Douglas C-133 Cargomaster

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Douglas built 50 turboprop powered C-133 Cargomasters from 1956 to 1961. The Cargomaster first flew on April 23, 1956. They were fairly quickly superceded by the faster Lockheed C-141 Starlifter and Lockheed C-5 Galaxy. Fatigue problems resulted in their retirement in 1971.

I never had the good fortune to see an operational C-133, so my pictures illustrate the post Air Force service fate of a few of them.

Last C-133 to fly to Travis AFB on August 30

The last airworthy C-133A is scheduled to arrive at the Travis Air Force Base Air Show on the morning of August 30, 2008.


June 2004: C-133, N199AB photographed flying in Alaska.

Arthur Hussey of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center photographed C-133A, N199AB at Umiat, Alaska on June 16. It was shuttling supplies back and forth between Umiat and Deadhorse.

C-133, N199AB delivered a fire truck from Anchorage to Barter Island on Saturday, April 15.

C-133A, N199AB at Umiat, Alaska, June 2004 Unloading cargo.

C-133A, N199AB at Umiat, Alaska, June 2004 Taxiing on the dirt runway.

C-133A, N199AB at Umiat, Alaska, June 2004 Take-off.

C-133A, N199AB at Umiat, Alaska, June 2004 Dust clouds the view of the take-off from behind.

Stu Sibitzky shot these pictures of the Cargomaster in Anchorage on June 19. He reports that it went to Fairbanks to pick up a couple of Kenworth dump trucks and then delivered them to Chalkyitsik, a village with a 4,000x90 gravel runway with NO RAMP SPACE.

C-133A, N199AB at Anchorage, Alaska, June 2004 Loading.

C-133A, N199AB at Anchorage, Alaska, June 2004 Take-off.


August 2002: C-133, N199AB is airworthy.

A report just forwarded from Anchorage reveals that Cargomaster N199AB was flown again on August 29, 2002:

We noticed some action around the old C133 (I had thought it was a derelict....), and went to investigate. Was told that it was being prepped for takeoff within a few hours. After being allowed to check out the interior and flight deck, I went back to work. Apparently the aircraft is owned by an 82 year old fellow with plenty of money, and though the aircraft can only be used for government work (for reasons I do not understand), they found work for it, hauling up to the North slope. Apparently Hercs are too small for the job... )

At 4:30 on 8/29/02, they spooled up the engines lined up behind a FedEx MD-11, and took off, (with a stiff headwind and being empty), leaving the ground after only using 2000 feet of runway. After half an hour, it landed again on the same runway (backfiring on landing, of course....) and parked again.)


Douglas JC-133A, 54-0136 at Edwards AFB May 1959 Douglas JC-133A, 54-0136 on display at the Edwards AFB US Armed Forces Day 1959 Open House. It was the second Cargomaster built. Douglas Aircraft Company used it for contractor demonstrations from June 1956 to August 1961. It was loaned to NASA from April 1966 to May 1969. Its NASA call number was 928. It was purchased by the Foundation for Airborne Relief in 1973. Photographer: Richard Lockett.

C-133B, 59-0527 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in April 1972 C-133B, 59-0527 at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in April 1972. In preparation for the creation of the Pima County Air Museum in Tucson, Arizona, a group of aircraft were assembled on the south side of the base to supplement the original Golf Links Road collection.

Link to information about the Pima Air Museum. Pima Air & Space Museum

C-133A, 54-0137 at Davis-Monthan AFB in April 1972 The Cargomaster fleet had already been retired to the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition Center (MASDC) at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in April 1972. The foreground aircraft is the third Cargomaster built, C-133A, 54-0137. The aircraft arrived at MASDC for storage on January 7, 1971. It was transferred to the Navy and stored until January 12, 1976 when it was sold as scrap to Kolar, a local scrap dealer at Tucson. It was registered as N2251X in May 1978. Restored to the register (with a blank ownership) by Dross Metals (DMI Aviation) in March 1985. The aircraft was moved from MASDC to the Kolar scrapyard compound and stored there from November 1982 to August 1988. Then it was moved to the DMI scrapyard compound. Shorn of its wings, its fuselage survived until at least April 1999. The aircraft may still be at the DMI scrapyard.

C-133A, 56-2008 at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio in August 1972 C-133A, 56-2008 at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio in August 1972. It arrived at the museum on March 17, 1971. In the sumer of 1986, the aircraft was repainted in the old MATS livery (metal - white upper surface).

Link to information about the Air Force Museum Cargomaster.

