Fairchild C-82 Packet
1944
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Fairchild C-82 Packet

To meet a US Army requirement of 1941 for a specialised military freighter, Fairchild began work on the design of its Fairchiid F-78. Following approval of the design and a mock-up in 1942, a contract for a single prototype was awarded and the designation XC-82 allocated. First flown on 10 September 1944, the XC-82 was a cantilever high-wing monoplane of all-metal construction, the roomy fuselage incorporating a flight deck for a crew of five and a large-capacity cabin/cargo hold with clamshell doors at the rear to provide easy access for wheeled ortracked vehicles. The rear doors could be removed completely for the deployment of heavy loads by parachute-extraction techniques, and could accommodate 78 persons for emergency evacuation, 42 fully-equipped paratroopers or 34 stretches. The fuselage was supported on the ground by robust retractable tricycle landing gear and power provided by two 1566kW Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34 Double Wasp 18-cylinder radial engines in wing-mounted nacelles. Extending aft from these nacelles were tail-booms carrying twin fins and rudders and united at the rear by the tailplane mounting a single elevator.

C-82A

The US Army Air Force placed an initial contract for 100 C-82A aircraft, these being named Packet. The first were delivered for evaluation in 1945 and a contract for 100 more followed. Because of wartime demands a second production line was laid down by North American Aviation at Dallas, Texas, but from a contract for 792 C-82N only three were completed before the general rash of contract cancellations that followed VJ Day. Fairchiid eventually built a total of 220 with deliveries ending in 1948. Although too late to operate during World War II, the Packet provided valuable service to the USAF's Tactical Air Command and Military Air Transport Service before it was retired in 1954.

3-View 
Fairchild C-82 PacketA three-view drawing (800 x 533)


Specification 
 MODELC-82A
 CREW5
 PASSENGERS42-78
 ENGINE2 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp, 1566kW
 WEIGHTS
    Loaded weight24300 kg53573 lb
    Payload78 passangers or 42 paratroopers172 lb
 DIMENSIONS
    Wingspan32.46 m107 ft 6 in
    Length23.5 m77 ft 1 in
    Height8.03 m26 ft 4 in
 PERFORMANCE
    Max. speed400 km/h249 mph
    Cruise speed260 km/h162 mph
    Ceiling8000 m26250 ft
    Range w/max.fuel3400 km2113 miles

Fairchild C-82 Packet

Comments
Ross, 15.04.2014

What exactly is meant by the word "Packet" as in C-82 Packet ?

Thank You, Ross

Clint Meadway, 05.01.2013

Newt, Jerry and Bert Ball operated a C-82 out of Dillingham, AK from the late 1970s to mid 80s. They bought it in Long Beach, CA, and rebuilt it for use in their fishing business. It had a jet booster on top of the fuselage that operated on avgas. That bird had no trouble getting airborne with a maximum load. Challenging but fun to fly.

Gary Blackmore, 27.05.2012

Great to see Darrell Frank's comments above on this website. I'm still flying today but in a stable great flying powerfull jet with incredbile RNP navigation. I'm not a "real Pilot" anymore compared to the C-82 years. The "Boxcar" as we used to call the Packet at Northern Air Cargo in the 70's was pure 40's navigation and technology. I have all the respect in the world for those pilots who flew this aircraft before us!!! 52C and 53C were "Restricted Category" aircraft in civilian use with Northern Air Cargo due to their unstable flight characteristics. For example, 45 degress opposite airleron on a circling approach at night in the bush to hold bank angle and not roll over on your back. We attempted to keep the load to no more than 48,000 pounds even though the gross weight was 54,000. Bobby Sholton, Maurie Carslon, and Casey had proved on one engine that you could fly at that weight, but barely. Nose wheel steering was not an option on the C-82, and the negative angle of attack of the wing on the take off roll made the rotation most interesting, especially on that first take off! Pilot's learned "attitude flying" in a hurry with the C-82.Cruise speed for us was 150mph, one gallon a mile, fuel gages always burnt out and the broom handle dip stick was our one and only favorite fuel gage. My all time favorite airplane!!!

