Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
1947
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Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar

During 1947 Fairchiid developed an improved version of the C-82, the XC-82B prototype being a conversion from a production C-82A. It differed primarily by having the flight deck resited into the nose of the aircraft and the installation of 1976kW Pratt & Whitney R-4360-4 Wasp Major 28-cylinder radial engines. Following service tests it was ordered into production as the C-119B Flying Boxcar (55 built), these having the fuselage widened by 0.36m, structural strengthening for operation at higher gross weights, and more powerful R-4360-20 engines. Accommodating up to 62 paratroops, and with increased cargo capacity, the C-119s gave excellent service during operations in Korea and Vietnam, as well as in a wide variety of other heavy transport applications. C-119s also serve or served with the air forces of Belgium, Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Italy, Nationalist China and South Vietnam, many supplied under the Military Assistance Program. In addition, some surplus military aircraft, both C-82s and C-119s, were acquired by civil operators.

In 1961 Steward-Davis Inc. of Long Beach, California, developed a Jet-Pak conversion for C-119 aircraft. This involved the installation of a 1542kg thrust Westinghouse J34-WE-36 turbojet engine in a specially-developed nacelle mounted on the upper surface of the wing centre-section. At least 26 Indian Air Force C-119s had a more powerful HAL-built Orpheus jet pod to enable them to operate with greater payloads under 'hot and high' conditions.

Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar


Specification 
 MODELC-119G
 CREW5
 ENGINE2 x Wright R-3350-85, 2610kW
 WEIGHTS
    Take-off weight33747 kg74400 lb
    Empty weight18136 kg39983 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan33.3 m109 ft 3 in
    Length26.37 m87 ft 6 in
    Height8.0 m26 ft 3 in
    Wing area134.43 m21446.99 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed470 km/h292 mph
    Cruise speed322 km/h200 mph
    Ceiling7300 m23950 ft
    Range w/max.fuel3669 km2280 miles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80 81-100 101-120 121-140
Jim Costello, 28.10.2014

Have seen several comments in this C-119G string from folks who served in my unit or affiliated units. If you would like contact me at my email address, which is "jcostell@charter.net", please do. I served in the USAFRes from 1960-1967 as a flight engineer (SSgt) AFSC A43171A, with 327th TCS, 512th TCW, Willow Grove NAS, Pennsylvania. The sister unit at WGNAS was the 326th TCS also at WGNAS. Our third squadron in the Wing was stationed at Niagara Falls, NY. We all were federalized for the Cuban Missile Crisis by President John F. Kennedy. Remember that? Got most of my information from the Philadelphia Inquirer or Bulletin because our military briefings were "top secret." Fond recollections. Jim Costello, SSgt, long gone.

Henry Villareal, 25.09.2014

I made about 30 or 40 jumps from the c119 ,between 1953 and and 1956,It was a hell ofa good airplane.some how the pilots were able to take off and control the plane with a whole platoon with full combat gear and drop us safely over the DZ. Many thanks to the pilots that flew the c119

Tom Murphy, 28.08.2014

I flew the C-119 out of Ashiya, Japan during 1953-55. TDY to Clark AFB (Luzon, Philippines) April-October 1954 in support of French forces besieged at Bien Dien Phu. last flight to Haiphong Oct. '54. Flew the bird in reserve sqdron at Bradley Field, Hartford, CT 1958. One landing saw one prop fail to reverse and an engine out on ferry mission enroute from Johnson Is. to Hickham (Hawaii) Nov. 1954. Another at night over Pitsberg, Pa while flying with the reserve sqdron. Over-all I was pleased with the "Flying Boxcar" known as the C-119.

Douglas Miranda, 23.08.2014

I was sent TDY from Eglin AFB, Florida, to join a group of men at Lockborne AFB, Ohio, to prepare (36) , C-119 Gunships to fly to Viet Nam. We removed the mini guns, the flare launcher, Gunners Station, and all the armament. we taged every nut, bolt, and part and crated everything by aircraft tail number for shipment. We then installed three 600gallon fuel tanks in the cargo bay and plumbed them into the fuel system, expanding its fuel capasity by 1800 gallons for the flight to Viet Nam. The first aircraft took us 5 days to complete the transformation and we did not know how we were going to get all 36 aircraft ready for transport in the 60 days we were alotted. Somehow with good leadership, good planning, alot of work, and great commentment from a crew that had never worked together or even knew each other, we completed or task. During all of this, the base had an ORI and someone from Weapons or munitions, backed a flatbed truck into one of the C119's causing a 2ft x 4ft dent in the fuelsage just below the right rear jump door. This had to be fixed so that the aircraft could fly in the ORI the next day. Because I was the sheetmetal man, I was ask if we could get it fixed before the ORI. Me and my team and a couple of sheetmetal men from the base, worked all night, and got it ready to fly by morning for the ORI. The reason I told this story is because I don't remember any of the guy's names, but I still recall all of their faces, and I would like to say Thanks Guy's for a Job Well Done ! You will always be a special memmory of my 4 years in the Air Force. If any of you guys that were there, remember me or this story, I would like to hear from you. I'm 67 now and I was 22 then, so some of the guys may not still be around.

