C-141 Starlifter

C-141 Starlifter
Missing image
C-141 Starlifter

RoleCargo and troop transport
Crew5 to 6
First flight1963
ManufacturerLockheed-Georgia Co., Marietta, Georgia
Length145 ft 0 in (C-141A)
168 ft 4 in (C-141B)
44.2 m
51.3 m
Wingspan160 ft 0 in48.8 m
Height39 ft 3 in12 m
Wing area3,228 ft²300 m²
Empty144,492 lb (C-141B)65,542 kg
Maximum takeoff316,600 lb (C-141A)
323,100 lb (C-141B)
143,607 kg
147,000 kg
Engines4 × Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-7 turbofans
Thrust20,250 lbf each90 kN each
Maximum speed571 mph (C-141A)
567 mph (C-141B)
919 km/h
912 km/h
Combat range4,080 miles (C-141A)
2,935 miles (C-141B)
6,566 km
4,723 km
Ferry range6,140 miles (C-141B)9,880 km
Service ceiling41,000 ft (C-141B)12,500 m
Rate of climb2,600 ft/min (C-141B)792 m/min

The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter is a military strategic airlifter in service with the US Air Force. Introduced to replace slower piston-engined cargo planes such as the C-124 Globemaster II, the C-141 was designed to a 1960 requirement and first flew in 1963; production deliveries of an eventual 248 began in 1965, and the aircraft is still in service almost 40 years later, although the USAF plans to withdraw the C-141 from service in 2006 when sufficient C-17 Globemaster III aircraft are available. On 16 September 2004 the C-141 left service with active duty USAF units, being confined to reserve units for the remainder of its service life.

A C-141 Starlifter leaves an exhaust trail over Antarctica
A C-141 Starlifter leaves an exhaust trail over Antarctica
The original Starlifter model, the C-141A, could carry 138 passengers, 80 litters for wounded, or ten standard 463L pallets with a total of 62,700 pounds (28,900 kg) of cargo. The C-141 could also carry a Minuteman missile. It was soon discovered that the aircraft's volume capacity was relatively low in comparison to its lifting capacity; it generally ran out of physical space long before it hit its weight limit.

To correct this and use the C-141 to the full, the whole fleet of aircraft were stretched, producing the C-141B. Additional 'plug' sections were added before and after the wings, lengthening the fuselage by 23 ft 4 in (7.11 m) and allowing the carriage of 3 more standard pallets or an equivalent increase in other loads. Also added at this time was a boom receptacle for inflight refueling. The conversion program took place between 1977 and 1982. It was estimated that this stretching program was the equivalent of buying 90 new aircraft, in terms of increased capacity.

More recently, 63 aircraft have been upgraded to C-141C status, with improved avionics and navigation systems, to keep them up-to-date until C-17s are available to replace them.

In 1994, thirteen C-141Bs were given SOLL II (Special Operations Low-Level II) modifications, which gave the aircraft a low-level night flying capability, enhanced navigation equipment, and improved defensive countermeasures. The USAF operates these aircraft for the Air Force Special Operations Command. These aircraft are slated to be replaced by special-purpose new-build C-17s.

Modern USAF Series Miscellaneous
C-5 Galaxy Attack--OA/A-10,AC-130H/URC-135V/W
C-17 Globemaster III Bomber--B-52,-2,-1B,F-117AOC-135B
C-20 Gulfstream III Fighter--F-15/E ,F-16KC-10,-135
C-21 Learjet Electronic--E-3,-4B,-8C EC-130E/J,HHC-130P/N
C-32 C-22B Transport--C-5,-17,-141B, -20,-21MC-130E/H/P
C-130 Hercules C-22B, -32, -130, -37A, -40B/CMH-53J/M
C-141B Starlifter Trainers--T-1, -37, -38, -43, -6HH-60G
C-37A Gulfstream V Weather--WC-130, -135UH-1N
C-40B/C Clipper UAV--RQ-1/MQ-1 UAV, Global HawkU-2S/TU-2S
Related content
Related aircraft C-5 Galaxy
Similar aircraft Ilyushin Il-76
Designation series C-135 - C-137 - C-140 - C-141 - XC-142 - C-1 - C2
Related lists List of military aircraft of the United States

Lists of Aircraft | Aircraft manufacturers | Aircraft engines | Aircraft engine manufacturers

Airports | Airlines | Air forces | Aircraft weapons | Missiles | Timeline of aviation

de:Lockheed C-141

ja:C-141 (輸送機)


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