The C-7A was a twin-engine, short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility transport built by De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, Ltd. It was used primarily for tactical airlift missions from short, unimproved airstrips in forward battle areas. It could carry either 26 fully equipped paratroops, 20 litter patients, or more than three tons of equipment.
The Caribou made its first flight in 1958, and the U.S. Army flew several prototypes for evaluation. In 1961 De Havilland delivered the first 22 out of a total of 159 C-7s to the Army. Originally designated AC-1, the aircraft was redesignated CV-2 in 1962, and it retained that designation for the remainder of its Army service.
In January 1967, when responsibility for all fixed-wing tactical transports was transferred to the U.S. Air Force, the Caribou received the designation C-7. During the Southeast Asia War, the Caribou's STOL capability made it particularly suitable for delivering troops, supplies, and equipment to isolated outposts.
The C-7A on display is a Southeast Asia combat veteran that later served with the Air Force Reserve. It is painted to appear as one of the C-7As flown by Maj. Hunter Hackney on Aug. 25, 1968. On this day, he flew several aerial resupply missions at low altitude through intense enemy fire, incurring heavy damage. For his heroism, Hackney was awarded the Air Force Cross.
TECHNICAL NOTES: Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7M2s of 1,450 hp each Maximum speed: 216 mph Cruising speed: 152 mph Range: 1,175 miles Ceiling: 24,800 ft. Span: 95 ft. 7 in. Length: 72 ft. 7 in. Height: 31 ft. 8 in. Weight: 28,500 lbs. maximum Serial number: 62-4193