Boeing 367 / C-97
1944
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Boeing 367 / C-97

In early 1942 Boeing initiated a design study to examine the feasibility of producing a transport version of its B-29 Superfortress. In due course the company's proposal was submitted to the USAAF for consideration and, because at that time the long-range transport was a much-needed type of aircraft, a contract for three prototypes was awarded on 23 January 1943. Identified by the company as the Boeing Model 367, and designated XC-97 by the US Army Air Force, the first made its maiden flight on 15 November 1944.

The XC-97 had much in common with the B-29, including the entire wing and engine layout. At first view the fuselage, of 'double-bubble' section, appeared to be entirely new, but in fact the lower 'bubble' was basically a B-29 structure, and so was the tail unit attached to the new (and larger) upper 'bubble'. On 6 July 1945, following brief evaluation of the prototypes, 10 service-test aircraft were ordered. These comprised six YC-97 cargo transports, three YC-97A troop carriers, and a single YC-97B with 80 airline-type seats in its main cabin.

The first production contract, on 24 March 1947, for 27 C-97A aircraft with 2425kW Pratt & Whitney R-4360-27 engines, specified accommodation for 134 troops, or the ability to carry a 24,040kg payload. Two transport versions followed, under the designation C-97C and VC-97D, and following trials with three KC-97A aircraft equipped with additional tankage and a Boeing-developed flight-refuelling boom, KC-97E flight-refuelling tankers went into production in 1951. This version was powered by 2610kW R-4360-35C engines. The KC-97F variant which followed differed only in having R-4360-59B engines. Both the KC-97E and KC-97F were convertible tanker/transports, but for full transport capability the flight-refuelling equipment had to be removed. The most numerous variant, with 592 built, was the KC-97G which had full tanker or full transport capability without any on-unit equipment change.

When production ended in 1956 a total of 888 C-97s had been built, and many were converted later for other duties. The KC-97L variant had increased power by the installation of a 2359kg thrust General Electric J47-GE-23 turbojet beneath each wing to improve rendezvous compatibility with Boeing B-47s. KC-97Gs converted to all-cargo configuration were redesignated C-97G, and in all-passenger configuration became C-97K. Search and rescue conversions were HC-97G, and three KC-97Ls went to the Spanish air force, being designated TK-1 in that service. Several have served in many roles with Israel's air force.

Variants

C-97D: designation applied to the third YC-97A, the YC-97B, and two C-97As following conversion to a standard passenger configuration; the three VC-97Ds were subsequently redesignated C-97D

KC-97H: designation applied to one KC-97F, following modification for service trials as a tanker using the probe-and-drogue flight-refuelling system developed in the UK

YC-97J: final designation of two KC-97Gs converted for USAF use as flying test-beds, each with four 4250kW (5,700-shp) Pratt & Whitney YT43-P-5 turboprop engines

Boeing 367 / C-97


Specification 
 MODELKC-97G
 ENGINE4 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360-59B radial pistone engines, 2610kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight79379 kg175002 lb
    Empty weight37421 kg82500 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan43.05 m141 ft 3 in
    Length33.63 m110 ft 4 in
    Height11.66 m38 ft 3 in
    Wing area164.34 m21768.94 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed604 km/h375 mph
    Cruise speed483 km/h300 mph
    Ceiling9200 m30200 ft
    Range6920 km4300 miles

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Fred:
I remember the demise of KC-97 685. Although it happened over 53 years ago, some of it still comes to mind. Not long after, I was informed that the aircraft cashed near Goose Bay, which appears to be partly correct.
On a training flight down state, the body heater was found to be glowing. The AC ordered bailout. Of the crew of six, four made it. For years I could remember two of the names. now only one comes to mind, Childress.
I was training as an asst. CC, SStg., Bill Metzger. Bill was a great NCO.
Friends that knew in FMS and engine mechanics were Dave Hippley, Jim Shipley, Charles Cole and Dave Czhoski. And of course SStg. Bradley Jacobs., who I believe was from Nweburg, NY.at one time or another. He flew his own T-craft at Plattsburgh Airport and was a member of the Aero Club. We, Hippley, Shipley, Cole, Czhoski and myself knew Brad as "Jake the Snake". We had place in our hearts for Brad.
Wish I could see them all again, at least know what be came them. Smitty
fwschmidt@hotmail.com

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Unimaginable and unbelievable. I am Mary Ken from the United States and i have a good news to share to the entire world. Do you need your ex husband or lover urgently? I wanna tell you that you need not to worry because i have a good news for those out there that are faced or similar to such situation because there is always a hope and a solution to all problem. There is a great spell caster called Dr Miracle who can really solve all your problems. Getting my lover back is what i can't imagine but when I was losing Mike, I needed help and somewhere to turn badly but my Cousin told me about this spell caster who also helped her on the internet. I thought it won't work but i just tried to give this man a chance and i ordered a LOVE SPELL. Two days later, my phone rang. Mike was his old self again and wanted to come back to me! Not only come back, This is truly miraculous and the spell caster opened him up to know how much I love and needs him. This Spell Casting isnít brainwashing, but he opened up his eyes to know how much love we have to share together. I recommend anyone who is in my old situation to try him because he will help you and make things be the way it ought to be. If you have such problem or similar to this, please contact him on his email: homeoflightandsolution@yahoo.com thank you Dr Miracle in fact you are miraculous and may your gods ever reward you for your good deeds..

