NAS GROSSE ILE


Photo by Gerald Clement

 

Photo by Mike Wilson
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Fairchild C-119 (R4Q) Flying Boxcar

DESCRIPTION
Manufacturer Fairchild
Designation  C-119 (R4Q)
Type Transport / Cargo
Crew 4
Length 86' 6"
Wingspan 109' 4"
Height 26' 3"
No. of Engines 2
Power plant Wright R-3350-89 Cyclones
Horsepower 3500 each
Max. Speed 245 Mph
Cruise Speed 175 Mph
Ceiling  23,900'
Max. Range 1770

The C-119 was developed from the C-82 of World War II fame.  It first flew in 1947 and had a very long service life with the military.  When it started its career the Boxcar was the largest of its kind.  The C-119 had a pod type fuselage with high mounted wings.  It could carry 62 troops and various types of cargo.  Production of the C-82 Packet ended in 1948 and the first Flying Boxcar was delivered a year later in December, 1949.  By the time the last Dollar 19 rolled off the production line 1955 there had been 1,112 built.

The 119 had many modifications including the G model that had two General Electric J85-17 turbojets mounted under the wing outboard of the piston engines.  There was even a gun ship model with a crew of 10 known as Shadow and the jet assisted version was the Stinger.

The 119 was just one more aircraft proving that even though dated, it was dependable and useful in Vietnam.

I think the Boxcars flown by the Marine crews made me more nervous than any aircraft I saw take off at Grosse Ile while I was on the crash crew.  There were times I don't think they would have made it into the air if the runway had been a foot shorter.  Luckily the only accident that I know of, was with a C-119 parked on the ramp at Grosse Ile that had a hold blown in its wing while having a fuel pump replaced.

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Revised: January 28, 2010