Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter/Stratotanker

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Boeing C-97 Stratofreighters and Stratotankers were still flying with the Arizona Air Guard when I was growing up in Phoenix in the 1970s. There were many C-97s stored at the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Several examples were retired to museums in the 1980s.

KC-97G Stratotanker 53-0172 in storage at MASDC on January 16, 1971. Its construction number is 16954. It was converted to a KC-97L and returned to service on June 18, 1971. It was later transferrred to the Spanish Air Force.

C-97G Stratofreighters 53-0236 and 53-0294 in storage at MASDC on January 16, 1971 They were built as KC-97G Stratotankers. The construction number of 53-0236 is 17018 and it was retired to MASDC on April 29, 1968. The construction number of 53-0294 is 17018 and it was retired to MASDC on July 23, 1970.

Search and rescue HC-97G 52-2714 of the 303rd ARRS in storage at MASDC on April 24, 1972. Its construction number is 16745. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker. It was retired to MASDC as CH0517 on April 14, 1972, ten days before this picture was taken.

Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 53-0244 on static display at the Williams Air Force Base airshow on July 27, 1973. Its construction number is 17026. It later entered the U.S. civil registry as N4236C and was then exported to Agro Air of Santo Domingo as HI-468CA. It remained operational until at least 1990 and was scrapped at Miami by BMI in 1993.

Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 53-0200 on approach to land at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix on November 10, 1973. Its construction number is 16982 and was built as a KC-97G. It had been retired to MASDC as CH0188 on April 16, 1965. It was converted to a KC-97L and returned to service on March 5, 1970. The cockpit of this Stratotanker survives on display at the WW-II Flying Museum at Gillespie Field, California

Sell Art Online Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker 53-0200 Phoenix Sky Harbor November 10 1973: You can buy this photo as prints as large as 8" x 12".

Search and rescue HC-97G 53-0173 of the 305th ARRS in storage at MASDC on November 12, 1973. Its construction number is 16955. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker. It was retired to MASDC as CH0527 on June 23, 1972.

Former Northwest Airlines Boeing 377-10-30 N74603 at Tucson International Airport on November 12, 1973. It was delivered to Northwest as Stratocruiser Chicago on August 28, 1949. It was later renamed Stratocruiser Newark. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation bought it on December 29, 1959. Lee Mansdorf and Company of Sun Valley, California bought it and sold it to Aero Spacelines in 1963. It was stored at Mojave before it flew to Tucson where it was scrapped.

KC-97G 53-0151 on display in the Pima County Air Museum on March 31, 1974. Its construction number is 16933. It was retired to MASDC on November 3, 1965.

KC-97G 53-0151 on display in the Pima County Air Museum on March 31, 1974.

C-97G HB-ILY on display in the Pima County Air Museum on March 31, 1974. It was delivered to the Air Force as 52-2626. Its construction number is 16657. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker. It was leased to Baliar of Switzerland and served in the Biafran airlift in 1969 - 1970. It was retired to MASDC as CH0439 on March 9, 1970.

Foundation for Airborne Relief (FAR) Douglas C-133A Cargomaster and two C-97G Stratofreighters at Long Beach Airport on April 13, 1974. The C-97G in the foreground, N22766, was delivered to the Air Force as 52-2766. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 16797. It was retired to MASDC on April 29, 1970.

FAR C-97G N2766 at Long Beach Airport on April 13, 1974.

Arizona Air Guard C-97G 52-0924 at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix on November 14, 1974. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 16618.

Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 52-2761 at Sky Harbor on November 14, 1974. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 16792. It registered as N29862 by Hawkins Powers Aviation of Greybull, Wyoming. It has reportedly been sold to an owner in Van Nuys, California.

Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 53-0200 at Sky Harbor on December 7, 1974.

Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 52-2696 at Sky Harbor on December 7, 1974. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 17025.

Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 53-0200 at Sky Harbor on December 7, 1974.

Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 53-0243 at Sky Harbor on December 7, 1974. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 16727. Its nose is in storage at the Paul Garber Restoration Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

Arizona Air Guard KC-97L departing from Sky Harbor on February 8, 1975.