Darrell Frank, 13.11.2010

I Flew the C-82 in Alaska for 6 years with Northern Air Cargo. We operated two of them. N4752C & N4753C. 52C has returned to the Air Force and is now in Dayton, OH at the AF museum. Great Air Craft. I had a lot of fun with it.

patrick nolan, 16.10.2010

My dad was Assistant Division Signal Officer of the 82abn Div-1946-1950.I always assumed that his jump photos were all C119s, but since these didn't begin to be delivered util late '49,I guess alot of them are of C-82s.

Al Simpkins, 10.07.2010

I was the line maintenace chief in Eschborn Germany in 1944 when the C 82 landed on our steel mat runway after several go arounds due to the green light, "gear down" light did not come on.
They landed safely and the Fairchild
engineers on board asked if I could do a landing gear check to see if there was a problem other than the light not coming on. As I recall (65 years ago) they said it was the second C 82 flying and they were doing a performance flight.
My B 17 jacks were too short to reach the C82 wings so I collected railroad ties nearby and built a platform to put the jacks on with a crane.
This worked, and we jacked the plane up and did a landing gear cycle which worked fine and we determined the problem was wiring or the light itself.
Overall it was a great experience and I still have photos of that day.
I wish they could find one to put in the WW2 museum in New Orleans of which I am a charter member.
Former Sgt. Al Simpkins, Army and US Airforce.

Keith Smith, 27.02.2010

A graduate of the first USAF Pilot Training Class (47-C), I was assigned to the 316th Troop Carrier Group (75th TCS) along with about 50 of my class mates. The three squadrons of the 316th TCG at Greenville Air Base, SC (36th, 37th and 75th squadrons) flew the newly assigned C-82. It was a relatively easy plane for us to transition into as we had flown the B-25 in advanced at Barksdale Field. Empty, it handled very much like the B-25, except for the fact that upon touchdown, one could not hold the nose wheel off very long, as the elevators would stall and the nose wheel would drop uncontrollably onto the runway.
The cockpit was very roomy -- much too roomy really as the pilot and copilot sat over two feet from the side windows, which made it difficult to track over the ground when making parachute drops. This fault was corrected in the C-119 which followed as the wide cockpit was made more narrow and windows were cut low on the sides of the cockpit to allow a better pilot visibility for drops.
During my 15 months with the 75th TCS, the 316th TCG racked up a pretty bad record as far as engine failures were concerned. This was bad from two aspects: the plane was a poor performer on one engine when loaded; and there was a design error in the propeller feathering system. The design incorporated a hard stainless steel line from the feathering pump to the propeller governor. Engine vibration caused the governor to crack where the line entered the governor. If this crack was not detected, the high pressure oil used to feather the propeller would pop the line from the governor and propeller feathering was then impossible. Once this failure was verified, the line was changed to a flexible one and the problem was solved. The 75th TCS had one fatal accident while I was there when a C-82 experienced double engine failure while in the traffic pattern. This accident took the lives of five men, as I recall.
The plane was easy to load and we carried many large pieces of equipment. Many times the loads would make exit from the plane difficult for the crew, but fortunately emergency exit was not required during my tenure with the 316th.
The fuel system was very complex and used electric remotely controlled valves, which malfunctioned frequently. Also, the fuel quantity indicators were of a new electronic design, which had many bugs and were not fully accepted by the pilots. I know of one fatal accident initiated by a fuel system malfunction, but was judged to be pilot error as he failed to make the correct decision after the system failure.
Besides hauling bulky loads, our group supported the airborne operations at Fort Bragg and Fort Benning, where we made training parachute drops. The 316th TCG had two squadrons with glider echelons. A squadron had 18 planes, as I recall and a glider echelon had 36 gliders. The Group established a glider school to provide a supply of glider pilots since all the war-time glider pilots had been grounded. All "company grade" (captains and below) pilots were required to check out in gliders. Therefore, we conducted glider training almost daily. The C-82 could easily tow two loaded gliders, provided that the plane was not loaded down with heavy on board cargo.
A feature of the C-82 not described in the general write-up above, was its ability to rapidly drop bags of supplies to support ground operations. The plane had a "bomb bay" like opening in the center of the fuselage. Inside the cargo comparative was a cargo delivery system comprising a move able cable suspended on pulleys. The cable was powered by a motor. Large canvas bags packed with supplies were suspended on the cable and constrained from swinging by a large canvas wall surrounding the suspended bags. At the press of a button, the motor began pulling the cable which was in a circular loop. As each bag was pulled over the open bomb bay doors, the fastener holding the bag would release the bag, which dropped through the bomb bay. In all, there must have been over a dozen supply bags on the cable. These would all have been dropped in a matter of a few seconds. This allowed the supplies to be grouped very closely together when they landed. Much closer than would be the case if they had been kicked out manually. However, as with many other things on the plane, this design had not been fully tested and we had many failures in its operation.
Another mission of the C-82 was laying telephone cable. A large reel of telephone wire was placed in the cargo compartment. A drogue chute and a weight were placed on the free end which was thrown out of the plane at a specified location. The phone line would play out and when the weighed chute reached the ground a phone could be hooked to it and it was even possible to talk to the airborne crew before all the wire was laid.
The C-82 could drop troops rapidly as they could exit both sides of the plane at the same time. This was not possible when using its predecessors, the C-47 or C-46. Ho ...

