Convair XC-99
1947
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Convair XC-99

A single transport variant (Model 37) of the B-36; retaining the same powerplant, tail unit and wings, it had a new two-deck fuselage which could accommodate 400 troops and their equipment, or 300 stretchers, or up to 45,813kg of cargo; first flown on 23 November 1947, it subsequently acquired bogie main wheel units and weather radar; it was used for special transport operations until withdrawn from service in 1957.

Convair XC-99

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Walter Wade, 26.05.2017

I grew up just North of the McClellan middle marker beacon and right on the localizer. Twice a the XC-99 would come in for a landing. My mother's collection of salt and pepper shakers always danced around from the noise. My job was to straighten them out. Little did I realize what greatness I was witnessing.

leeroy meadows, 15.05.2017

I have been on board this aircraft. It,s a work of art,when you consider the time period of its build. It,s a piece of history that should not be let rot somewhere.Find volunters to help. get the money from hillary for selling US uranium to russians, if we agree not to prosecute her, or sasha obama, where did she get 300 million?

James Raby, 22.08.2016

My father walter Raby flew the xc 99 from 1952 to 1956 He is the only 99 pilot still living. They took the 99 to many airshows around the country and had big crowds of people where ever they went To this day the xc 99 is the largest piston powered land based plane to ever fly

James Raby, 22.08.2016

My father walter Raby flew the xc 99 from 1952 to 1956 He is the only 99 pilot still living. They took the 99 to many airshows around the country and had big crowds of people where ever they went To this day the xc 99 is the largest piston powered land based plane to ever fly

WILLIAM GRIMSLEY, 21.04.2016

XC_99 FLEW TO OUR BASE(FAIRCHILD AFB,WASH) AND WHEN IT DID WE KNEW IT WOULD TAKE US ALL NIGHT TO UN LOAD THE XC-99.CIRA 1956 92 TRANS SQ

James C. Wheeler, 06.11.2015

While I did not work on the XC-99 I do have a few memories of it especially on it's takeoff, you did not have to see it to know what it was.
I arrived at Kelly in Feb. 1956 to the 19th LSS and the C-124's across the new runway along the east-west taxiway.
I do have a photo of the tail section of another (looks like an XC-99) with a Tail Number "3570", could this be the Model 37 mentioned at the top?
Take Care. James C. "Speedy" Wheeler MSgt Retired

Tommie Rusin Durst, 23.07.2015

does anyone remember the names of the men that worked at KAFB on this plane, I think I remember that my late father did, it would be nice to know what part he played in it

MERRITT LAWLESS, 22.02.2015

I was assigned to Ramey AFB as a Philco TechRep from 1956 thru 1958. It was a pleasure to see the giant XC-99 visit Ramey from time to time

Bob Kusterer, 21.05.2014

I saw the XC-99 at Kelly in 1965 when I was going through OTS at Lackland. At the time, it was the biggest plane I had ever laid eyes on. It was in rough shape then after only 8 years since it's retirement. I can just imagine what it looked like when the AF museum finally decided to restore it.

Heidi Harber, 15.03.2014

My dad , Eldridge Ellis Harber, worked at Kelly Air Force Base when my brother and I were growing up. He and two other guys were put in charge of the XC-99 project. He would take my brother and me with him when he would tinker with it. That plane was awesome. We would sit in the cockpit when a couple of F100s would take off ( the runway was across the little road from where the plane sat)and the XC would shake from the takeoff. Not to mention loud. We loved it. We played inside checking out everything we could.I went from the cockpit all the way to the bubble dome at the back. This thing was absolutely huge. My brother got out on the right wing and jumping around he got the plane to rock a little. I think I remember it was perched on concrete pillar things of some sort. My brother also fell out of the front landing gear section when he didnt get the door locked in place. We had many great times in that plane with Dad. It brings a tear to my eye to think that its now in corroded pieces. Being what it is and the ONLY ONE IN EXISTENCE, it should have recieved better attention. Some kind of a protective shelter should have been built over it when it sat at Kelly all them years. To know about this plane and its rarity makes me feel even more blessed to have the memories I do . To know my brother and I got to physically touch, see and play inside this monster plane of history is priceless. Thank you Dad for that experience and memories.I would love to have seen it in its glory flying. It was in the 70's that we got to do this. Hate seeing the pictures of it in pieces, possibly never being complete again. It was one friggin awesome plane.

Carl Plummer, 24.12.2013

My father, Walter Harvey Plummer, showed me the aircraft at the North End of Kelly. Sad. It was in such disrepair. He told me he had been one of the few pilots of the aircraft and commented it was horribly under-powereed.

Carole Fleming, 06.12.2013

My dad was Ken Smith. He was Convair's tech rep for the XC-99 and told me many "war" stories over the years.

ALLEN MILLER, 02.11.2013

I sat in the Pilots seat when the aircraft was on static display at Kelly AFB in 1956, I was going through basic training at Lackland AFB at the time.TSGT Allen Miller USAF RET

Thomas C. Indoe, 23.10.2013

I flew in this plane from Kelly AFB to Walker AFB at Roswell
New Mexico. I was a radar tail gunner on the B-36 and we had
taken our B-36-1079 to Kelly to get the White painted on the bottom of our plane. We left a skeleton crew there and the rest of us flew back to Walker AFB with several 4360 engines. This was a flying bowling alley with an extension
ladder to get up to the cock pit. What an experience this was and it was one I will never forget. I will cherish this flight as one of my best flights while serving in the United States Air Force.

kurt entress, 25.06.2013

there is a very good picture of the XC99 at an air show in 1953 at the hutchinson NAS it is on the web site abandon little-known airfields

Francis K. Newman, 16.11.2012

I was stationed at Kelly AFB from Aug '50 - Aug '51 and this big aircraft was about 300' from our barracks. It was such music to hear the engines fire up and then take-off. It was a unique aircraft, indeed.

Jim Hoak, 31.10.2012

I saw this aircraft fly over while in U.S. Air Force basic training at Lackland AFB in June 1956. It flew out of Kelly AFB. Later was mechanic on B-36 ( similar aircraft ).

Jim Wells, 28.10.2012

My brother and I saw this aircraft sometime between, 1959 or 1960. Our uncle, Herbert Eaton, a Staff Sgt. station at Kelly AFB, Took us to see this huge aircraft. I was only 8 or 9 at the time. I'll never forget the sheer size of it. What an experience for a young kid from the Rio grande valley. We were told that the machcanics were able to walk in the wings while in flight to check the hydraulics. Wow a memory that will be with me always!

Tom Clark, 29.07.2012

I THINK I first saw the xc99 at Wright Field from Airway Road in 1954. It was parked in the same area where it now lies in pieces. (I know I also saw it parked at Kelly AFB in 1964 while stationed at Lackland AFB.) Can anyone support or confirm what I think I saw at WPAFB?

jeff patton, 15.06.2012

My father, Gene M. Patton, flew this aircraft from Kelly AFB in the mid 50's. One complaint about the a/c was it was slow. It was scheduled to receive jet engines on the outboard of the wings like the late model B-36s had but a crack was discovered in the wing box which was deemed unrepairable and the aircraft was grounded. It sat slowly deteriorating at Kelly AFB for several decades until General Dynamics (formally Convair) agreed to transport teh aircraft to Ft Worth for restoration for display but not for flying.

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