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C-133 Cargomaster

History and Development of the Air Force C-133 Cargomaster

Douglas C-133B Cargomaster Douglas C-133B Cargomaster

The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster was a large cargo aircraft built between 1956 and 1961 by the Douglas Aircraft Company for use with the United States Air Force.

The C-133 was the USAF's only production turboprop-powered strategic airlifter, entering service shortly after Lockheed's better known C-130 Hercules, which was known as a tactical airlifter. It provided airlift services in a wide range of applications, being replaced by the C-5 Galaxy in the early 1970s.

A high-mounted wing, external blister fairings on each side for the landing gear, and rear-loading and side-loading doors ensured that access to, and the volume of, the large cargo compartment were not compromised by these structures.

The Cargomasters went directly into production as C-133A; no prototypes were built.

The C-133 was for many years the only USAF aircraft capable of hauling very large or very heavy cargo. The C-133 was originally a 10,000-hour airframe that had been life-extended to 19,000 hours. Severe vibration had caused critical stress corrosion of the airframes to the point that the aircraft was beyond economical operation any longer. The Air Force managed to keep as many of the C-133 fleet in service as possible until the C-5 finally entered squadron service.

The first Cargomaster flew on April 23, 1956. Only 50 were ultimately built.

C-133 Photos by the Author

C-133A Cargomaster, S/N 62008, on display at the Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio
C-133A Cargomaster, S/N 62008, on display at the Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio
Douglas C-133B Cargomaster S/N 59-0527, at the Pima Air and Space Museum, in Tucson, Arizona
Douglas C-133B Cargomaster S/N 59-0527 in Tucson
Douglas C-133B Cargomaster S/N 59-0527
Nose section of the Douglas C-133B Cargomaster S/N 59-0527 in Tucson


USAF C-133 Photos

C-133B Cargomaster
C-133 Cargomaster
C-133A Cargomaster
C-133 Cargomaster

Images of the C-133 Cargomaster from the Airplanes Of The Past Collection

U.S. Air Force C-133 Cargomaster in flight
U.S. Air Force C-133 Cargomaster in flight
U.S. Air Force C-133 Cargomaster on the tarmac
U.S. Air Force C-133 Cargomaster on the tarmac