Research Aircraft: the Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation (Convair) XC-99, Images by Wernher Krutein and PHOTOVAULT®

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Convair XC-99 and Model 37

Wingspan: 230 feet

Length: 185 feet

Wing Area: 4770 square feet

Maximum Take-off Weight: 320,000 pounds

Maximum Cargo Payload: 101,000 pounds

Powerplant: 6x 3,500 hp R4360 radial engines


SAN DIEGO, Calif.---The world's largest land-based aircraft, the six-engine XC-99 cargo and troop transport being built by Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation for the Army Air Forces, has been moved out into the experimental yard at the company's San Diego plant to permit installation of main landing wheels and outer wing panels.

No building at Consolidated Vultee, officials said, is high enough to house the giant plane with its main landing wheels installed, or wide enough to house it with outer wing panels in place.

For the past month 30 feet of the aft fuselage have protruded from Convair's experimental building because the tail surfaces stick into the sky 57.5 feet, several feet higher than the experimental building.

Wing leading edges and trailing edges, together with rudder, propellers, and interior fixtures, remain to be installed. Initial flights of the XC-99 must await completion of this work and an extensive ground testing program.

A transport version of the Convair's B-36 bomber, the double-decked XC-99 will be able to carry 400 troops, or 335 litter patients, or 100,000 pounds of cargo.

Like the B-36, it is powered by six 3,000-hp pusher-type engines turning 19-foot reversible-pitch propellers.

The AAF has revealed that the huge transport will have a maximum range with reduced loads of more than 8,000 miles. Flights of this distance will call for a five-man crew and an equal number of relief crew members.

Design gross weight of the XC-99 is 265,000 pounds. Its wingspan is 230 feet and its length,
182.5 feet.

Crew: 5 plus a Relief Crew of 5. It could carry a maximum of 400 troops or a litter of 305 maximum plus 35 attendants, or a maximum cargo of 1000,000 lb.

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