The turboprop C-133 was developed to fulfill USAF requirements for a large-capacity strategic cargo aircraft. The Cargo Master went directly into production as the C-133A; no prototypes were built. The first C-133A made its initial flight on April 23, 1956, and when production ended in 1961, Douglas had built 35 C-133As and 15 C-133Bs. C-133s began flying Military Air Transport Service (redesignated Military Airlift Command on Jan. 1, 1966) air routes throughout the world in 1958, and two C-133s established trans-Atlantic speed records for transport aircraft on their first flights to Europe. With its rear-loading and side-loading doors, the C-133 was capable of handling a wide variety of military cargo. Most significant was its ability to transport ballistic missiles, such as the Atlas, cheaper and more quickly than by trailer over highways. With the development of the larger Lockheed C-5A, the C-133 was released from the active inventory in 1971.
The C-133A on display established a world record for propeller-driven aircraft when, on Dec. 16, 1958, it carried a cargo payload of 117,900 pounds to an altitude of 10,000 feet. It was flown to the museum on March 17, 1971.
Engines: Four Pratt & Whitney T34s of 7,000 hp each
Maximum speed: 398 mph
Cruising speed: 311 mph
Range: 4,027 statute miles
Ceiling: 23,300 ft.
Span: 179 ft. 8 in.
Length: 157 ft. 6 in.
Height: 48 ft. 8 in.
Weight: 282,000 lbs. maximum
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