Fairchild YC.136

Maveric

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Hi all,

I´m intersted in pics and drawing, technical data for the Fairchild YC.136 transporter project. Do you have also the M-number by Fairchild...
My only information: "very similar to the C.123B".

Thanks Maveric
 
The C-136 designation was initially reserved for the US Navy, then cancelled; it was then reassigned to a proposed improved version of the C-123B Provider, which was also cancelled early in the design stage. This is all I known about it I'm afraid. No M-number known.

This being said, I have an M-253 "TURBOBOXCAR" project based on the C-123, with four Lycoming T55 turboprop engines and dated 1957. I also have an M-255 Carrier Onboard Delivery Transport proposal to US Navy to adapt C-123 for aerial resupply of carrier task groups at sea (also dated 1957). I wonder if either of these two could be related to the C-136. Chronologically, they seem to fit pretty well since the M-258 was a Fairchild F-27 "FRIENDSHIP" military conversion planned for Army procurement as C-138, then cancelled (M-258G/H/J/K).
 
My only information about the YC-136 is the USAF's nomenclature request letter (attached). It says a few words about the purpose of the planned modification, but of course neither model numbers nor technical details are given.
 

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I mentioned earlier the M-255 COD proposal for a naval Provider... Here it is. I'm not saying the YC-136 designation was reserved for it, but it's in the realm of possibilities...
 

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Actually, comparing the M-255 COD proposal with the YC-136 description provided to us by Andreas Parsch on 11 May 2010, I don't think M-255 is within the 'realm of possibilities' for YC-136.
 
Jos Heyman said:
Actually, comparing the M-255 COD proposal with the YC-136 description provided to us by Andreas Parsch on 11 May 2010, I don't think M-255 is within the 'realm of possibilities' for YC-136.

Care to develop on that? Here is what I see:
  • The year 1956 is compatible with the M-255 number;
  • they ask for an "improved version" of the C-123B (which it is);
  • they want something that's experimental enough to be "prototype only";
  • they want a plane with improved "aerial delivery capability" (which COD is all about);
  • they want a plane that corrects the problem of "nose wheel lift off", which this version, with its single row of main wheels, could be trying to remedy);
  • they want a "test-bed for new concepts of assault operations" which this new version would be...
But perhaps you've seen something I haven't? In which case I'd gladly move the M-255 image to another topic.
So if you can make your remark more specific, that will be appreciated.
 
Pretty simple really Stephane, a Navy aircraft circa 1956 wouldn't have an Air Force type designator. ;)

Also adding folding wings is a serious modification that has bupkis to do with improving flight characteristics.

The C-136 designator being assigned to the USN doesn't have a direct relation to an airframe, as Andreas explained on his
Missing Designations page:
In the early 1950s, some even numbers in the C-series (C-134/136/138) and H-series (H-36/38) of USAF aircraft designations were set aside for use by the US Navy, apparently in an attempt to establish a joint designation system for some type categories. However, this scheme was very short-lived, and had been abandoned by 1955. There is no evidence that any of the three C-series numbers or H-36 was ever actually used by the Navy, but the case is a bit more confusing for H-38. The USAF aircraft serial 54-4047 is listed in USAF records as a "Sikorsky H-38", allocated to a Navy-led MAP (Military Assistance Program). There are indications that the serial refers to a "static airframe", but otherwise no further information whatsoever about this H-38 has been found so far.

http://www.designation-systems.net/usmilav/missing-mds.html
 
Thanks, jcf.

The reason why the USAF designation didn't shock is simple: as you said it yourself, there was a scheme of naming some Navy into the USAF system as an attempt at standard designators. Though applied to only a handful of types, this scheme was still in full force in 1956, as exemplified by the North American T-28B, which NEVER received a Navy designation at all.

I do agree with you though that the folding wings seems a little more than just an "improved" version... This being said, if the type was to perform "aerial delivery", it had better be able to fold its wings, as was standard for carrier-borne aircraft. I can't really see them ordering a C-123B derivative that could not operate from or be stored on board aircraft carriers.
 
I drafted the following off-line before I saw jcf's comment and Skyblazer's comment on that, but here is my thinking on the subject.

I have no doubt that the M-255. was a submission to meet the US Navy’s COD requirements that were eventually met by the Grumman TF-1. I have no idea what the other contenders were. The TF-1 appeared in 1955.