Floyd Schmidt, 29.01.2016

Martin:
I noticed your message from March 28, 2011. Are there any photos, pictures/pieces of the KC-97, #685 at Misstasinni Lake. Que.? My tools were on that plane December, 1962.
fwschmidt@hotmail.com

Charles Smith, 15.11.2015

Just stumbled across this site. After reading the comments, I was surprised that no who flew or maintained KC-97's at Schilling AFB was there. I worked them from SEP 1960 till I launched the last one out about OCT or NOV 1963. Reflexed in Elmendorf, AK, Edmonton Al, Canada, Harmon AFB Newfoundland, Malstrom AFB Montana Anderson AB Guam. A great airplane.

Aaron Munz, 25.09.2015

I am trying to assist a veteran who worked as a mechanic on the KC-97 file a claim for asbestos lung disease. The VA has denied his claim because they have no record of there being asbestos on that type of aircraft. I know the Wasp engine had asbestos components but I am looking for a copy of the TM or other evidence of brake components, insulation etc to help him with claim. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you

Bruce R Nelson age 76, seeking, 19.04.2015

desperately seeking Sgt James E Davis of 1201 ATS out of Travis 1958-1960. Or anyone else wh may recall our flights in South Pacific including to Clark AFB/Siagon in 1959-60. Please e mail. Hope you are all well. I was a loadmaster Flight Attendant at 1201st Aur Tran Squardroon from 1958 to 1960-21. Pleas e mail.

Jerry Connors, 18.04.2015

I was an Engine mechanic on the C-97G with the New York Air Guard and I loved that R-4360 Eng I even had the opporunity to go to flight Engineers School at Westchester Airport NY passed that test and became a flight engineer, that started my love for that A/c, we had one of the best Flight Mechanics most all came from USAF with a lot of experience working on diffrent A/C in the early 60's we had fighters F86's moved from that to C119C then into C97's from that we moved to Stewart AFB Newburg NY and Into C5A and now finaly into C-17 I was retired in 1974 having injured my back, Miss the old Gang and all the great times that were had while serving

jack sundheimer, 12.04.2015

98BW Lincoln afb.A&E..while on launch I saw gas pouring out crew door. called in. Crew shut down engines, and egressed as gas poured out on them. We opened back door of our van and drove away as the crew ran and jumped in. And the fire trucks roared past us..So much for a dull night on launch.

Lynn Martinson, 27.03.2015

I was a navigator on the HC-97 out of the 58th ARS at Wheelus from 1964-1966. Loved the HC-97.

norm HEIDERMAN, 27.03.2015

I was stationed at Offutt AFB 1967-68, there were I believe 7 C-97s used for courier flights. One supposed to be LeMay's old bird- complete airliner interior including upper and lower lounges in rear and kitchen up front.

George Holmes, 01.03.2015

Jerry Clark, hope you return and read this one day. I was flightline mechanic on the 124s in Nashville from '69 to '75, overlapping your time in Knoxville. Similar stories for the 124 as what you have. The most distinctive thing I remember about your 97 is when one would land at BNA we could hear it coming long before it taxied over to the flightline because of the squealing brakes. The 124 had loud brakes, but nothing like "The Knoxville Birds" as we called them.

Ron Crooker, 23.02.2015

Crew Chief with the 384th ARS at Westover AFB, 1956 -1959 on KC-97G 53-220. Loved that plane. Spent 22 years in the AF and that experience was the most enjoyable. Worked the R-4360s on the B-36 (6th Bomb Wing), C-124, and the 4360-59B on the KC-97G. Loved that engine. Also worked the Wright R-3350-89A on the C-119 and the R-3350-34/91 on the C-121s. Also great engines. But the KC-97G was the best plane and engine combination - good power, accommodating overloading as was often the case in SAC. Dow AFB Acft Cmdr (Capt. Carroll)flew 53-220 out of Harmon during a joint Max Effort. Wrote a letter commending the Crew Chief and assistant on the condition of the plane mechanically and the cleanliness of the plane throughout. Loved old 220 - a dream plane for a Crew Chief, who flew with it more often than not. Story... while I was in a PM insp. dock at Westover, the crew chief of C-97 55956 went looking for a replacement pilot's sliding window which was cracked on his plane (a VP). I got wind of it and quickly removed my sliding window, put it in the trunk of my car, and left the base. Sure enough, that ol' crew chief came to 220 in the PM dock looking, but couldn't find his replacement window. That plane was gone when I finally came back to the base next day - put my window back in, and towed my plane out of the dock - PM completed. Didn't like other folks messing with my plane. It was during that time that Specialized Maintenance came into the system - drove me crazy - but I, and my plane, survived.

Loomas Marshall, 13.02.2015

I worked on the 97 at march afb and M almstrom afb Let me know if I can fill you in on any thing.
I am looking for any info on the 377 tail # 8411 that gen old used. At March field

Dean L Gambill Jr, 06.02.2015

In response to Jerry Clark's comments concerning my father, Dean L Gambill, NCOIC of Flight Engineers at 134th ARG Knoxville, TN. Thanks for your kind words concerning my father, Jerry. He loved his work and relished sharing what he knew about the 97 with pilots as they joined our unit.

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