C-133B, 59-0527 at the Pima County Air Museum in March 1974 C-133B, 59-0527 at the Pima County Air Museum in March 1974. At that time the museum was in possession of two Cargomasters. All identifying marks had been obliterated on the Cargomaster visible in the background of this picture. It was probably C-133B, 59-0531. The aircraft had been transferred to the Army for use as a ground instruction airframe on July 26, 1971. It returned to MASDC in October 1973 and was stored there until March 1974. The aircraft then was moved to the Pima County Air Museum compound and stored there until July 1978. Registered to the United States Civil Aircraft Register as "N2276V" in July 1978, the aircraft was moved to the old airport compound of Tucson AP. It was scrapped at Tucson International Airport in January 2001. Its owner was the Cargomaster Corporation of Anchorage, Alaska.

Link to information about the Pima Air Museum Cargomaster.

C-133A, N136AB at Mojave in June1975. It was one of four Cargomasters bought by the Foundation for Airborne Relief (FAR) in early 1973. The FAR registered it as N136AR. In August 1974, Properties Investment Enterprises of Santa Barbara, California bought it and re-registered it as N136AB, but markings were never applied.

C-133A, N201AR was also on the Mojave ramp in June 1975. Its Air Force serial number had been 56-2001.

Cargomaster Corporation of Anchorage, Alaska acquired N201AR and registered it as N201AB. By April 1979 N201AB and N136AB had suffered damage from high winds to the outboard propellor blades, landing gear doors and wheel hubs. Skid marks indicated that they had been blown several feet sideways, breaking some of the wheel hubs in half.

C-133A, N136AB in April 1979 on the ramp at the Mojave Airport. The Cargomasters have since been moved to the other side of the runway, among the vast collection of retired airliners.

Douglas C-133A Cargomasters, N136AR and N201AR formerly of the Foundation for Airborne Relief Douglas C-133A Cargomasters, N136AB and N201AB on the back side of the Mojave Airport on September 10, 2001.

Douglas C-133A, N136AR formerly of the Foundation for Airborne Relief C-133A, N136AB on the back side of the Mojave Airport on September 10, 2001.

Douglas C-133A, N201AR formerly of the Foundation for Airborne Relief C-133A, N201AB on the back side of the Mojave Airport on September 10, 2001.

C-133B, 59-0527 at the Pima Air Museum on November 23, 2001 C-133B, 59-0527 at the Pima Air Museum on November 23, 2001.

T34 Turboprop on test stand There is a large T34 turboprop engine nacelle from a Douglas C-133 Cargomaster on a test stand at the Weapons Survivability Laboratory at China Lake NAWS.







Links

Cal Taylor has a web site devoted to the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster. He has written a comprehensive book about the C-133: Remembering an Unsung Giant: The Douglas C-133 Cargomaster and Its People.







Surviving C-133s:

54-0136 (N136AB) - Mojave, California (Properties Investment Enterprises)

54-0137 - Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona (fuselage only)

56-1999 (N199AB) - Anchorage, Alaska (Cargomaster Corporation). Started flying revenue service again on August 29, 2002.

56-2000 (N200AB) - Scrapped at Long Beach, California

56-2001 (N201AB) - Mojave, California (Properties Investment Enterprises)

56-2008 - United States Air Force Museum, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio

56-2009 - Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum in Rantoul, Illinois

56-2011 or 56-1998 - Ground Instructional Airframe, William J. Hughes Technical Center / FAA, Atlantic City AP/NJ ?

59-0527 - Pima Air Museum near Tucson, Arizona

59-0529 - was displayed at the New England Air Museum at the Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, but it was destroyed by a tornado in 1980.

59-0531 - Scrapped at Tucson International Airport, Arizona in January 2001 (Cargomaster Corporation)

59-0533 (N133B) - Scrapped at Anchorage, Alaska in the summer of 2000 (Cargomaster Corporation)

59-0536 - Air Mobility Command Museum at Dover AFB, Delaware (formerly displayed at the Strategic Air Command Museum, Nebraska)

Some of the information on this page was provided by Joerg Windmueller of the HochschulSportZentrum which is the University Sports Department of the Technical University of Aachen, Germany.

Giant Airplanes of the 1950s and 1960s

  First Flight Wing Span Length Wing Area Gross Weight Engines
Lockheed C-5A Galaxy

1968

222ft,08in

247ft,10in

6,200

769,000

4 x 50,000 lb GE TF-39
Boeing 747-100 Jumbo Jet

1968

195ft,08in

231ft,04in

5,500

850,000

4 x 50,000 lb P&W JT9D
Antonov An-22 Antheus

1965

211ft,04in

189ft,07in

3,713

550,000

4 x 15,000 shp Kuznetsov NK-12MV
North American XB-70A Valkyrie

1964

105ft,00in

189ft,00in

6,297

530,000

6 x 33,000,lb J-93
Douglas C-133 Cargomaster

1956

179ft,08in 157ft,06in 2,670 275,000 4x 6,500 shp Pratt & Whitney T34-P-7WA turboprops
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

1952

185ft,00in

157ft,07in

4,000

450,000

8 x 8,000 lb J-57
Convair YB-60

1952

206ft,05in

175ft,02in

5,239

410,000

8 x 8,000 lb J-57






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