Renee, 16.07.2014

I am trying to find information regarding a C119 plane crash in Pyongyang toward the end of the Korean War (1953). I am a social worker and one of my patients rescued some war correspondents that were in that crash (he was in a Air Force plane idling nearby; I am trying to help him find any of the survivors; please email me at renlu92@hotmail.com if you have any information regarding this crash. Thank you!

Roger Minor, 23.06.2014

I was in the AF Reserves and my Unit had C-119's my first four years. I flew from Ohio to Savanna Georgia for summer camp Aug 1969. It was a loud interesting ride.

Gordon T. Galow, 16.06.2014

I was an Aerodynamicist at Fairchild Aircraft in Haerstown Maryland regaining my former job there after serving 2 years in WWII. My job was to evaluate the effect of various external items C119 Aircraft. I was primarily computing performance on the C119 whose maximum take off weight of 72500 Lbs was set by 100 foot a minute rate of climb at sea level on one engine. Later on I was primary aerodynamicist on the Big Wing C119H which had 2018 Square feet of wing area versus the 1447.25 area of the C119. It had large effective flaps and flew like a big bird. Had room for 4 engines but it was too difficult weight wise to pressureize the fuselage because of its rectangular shape and it lst out to the oncoming C130.

Andy Ginter, 25.04.2014

I composed a long post about these planes, that somehow got lost in cyberspace as i tried to "send" it. Anyway, maybe for the best, as I had confused this plane, the C-119, with the earlier version, the C-82, which was in use during WWII. I will recap, breifly, that my dad, who was wounded in the battle of Anzio, probably was flown for staging for that battle, and possibly evacuated following, in a C-82. Also, my uncle Frank (Ginter,younger brother of my dad Andrew) lost his life when the C-82 he was riding on his way to R&R crashed into a mountainside in Borneo, during the last days of WWII. (that tragic crash was documented in the book "A Missing Plane") The reason I didn't post this on the C-82's page, is mostly due to my inattention to detail, when i did a "google images" search for "flying boxcar", the C-119 popped up. Dad used to point at C-119's flying over Western N.Y. in the early '60's whenever he saw one, and tell us kids to "look at the flying boxcar". He had a great affinity for these planes, (the older, C-82 version), in my "missing post", I also explained that I have been trying to gather information about my relative's combat and etc. history during the war, that as oldest son, I was not allowed to enlist in the Infantry, but that all of the male relatives who WEREN't oldest sons had enlisted, or were drafted, and most of them are now deceased.(besides dad and uncle Frank,two uncles on mom's side were stationed at Aberdeen, England as ground crew during WWII, Bob and Richard Santuci, a great- aunt of ours was a first lieutenant with the WAAC's, and a younger brother, Bill Ginter enlisted sucessfully, went to the Middle East, and completed Air Assult school at Ft. Campbell) I also expressed an interest in these old planes, stated that I have applied to aircraft mechanic's school, would like to possibly go for my civilian pilot's license, and asked that someone talk me out of it(!). (Based on my family's unfortunate history with flying and combat) In my "lost" post, I also asked if anyone could help me find one of the veteran's brigades that refurbishes and flies these old planes, I would like to join one. thanks. Andy Ginter (upstate N.Y.) (proud son of a combat vet.)

Andy Ginter, 25.04.2014

Boy, I guess my attention to detail might be a problem once I get into aircraft mechanic's school! The plane that my dad jumped out of during WWII, and also the plane that my uncle Frank Ginter died in, (after it crashed into the mountainside in Borneo), MUST have been the C-82, NOT the C-119. But the planes that dad would point out to us, flying over western N.Y. in the early '60's WERE C-119's, probably, as I stated, flying out of the Niagara Falls fueling depot.I just went and re- read the description of the C-119, and realized that it replaced the C-82's, which would have been in use during WWII. Dad referred to all planes with the C-119's familiar profile as "flying boxcars" so- correction.

James Costello, 20.03.2014

Loved the aircraft. Served as a flight engineer with several AF reserve units (Willow Grove NAS, PA & L.G. Hanscom Field, near Boston). Trained at Sheppard AFB, Wichita Falls, TX. Have about 2,000 flight hours as the crew chief. Served from '61 to '66. All my time was in the "G" model with the 3350-35A engines and four-bladed props.

Jim Barita, 10.02.2014

After 5 yrs Reg AF on Fighters(no rides) Joined ART program at 910TCG YNG OH. Loved the flights in 119s Sat in R/O NAV seat. View was fantastic. A/C were 51 models Like new. MacNamara shut us down in 1966.Sent planes to bone yard? We also had 2 C-47s 39 and 41 models. also like new.

