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CONVAIR C-131D SAMARITAN

Posted 6/21/2006 Printable Fact Sheet

The C-131 is a USAF transport version of the Convair 240/340/440 series commercial airliners. The first Samaritan, a C-131A derived from the Convair 240, was delivered to the USAF in 1954. It was similar to the T-29 trainer (also based on the Convair 240), which had been used by the USAF since 1949 to instruct navigators, bombardiers and radio operators.

The C-131 was acquired primarily for medical evacuation and personnel transportation. While some T-29s also saw duty as staff transports, a few C-131s likewise were used for training and testing. In fact, the first prototype of the Southeast Asia vintage side-firing gunship program used the C-131 airframe. Nearly all of the USAF’s C-131s left the active inventory in the late 1970s, but a few were still serving in Air National Guard units in the mid-1980s.

Although most C-131Ds were military versions of the Convair 340, the C-131D on display is one of six D models derived from the Convair 440. Its principal mission was the transportation of personnel and its last assignment was with the South Dakota Air National Guard. It was flown to the museum in September 1985.

SPECIFICATIONS:
Span: 105 ft. 4 in.
Length: 79 ft. 2 in.
Height: 28 ft. 1 in.
Weight: 52,414 lbs. loaded
Armament: None
Engines: Two Pratt & Whitney R-2800-103W of 2,500 hp each with water/alcohol injection
Crew: Four, plus 23 passengers
Cost: $635,000
Serial number: 55-301
C/N: 239
Other registrations: N8443H

PERFORMANCE:
Maximum speed:
314 mph
Cruising speed: 227 mph
Range: 2,200 miles
Service ceiling: 32,000 ft.

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