HomeVisitMuseum ExhibitsFact SheetsDisplay

Convair XC-99 Model

XC-99 in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo).

XC-99 in flight. (U.S. Air Force photo).

XC-99 in flight with a B-36. (U.S. Air Force photo).

XC-99 in flight with a B-36. (U.S. Air Force photo).

In 1953, an AN/APS-42 weather radar with its distinctive “thimble” radome (the black dome on the nose of the aircraft) was installed.  The spectators are looking into the cargo bay, which used a special hoist to load cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo).

In 1953, an AN/APS-42 weather radar with its distinctive “thimble” radome (the black dome on the nose of the aircraft) was installed. The spectators are looking into the cargo bay, which used a special hoist to load cargo. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Interior details of the XC-99. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Interior details of the XC-99. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Using measurements taken from the original aircraft and photographs, Lt. Col. Howard T. Meek (USAF, Ret) constructed this 1/72 scale model of the XC-99 from scratch using various types of wood. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Using measurements taken from the original aircraft and photographs, Lt. Col. Howard T. Meek (USAF, Ret) constructed this 1/72 scale model of the XC-99 from scratch using various types of wood. (U.S. Air Force photo).

Using various types of wood, Lt Col Howard T. Meek (USAF, Ret) constructed this 1/72 scale model of the Convair XC-99 from scratch. The Convair XC-99, a transport version of the Convair B-36 bomber, made its first flight in November 1947. Designed to carry 400 troops, 335 litter patients, or 100,000 pounds of cargo, the double-decked XC-99 was powered by six 3,500 hp Pratt & Whitney R-4360-41 pusher-type engines turning 19-foot reversible-pitch propellers. With a wingspan of 230 feet and a length of 185 feet, the XC-99 had a design gross weight of 320,000 pounds.

Incapable of being refueled in mid-air, the XC-99 had a maximum range of about 8,000 miles with a reduced load. The aircraft required a five-man crew and an equal number of relief crew members for long flights. If placed into production, the XC-99 would have been used to support the Strategic Air Command, but the U.S. Air Force determined that it had no need for such a large cargo aircraft at that time.

Convair briefly considered building a commercial version of the plane, but in the end, Convair built only one XC-99. That aircraft logged more than 7,400 hours of flying time and moved more than 60 million pounds of cargo before making its final flight on March 19, 1957.

Click here to return to the Cold War Gallery.

 

Find Out More
Line
Related Fact Sheets
Convair B-36J Peacemaker
Strategic Air Command
Line
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.

Featured Links

Plan Your Visit
E-newsletter Sign-up
Explore Museum Exhibits
Browse Photos
Visit Press Room
Become a Volunteer
Air Force Museum Foundation