EC-97G 53-0106 on static display at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base airshow on March 16, 1975, shortly after its retirement. Its construction number is 16888. It was modified to fly cold-war ELINT missions over East Germany in the Berlin air corridor. It carries an extra bulge under the fuselage between the main landing gear.

EC-97G 53-0106 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on March 16, 1975.

EC-97G 53-0106 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on March 16, 1975.

C-97G 52-0923 departing from Sky Harbor in May 1975. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 16617. It was retired to MASDC a little over a month later on June 30, 1975.

EC-97G 53-0106 (seen above in 1975) in a partially disassembled state at MASDC on December 18, 1979.

EC-97Gs 52-2687 and 53-0306 in a partially disassembled state at MASDC on December 18, 1979. They were built as KC-97G Stratotankers. The construction number of 52-2687 is 16718. It was modified for photo-reconnaissance with a 20-foor focal length Big Bertha camera. The construction number of 53-0306 is 17088.

Utah Air Guard KC-97Ls 52-0839, 53-0287, and others in storage at MASDC on December 18, 1979. They were built as KC-97G Stratotankers. The construction number of 52-0839 is 16533. The construction number of 53-0287 is 17069.

C-97G HB-ILY on display in the Pima Air Museum on December 18, 1979. Its vertical stabilizer has been replaced with the stabilizer from 52-2758, which was retired to MASDC on November 9, 1964.

C-97G HB-ILY on display in the Pima Air Museum on December 18, 1979.

KC-97G 53-0151 on display in the Pima Air Museum on December 18, 1979.

The nose section of a C-97 in the Aero Spacelines hangar at the Santa Barbara Airport on October 12, 1980. It was delivered to Airbus for incorporation into a Super Guppy 201. An Aeromaritime Super Guppy 201 came to Santa Barbara to pick up the components.

Texas Air Guard KC-97G 53-0363 on static display at the March Air Force Base airshow on November 2 1980, shortly after its retirement. Its construction number is 17145. It became part of the collection of the March Field Museum.

KC-97G 53-0363 on static display at the March Air Force Base airshow on November 2 1980.

KC-97G 53-0363 on static display at the March Air Force Base airshow on November 2 1980.

KC-97L 53-0230 on static display at the Beale Air Force Base airshow on October 31, 1981, shortly after its retirement. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 17012. It later went on display near the flightline at Beale Air Force Base.

KC-97L 53-0230 on static display at the Beale Air Force Base airshow on October 31, 1981.

KC-97L 53-0230 on static display at the Beale Air Force Base airshow on October 31, 1981.

KC-97L 53-0230 on static display at the Beale Air Force Base airshow on October 31, 1981.

KC-97L 53-0230 on static display at the Beale Air Force Base airshow on October 31, 1981.

Utah Air Guard KC-97Ls 52-0869, 52-0883, 52-2604, 52-2605, and others in storage at MASDC on December 30, 1981. Their construction numbers are 16563, 16577, 16635, and 16636, respectively. Stratolift Incorporated of Anchorage, Alaska registered 52-0883 as N39178 on July 12, 1988. DMI of Tucson registered 52-2604 as N97GX on August 11, 1986. It was sighted in their storage yard in 2000.

Utah Air Guard KC-97L 52-2615 in storage at MASDC on December 19, 1984. Its construction number is 16646.

KC-97G 53-0151 on display in the Pima Air Museum on November 24, 1986.

Texas Air Guard KC-97G 53-0363 on display at March Air Force Base in September 1987.

KC-97G 53-0363 on display at March Air Force Base in September 1987.

U.S. Navy C-97K 52-2669 at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake on April 16, 1988. . It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 16700.

KC-97L 53-0230 on display at Beale Air Force Base on October 14, 1989.

KC-97L 53-0230 on display at Beale Air Force Base on October 14, 1989.

KC-97L 53-0230 on display at Beale Air Force Base on October 14, 1989. After the Beale Air Museum closed, it was disassembled and flown to the Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover Air Forcwe Base, Delaware in a Lockheed C-5 Galaxy in 2001. It has been reassembled and is on display.. This spot is now occupied by Lockheed SR-71A 61-7963.

