Fairchild XC-120 Packplane

Summary

The Fairchild XC-120 Packplane was an American experimental modular aircraft first flown in 1950. It was developed from the company's C-119 Flying Boxcar, and was unique in the unconventional use of removable cargo pods that were attached below the fuselage, instead of possessing an internal cargo compartment.

XC-120 Packplane
XC-120 Packplane composite.jpg
Composite image of the sole XC-120 on the ground, and in flight.
Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Fairchild
First flight 11 August 1950
Number built 1
Developed from C-119 Flying Boxcar

Design and developmentEdit

The XC-120 Packplane began as a C-119B fuselage (48-330, c/n 10312) with a point just below the flight deck cut off to create the space for the detachable cargo pod. The fuselage was raised by several feet, and smaller diameter "twinned" wheels were installed forward of each of the main landing gear struts to serve as nosewheels, while the main struts were extended backwards.

All four landing gear units, in matching "nose" and "main" sets, could be raised and lowered in a scissorlike fashion to lower the aircraft and facilitate the removal of a planned variety of wheeled pods which would be attached below the fuselage for the transport of cargo. The goal was to allow cargo to be preloaded into the pods; it was claimed that such an arrangement would speed up loading and unloading cargo.[1]

Production aircraft were to be designated C-128.

Operational historyEdit

Only one XC-120 was built. Though the aircraft was tested extensively and made numerous airshow appearances in the early 1950s the project went no further. It was tested by the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in 1951,[2] before the project was abandoned in 1952.[3] The prototype was eventually scrapped.

Specifications (XC-120)Edit

 
XC-120 without its cargo container
 
The XC-120 on the ground

Data from [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Five (pilot, copilot, flight engineer, two loadmasters)
  • Capacity: 20,000 lb (9,090 kg) (2,700 cu.ft)
  • Length: 82 ft 10 in (25.25 m)
  • Wingspan: 106 ft 6 in (32.46 m)
  • Height: 25 ft 1 in (7.65 m)
  • Wing area: 1,447 sq ft (134.4 m2)
  • Gross weight: 64,000 lb (29,030 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial engines, 3,250 hp (2,420 kW) each for takeoff

See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Micheal O'Leary (November 1978). "Those Fabulous Flops". Air Progress.
  2. ^ Staff, "XC-120 Goes to Eglin for Tests", Aviation Week, 11 June 1951, Vol. 54, No. 24, p. 15.
  3. ^ "1946-1948 USAAF-USAF Serial Numbers". joebaugher.com. July 13, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Cargo Carrier Concept"
  • Evans, Stanley H. "Cargo Carrier Concept:Design-logic for Airborne Logistics: The Fairchild XC-120 Pack-plane". Flight, 21 September 1950. pp. 331–333.

External linksEdit

  • Video about the XC-120
  • The short film Big Picture: Chinese Reds Enter the Korean War is available for free download at the Internet Archive. Contains segment about the plane.