Academic journal article Air Power History

History Mystery

Academic journal article Air Power History

History Mystery

Article excerpt

Our "What is it?" aircraft in our last issue was the never-built Douglas XC-132 cargo transport. Readers were asked to identify the XC-132 from an artist's conception of the big aircraft in flight.

Our follow-up photo shows a frill-scale mock-up of this behemoth. In February 1957, Douglas announced that the XC-132 would be manufactured for the Air Force at the company's Tulsa, Oklahoma plant. At the time, Tulsa was ending its production run of 274 Boeing-designed, license-built B-47E Stratojet bombers and would have welcomed new work.

The XC-132 design was a logical follow-up to the manufacturer's C-74 Globemaster and C-124 Globemaster II transports, and was developed at the same time as the smaller (although by no means small) C-133 Cargomaster. The C-133 was a straight-wing, four-turboprop airlifter that first flew in April 1956 and had a brief, somewhat troubled, career. Douglas built 50 of them at its Long Beach, California plant. They did a superb job of hauling outsized cargoes, including Thor intermediate range ballistic missiles, but three of the planes were lost in mishaps that claimed a total of 59 lives. …

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