Aero Pacifico C-97G XA-PII parked at Tucson International Airport on November 27, 1991. It was delivered to the Air Force as 53-3816. It was retired to MASDC on December 17, 1965. It was converted to a KC-97L and returned to service on March 26, 1970. Aero Pacifico used it to transport products for the Bimbo Bread Corporation. It was scrapped in 2002.

C-97G XA-PII parked at Tucson International Airport on November 27, 1991.

KC-97L 53-0354 on display at the Castle Air Force Base Museum on September 17, 1992. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its construction number is 17138.

KC-97L 53-0354 on display at the Castle Air Force Base Museum on September 17, 1992.

California Air Guard KC-97L 53-0272 on display at Fox Field near Lancaster on June 30, 1995. It was built as a KC-97G Stratotanker, and its Boeing construction number is 17054. It is part of the collection of the Milestones of Flight Museum.

KC-97L 53-0272 on display at Fox Field on June 30, 1995.

KC-97L 53-0272 on display at Fox Field on June 30, 1995.

KC-97L 53-0272 on display at Fox Field on June 15, 1996.

KC-97L 53-0272 on display at Fox Field on June 15, 1996.

KC-97L 53-0272 on display at Fox Field on June 15, 1996.

KC-97L 53-0272 on display at Fox Field on June 15, 1996.

KC-97G 53-0317 c/n 17099 was disassembled at the Stockton Airport in 2001 by Scroggins Aviation. The tail, wings, landing gear, and engines were salvaged for the potential restoration of B-50A Superfortress 46-0010 Lucky Lady II. The fuselage of Lucky Lady II is displayed at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, California. Most of the components of KC-97G 53-0317 are stored at the Planes of Fame Museum East at the Valle-Wi9lliams Airport in Arizona. Photo copyright Scroggins Aviation

The cockppit section of KC-97G 53-0317 remained at the Mojave Airport and was used as a field office by Scroggins Aviation while they disassembled commercial jetliners. Today the cockpit is not being used and is currently stored at Mojave. It is seen here in 2007. Photo copyright Scroggins Aviation

KC-97L 53-0354 KC-97L 53-0354 on display at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

The pilot's station of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Flight controls of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Co-pilot's station of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Co-pilot's station of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Flight Engineer's station of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Flight Engineer's station of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Navigator's station of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Cargo hoist instructions on the forward bulkhead of the payload bay of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Fuel tanks line the left side of the payload bay of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Boom operator's station of KC-97L 53-0354 at the Castle Air Museum on May 26, 2002.

Cockpit of Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker, 53-0200 from the WW-II Flying Museum at Gillespie Cockpit of KC-97L 53-0200 from the WW-II Flying Museum at Gillespie at the MCAS Miramar Airshow on October 18, 2003. This Stratotanker is seen above, landing at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix on November 10, 1973.

Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker, 53-0272 KC-97G 53-0272 at Fox Field on June 20, 2004.

Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker, 53-0272 KC-97G 53-0272 at Fox Field on June 20, 2004.

Boeing KC-97G Stratotanker 53-0272 KC-97G 53-0272 at Fox Field on November 15, 2004.

 KC-97G 53-0272 at Fox Field on November 16, 2004.

KC-97G 53-0363 at the March Field Museum on March 23, 2005.

KC-97G 53-0363 at the March Field Museum on March 23, 2005.

KC-97G 53-0363 at the March Field Museum on March 23, 2005.

C-97G HB-ILY C-97G HB-ILY on display in the Pima Air Museum on September 25, 2005.

KC-97G 53-0151 KC-97G 53-0151 on display in the Pima Air Museum on September 25, 2005.

 KC-97G 53-0272 at Fox Field on October 25, 2006.




Links

Tour the locations where Boeing C-97s are displayed with Google Earth.

Pregnant, Mini, and Super Guppies Several C-97s and Stratocruisers were converted to Pregnant, Mini, and Super Guppies.

