C-97 StratofreighterThe Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter was a heavy-lift cargo aircraft.
|Primary user||United States Air Force|
|Developed from||B-50 Superfortress|
Boeing 377 Stratocruiser
Aero Spacelines Super Guppy
The Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter was developed towards the end of World War II by fitting an enlarged upper fuselage onto a lower fuselage and wings which were essentially the same as the B-29 Superfortress. The prototype XC-97 was powered by the 2,200 hp (1,640 kW) Wright R-3350 engine, and even with this the performance was impressive — on January 11. 1945 the first prototype flew from Seattle to Washington, DC in 6 hours 4 minutes, an average speed of 383 mph (616 km/h). For the remaining models the powerplants were upgraded to the 3500 hp (2,610 kW) Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major.
The military transport had a useful payload of 35,000 lb (16 t) and could carry two normal trucks or light tanks. Loading was by a retractable ramp into doors in the bottom of the fuselage, which was pressurised in flight.
About 60 C-97 transports were built, but the design really flourished in the guise of the KC-97 Stratotanker flight-refuelling tanker.
The civilian derivative Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was highly influential in the post-war development of long-distance civil aviation.
- Crew: 4:
- Length: 110 ft 4 in (33.7 m)
- Wingspan: 141 ft 3 in (43.1 m)
- Height: 38 ft 3 in (11.7 m)
- Wing area: 1,734 ft² (161.1 m²)
- Empty weight: 82,500 lb (37,410 kg)
- Loaded weight: 120,000 lb (54,420 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 175,000 lb (79,370 kg)
- Powerplant: 4× Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial engines, 3,500 hp (2,610 kW) each