C124 anyone?

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OverHill
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C124 anyone?

Postby OverHill » Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:05 pm

Were any of the old timers exposed to the Douglas C124 during their military days? If so you know firsthand why she was called “Old Shaky”.

In her day, she was huge with four prop engines as I remember rated at 3,600 to 3,800 hp. each depending on the reference source, however, whatever power they had I was never sure it was enough. On the ground, she seemed to have trouble just taxing to the takeoff strip; she waddled around and her massive disk brakes squealed and protested loudly every time they were applied. The pilots and flight engineer took forever making sure everything was perfect before the takeoff roll started; I always thought something must be wrong. Compared to the other planes we used like the C123, C130, and later C141 when they finally let the brakes off she accelerated so slowly again you felt like something had to be wrong. Packed inside and not being able to see out just added to the fun because it took so long to fly you were sure she must be nearing the end of the runway and still hadn’t lifted. Finally, like an old lady lifting her skirts she would ease into the air allowing everyone to breathed a sigh of relief.

They packed 200 of us in like sardines in a can on two decks; if you were lucky you were on the first deck; somehow, I always got the top one requiring a climb up what was basically a ladder with all my equipment on. Of course, there was no real air flow inside so with all the equipment strapped on the heat was almost unbearable. When we finally jumped she felt like the pilots were having difficulty dropping down to jump speed and keeping her from stalling. Usually after the troopers on the first deck had jumped, the plane would circle, and then the second deck troopers had to stumble down the ladder way and hookup in time for the next pass.

I don’t have any pictures, but there are several videos on YouTube like this one where they restored a C124 in 1983:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okN_oDIdTPY

Another:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mgyTc9-GHw
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Niner
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Re: C124 anyone?

Postby Niner » Sat Aug 12, 2017 11:29 pm

Never was on one of those. Found this other video showing and telling about the insides.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NoB0pnkdSk
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OverHill
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Re: C124 anyone?

Postby OverHill » Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:07 am

Hey Niner,

I did a quick search assuming most of the younger people knew little if anything about the old bird, but missed your video; it had a lot of details, thanks for adding....

Jim
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Niner Delta
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Re: C124 anyone?

Postby Niner Delta » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:04 pm

Never flew on that one, but I did on it's replacement, C-141 Starlifter.
The only prop-job military cargo plane I flew on was a de Havilland C-7 Caribou in Viet Nam.


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Niner
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Re: C124 anyone?

Postby Niner » Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:22 pm

How about this one...smaller than the C124 for sure. One like this took me to Tan An and the 9th Division. Crew member kept looking at one of the engines out the window with a concerned look on his face. I was glad it was a short flight.

The C-7A Caribou.

https://amcmuseum.org/at-the-museum/air ... a-caribou/
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OverHill
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Re: C124 anyone?

Postby OverHill » Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:55 pm

I had no personal experience with the C-7A Caribou. We did use the C123 "Thunder Pig" a lot and I was told by one of the pilots who knew the Caribou as well how impressed he was with the Caribou because it could operate out of landing fields way too short for the C123.
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Re: C124 anyone?

Postby Niner Delta » Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:03 pm

The C-7 Caribou was designed as a STOL aircraft because that's what the UA Army was looking for.
The C-123 Provider was only slightly larger in size but was twice the weight and could carry twice what
the C-7 could, and so need a lot more runway.

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Vern.

My life is an open book. But it's very poorly written and I die in the end.





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