Solo's Restaurant The centerpiece of Solo’s Restaurant in Colorado Springs is fully intact Boeing KC-97L Stratotanker 53-0283. Built in 1953, this magnificent airplane refueled aircraft throughout the world. Then, in May 2002, it began its second mission~ to be the preeminent aviation restaurant in the United States. Forty-two passengers can actually eat in the plane of the 275-seat restaurant. Rich in aviation history, displaying 100’s of pictures, memorabilia and rare artifacts, Solo’s offers much more than great food, it offers a flight through aviation history.

Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation The Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation is dedicated to preserving the memory and legacy of the greatest humanitarian/aviation event in history, The Berlin Airlift. Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation acquired Boeing C-97G 52-2718 in 1996. A former KC-97, 52-2718 is the only remaining airworthy C-97 in the world. They plan to operate the Angel of Deliverance as a "flying museum, and classroom", in the same manner as they do with their Douglas C-54, Spirit of Freedom.


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A dozen photos of Boeing C-97 Stratofreighters and Stratotankers:

HC-97G 52-2714 of the 303rd ARRS in storage at MASDC on April 24, 1972
Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 53-0200 at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix on November 10, 1973
Foundation for Airborne Relief C-97G Stratofreighters at Long Beach Airport on April 13, 1974
Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 52-2761 at Sky Harbor on November 14, 1974
Arizona Air Guard C-97G 52-0924 at Sky Harbor on November 14, 1974
Arizona Air Guard KC-97L 52-2696 at Sky Harbor on December 7, 1974
Arizona Air Guard KC-97L at Sky Harbor on February 8, 1975
EC-97G 53-0106 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base on March 16, 1975
Arizona Air Guard C-97G 52-0923 at Sky Harbor in May 1975
Utah Air Guard KC-97Ls 52-0839, 53-0287, and others at MASDC on December 18, 1979
Texas Air Guard KC-97G 53-0363 at March Air Force Base on November 2 1980
KC-97L 53-0230 at Beale Air Force Base on October 31, 1981

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Giant Airplanes of the 1940s

  First Flight Wing Span Length Wing Area Gross Weight Engines
Bristol Brabazon

1949

230ft,00in

177ft,00in

5,317

290,000

8 x 2,650hp Bristol Centaurus
Hughes Flying Boat (Spruce Goose)

1947

320ft,00in

218ft,06in

11,430

300,000

8 x 3,500hp R4360
Convair XC-99

1947

230ft,00in

185ft,00in

4,772

320,000

6 x 3,500hp R4360
Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing

1947

172ft,00in

53ft,01in

4,000

194,000

8 x 3,700 lb J-35
Convair B-36

1946

230ft,00in

162ft,01in

4,772

370,000

6 x 3,500hp R4360, 4 x 5,200 lb J-47
Lockheed R6V Constitution

1946

189ft,01in

156ft,01in

3,610

184,000

4 x 3,000hp R4360
Douglas DC-6

1946

117ft,06in

100ft,07in

1,463

97,200

4 x 2,100 hp R2800
Douglas C-74 Globemaster

1945

173ft,03in

124ft,02in

2,506

145,000

4 x 3,000hp R4360
Blohm und Voss BV-238

1945

197ft,05in

142ft,8in

3,930

176,400

6 x BMW 801
Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter/Stratotanker

1945

141ft,03in

110ft,04in

1,738

120,000

4 x 3,000hp R4360
Lockheed 049 Constellation

1943

123ft,00in

95ft,02in

1,650

86,200

4 x 2,000 hp R3350
Martin JRM Mars

1942

200ft,00in

117ft,00in

3,683

144,000

4 x 2,000 hp R3350
Douglas DC-4

1942

117ft,06in

93ft,10in

1,460

73,000

4 x 1,350 hp R2000
Douglas XB-19

1941

212ft,00in

132ft,00in

4,492

164,000

4 x 2,000 hp R3350
Tupolev Ant-20bis

1940

206ft,08in

111ft,11in

5,231

99,200

6 x 1,200 hp M-34FRNV
Blohm und Voss BV-222

1940

150ft,11in

120ft

2,744

108,000

6 x 1,000 hp BMW-Bramo Fafnir 323R


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