Larry Wright, 25.01.2014

As a reservist in the 452 TCW I flew the C-119 FOR 2359 hours from 1954 to 1965. We had the "G" model with the 3350's. Our outfit was based at Long Beach Airport in Long Beach California. In 1960 we moved to March AFB, CA. I was the chief of maintenance and flew most of the test hops needed. O one of the reserve missions a reserve crew put a C-119 in an alphalfa field due to a propeller problem. I took some maintenance personnel to the location and they changed the prop regulator, run it up and it was ready to go. I had the farmer cut us a swath to take off in. The field was 2600 feet long. I taxxied the airplane to the end of the field, turned it around, backed it up so the tail was over the fence. The Highway Patrol stopped the traffic on the highway for our takeoff. We never had any markers to mark our liftoff spot so our wing commander stood to the side of the cutoff path. As we lifted off I gave a quick salute to our CO. He never forgot it. We climbed to about 600 feet, did a 180 and buzzed the field on our return to March. Being the Chief Test Pilot I had several interesting problems on my test hops.

On one test hop we had a runaway propeller. I was on downwind just about to turn base when the right one took off to 3100 RPM. I was full cross control on the rudder and aileron but I still had to turn left for base. The tower called and asked if we were having a problem and then cleared all the traffic out of the area. The copilot could not feather the right prop or slow it down even though I had the throttle full back. I took the prop control and slammed it full back and full forward several times and it helped to turn the aircraft for base. Using this procedure I was able to turn final. We got the gear down shortly before we crossed the end of the runway. Afterward, the SAC base commander gave me a $25.00 war bond and a nice letter plus a nice letter from my wing commander. They also made me Safety Man of the Month.

All in all the ol' C-119 was a fun airplane to fly and maintain. I had about 200 top maintenance personnel that kept the 3 squadrons with 55 C-119's that we had running good.

Bill Beavers, 19.01.2014

Remember the C 119's were at Donaldson, AFB, SC in the 1950's----I was in Vietnam in 1965 to 1966, didn't see any over there--My unit flew C 123's

mike digirolamo, 03.01.2014

I was a radio operator from 1957 to 1961. I would set in rear of plane sometimes on takeoff with paratroopers and the noise of the engines was almost unbearable. Does anyone know the sound level in decibels of the engines on takeoff?

AJAY RAM, 12.12.2013

We flew these C119G to the highest airfields in the Himalayas. An achievement which the manufacturers or the erlier crews could not have imagined.

S/SGT RAYMOND J YUHAS, 26.10.2013

I just want to add my outfit # at Asiya Japan, it was the 63rd Troop Carrier Squadron

RAYMOND J YUHAS, 26.10.2013

I was a radar and radio ground mechanic at Ashiya ,Japan
from May 1954 thru Feb 1965. One of our aircraft was # 555,we were named the BLUE TAIL FLIES. We once shuttled DEBBIE RENOLDS from Guam to Ashiya when her ride was not
avaiable. E Mail and tell me if you were at Ashiya at that time please. S/SgtRaymond Yuhas thanks you

R. Sanderford, 21.10.2013

The Wright 3350's listed in the specs are the engines that Kaiser installed in the 71 C-119's built at his auto factory in Willow Run (the old Ford B-24 plant).
All the Fairchild built C-119's used P&W 4360's.

Leroy McVay, 16.10.2013

1953, North Island Naval Air Station, San Diego. Was on operations line crew. Watched a C-119 taxing toward us. Suddenly they did a ground loop. We jumped on tug to see what happened. Crew chief said they'd blown a brake assembly. We chocked the plane and I drove the tug up to overhaul and repair to see if they could fix it or what. They could handle and gave me a tow bar. As we were getting ready to tow the a/c for repair the pilot came over and in a very stern voice told me. "You can't tow this plane! It doesn't have brakes!" I asked him if he wanted to push it and then told him to grab a chock and walk by a wheel. End of problem.

C.T. Ligon, 06.05.2013

This is in response to the C119 crash that happened on Oct 24th, 1957 outside of Tinker AFB, in Midwest City, Oklahoma. (See the link below)

Jim Bina, jamesbina=verizon.net, 22.08.2012

I can confirm that this crash did happen. I was 3 and 1/2 years old, we lived just north of Reno and Midwest Blvd, on the east side of Midwest Blvd. Our back yard backed up to Soldier Creek and Tom Poor Park. This was about 2 miles north of Tinker AFB. On that evening, my older brother and I were in the living room which attached to the kitchen. My Grandmother was looking out the kitchen screen door towards the creek and Tom Poor park. I heard my Grandmother cry out, "Oh, no" . The impact of the plane was only about 500' from my home and I was knocked off of the couch onto the floor, and the lamp next to me was knocked over. All I can remember was hearing the non-ending wail of sirens. My mom and Grandmother told us that this airplane had crashed near our back yard, into a tree which burned for a long time. All 4 members on board died. Due to the heroics of the pilot and crew, many lives were spared as they put the plane down in the middle of Soldier Creek, with houses on both sides of the creek. The craft took off north from TAFB, lost lift, turned the craft to try and return and nosed into the ground. My Dad is now a retired Aeronautical Engineer who had been working at Tinker AFB at the time. He told me just recently that it was the elevator hinge pin that caused the crash. He also said unfortunately, it was because it was installed upside down by an unsuspecting mechanic. I have often thought about that heroic pilot and crew.

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