Eddie Stough, 22.02.2010

Mechanic/Crewchief C-82 at Lawson Field, Ft. Benning, Ga. 1947-1948, Quite a jump from the C-47.

Don Rupp, SMS {RET}, 12.02.2010

I flew as a crew chief on the C-182 out of Harmon field NFLD , in the early 50's,most of the supply missions we flew were to the even farther north. We never lost an engine in flt during my tenure. The cabin was kinda cold , if you had to ride there, but we always got there. This was the 6614th Air Transport Squadron, Northeast Air Command. The 182's were later replaced with C-119's, there we did lose a couple engines in flt, they were R-3350 P R T type.

Patrick Romero, 24.01.2010

The 3-view schematics on this page are of the C-119, which is in essence a redesigned C-82 Packet. There are a few websites that have the schematics of the original C-82 Packet. Incidentally, the escape plane in The Flight of the Phoenix was made out of different materials: the back half of the fuselage was made out of metal tubing covered in wood, as were the tail fin and the stabilizer, but the front fuselage was made of metal, and the wings, which came off of a Beech C-45, according to http://www.aerovintage.com/phoenix.htm, were also made of metal. Even though the skids were made of fiberglass for the filming, this mixed material use would have made the plane nose heavy. Besides, the wings were really not the correct size in accordance to the plans: they were nearly the correct shape, but were scaled down. also, the fuselage behind the wings was too short to truly match the tail booms of the C-82 Packet. I made a model of the escape plane for a simulator, and when I tried to fly it, it proved to be tail-heavy, or perhaps there was too much lift, but when I added the windscreens, some of the excess lift was eliminated. I was careful on the all of the details to make it perfectly match the exact shape of the escape plane construction prop, which was used for the engine start-up scene.The C-82 Packet was an okay design, it just needed more power.

Charles Evans, 27.10.2009

Star of the Flight of the Phoenix movie in which the damaged C-82 was cannibalised to create a conventional high wing escape plane using a nacelle and tail boom. It flew in reality but badly and crashed killing its pilot. Thereafter a stunt double was used.

Al Hodges, 29.07.2009

In March 1947, our class was the first to make all five jumps in Ft. Benning from the C-82. While stationed at Ft. Bragg with the 82nd Airborne Division, a C-82 lost an engine shortly after take-off. The underpowered C-82 with 42 paratroopers could not maintain altitude with only one engine. The jumpmaster managed to get the men hooked up, cleared the plane and only the Air Force crew was killed. The jumpmaster was too late for his parachute to fully open, but fortunately he was over pine trees and a tree caught his partially open chute and he lived.

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