a later date. One C-131D, 54-2816 was also converted to C-131E standards.
(2.) TC- 131E (340-72)- Proposed electronic countermeasures training aircraft, and delivered as a C-131E aircraft.
RC-131F (340-73) - Proposed photo surveying aircraft, it was delivered as a C-131E aircraft.
C- 131G Variant
RC-131G (340-74) - Proposed airways checking aircraft and delivered as a C-131E aircraft.
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According to the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell AFB, AL, the museum's C-131D has the following history:
The museum's C-131 is a D model, serial number 54-2808, manufactured by Consolidated-Vultee, San Diego, CA, and delivered to the Air Force on 19 October 1954. It served with the following locations:
Oct 1954 - To 1299th Air Transport (Special Missions-Medium), (MTC), Bolling AFB DC (MTC is the abbreviation for Military Air Transport Service and Special Missions aircraft were used for V.I.P. Transport.)
May 1956 - To 4500th Support Squadron (TAC), Langley AFB VA
Mar 1960 - To 4500th Air Base Wing (TAC), Langley AFB VA
Feb 1964 - To 1001th Air Base Wing (HQ USAF), Andrews AFB MD
Jul 1968 - Unit became 1001st Composite Wing
Apr 1975 - To 125th Fighter-Interceptor Group (ANG), Jacksonville AP FL (according to sources at Maxwell AFB this aircraft was most likely used for a general personnel transport and a V.I.P. Transport).
May 1989 - Dropped from USAF inventory by transfer to school or museum
This aircraft made its very last flight from Jacksonville AP FL to March Field in 1989 and officially retired from U.S. Air Force service on May 31st 1989 with a total of 17892.6 flight hours on the airframe. This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.
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Above is a photo of the museum's C-131D, serial number 54-2808, taken in May 1964 while assigned to Headquarters Command. (Note that: the airlines style blue wing markings around the cockpit windows; the nose gear doors are open for maintenance, the 42808 on the tail, and the dark round circle on the tail which is shown below.)
Above is the crest shown on the tail of C-131D aircraft assigned at Andrews AFB in 1964.
An additional list of specifications for the C-131D Samaritan follows:
Manufacturer: Consolidated-Vultee in San Diego, Califomia
Total Number Built: 240
Class Type: Low Wing
Branch of Service: United States Air Force
Type: Military Transport
Trainer Version: T-29
Crew: 5, Pilot, Co-Pilot, In-flight Engineer, and two Stewards.
Passenger Seats: 44
Lavatories: 2, one up front and one aft.
Types: Pratt and Whitney, Double Wasp, R-2800-103W Engines
Horsepower: 2500 (each engine)
Top Speed: 337.00 mph
Cruising Speed: 299.00 mph
Fuel Tanks: 2, in the wings
Fuel Type: Grade 115/145 (Altemate Grade 100/130)
Fuel Capacity: 917 (U.S. Gallons)
Propeller Types: Three-Bladed Hamilton-Standard Model 43E60 Hydromatic Propellers
Radio Frequencies: 1,750
Wing Span: 105 Feet, 4 inches
Length (overall): 79 Feet, 2 inches
Height: 28 Feet, 1.64 inches
Service Ceiling: 24900.0 feet
Range: 1300 miles
Empty Weight: 31305.0 lbs
Gross Weight: 49700.0 lbs
Max Weight: 52414.0 lbs