But I think it is unlikely that in 1956 a USAF designation would be used for a proposed US Navy aircraft. With the exception of the T-28, all USAF aircraft ‘adopted’ by the US Navy received US Navy designations, eg C-121 v R7V, C-130 v R8V, C-140 v UV and T-39 v T3J, the latter occurring in September 1961 and at a time that DoD designation were just around the corner.

The May 1956 request for the YC-136 is for a prototype aircraft to overcome deficiencies in the C-123B performance, such as nose-wheel lift-off, aerial delivery capability and directional stability problems. It is not clear how these shortcomings were to be overcome but there is a subtle hint in the various C-123 sub-types that were fitted with auxiliary jet engines that, perhaps, the C-123B was underpowered.
This resulted in YC-123H that was fitted with 2 General Electric CJ610 auxiliary engines to demonstrate improved performance as an assault transport. This aircraft (54-2956) was a C-123B converted on the production line in 1956 and was completed in 1957. Apart from the two jet engines it was fitted with a main gear landing track similar to the C-130A. All these adjustments allowed an increase in gross weight to 67,000 lb, compared to the 60,000 lb of the basic C-123B.

Also in 1957 Fairchild converted ten C-123Bs with 2 Fairchild J44-R-3 engines in the wingtip. These were used as support aircraft for the DEW line installations.

Finally, a number of C-123B were fitted with jet boost engines in 1966 and redesignated as C-123K, another indication that the basic C-123B lacked power. It has been suggested that the YC-123H had been a prototype for the C-123K.

If I would be allowed to take a gamble, I would put my money on the YC-123H being the YC-136. It was not the first time that a new designation was abandoned in favour of an existing designation for funding purposes. The classic example is the F-96 v F-84F.
But, having stated my gamble, there is, to date, no evidence whatsoever that my gamble is correct.

References:
Swanborough, G. & Bowers, P., US Military Aircraft since 1909, p.318
Adock, A., C-123 Provider In Action, p.27
 
Thanks a lot Jos for your comment, detailed and precise as ever.

Jos Heyman said:
If I would be allowed to take a gamble, I would put my money on the YC-123H being the YC-136. It was not the first time that a new designation was abandoned in favour of an existing designation for funding purposes. The classic example is the F-96 v F-84F.

Nice theory, but... the YC-123H was strictly USAF, wasn't it? C-136 was reserved for the Navy, so it seems unlikely to me.
 
Skyblazer said:
Nice theory, but... the YC-123H was strictly USAF, wasn't it? C-136 was reserved for the Navy, so it seems unlikely to me.
I think you are talking about two different things. The C-136 slot was (as far as I can say) originall skipped and set aside for the Navy (but never actually taken up by the Navy). But the allocation of YC-136, as document by posting of May 2010, was an Air Force issue.
 
Andreas Parsch said:
Skyblazer said:
Nice theory, but... the YC-123H was strictly USAF, wasn't it? C-136 was reserved for the Navy, so it seems unlikely to me.
I think you are talking about two different things. The C-136 slot was (as far as I can say) originall skipped and set aside for the Navy (but never actually taken up by the Navy). But the allocation of YC-136, as document by posting of May 2010, was an Air Force issue.

Thanks Andreas.
 
I'm curious and confused about the Turbo Boxcar. IIRC, there was a C-119 proposed with Allison T-56s, but why would a turbo-prop version of a C-123 be called Turbo Boxcar instead of Turbo Provider?
 
famvburg said:
I'm curious and confused about the Turbo Boxcar. IIRC, there was a C-119 proposed with Allison T-56s, but why would a turbo-prop version of a C-123 be called Turbo Boxcar instead of Turbo Provider?

We already have a topic on the M-253 which is by far the best place to answer your question, so meet me there...
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,889.0
 
The C-136 designation was initially reserved for the US Navy, then cancelled; it was then reassigned to a proposed improved version of the C-123B Provider, which was also cancelled early in the design stage. This is all I known about it I'm afraid. No M-number known.

This being said, I have an M-253 "TURBOBOXCAR" project based on the C-123, with four Lycoming T55 turboprop engines and dated 1957. I also have an M-255 Carrier Onboard Delivery Transport proposal to US Navy to adapt C-123 for aerial resupply of carrier task groups at sea (also dated 1957). I wonder if either of these two could be related to the C-136. Chronologically, they seem to fit pretty well since the M-258 was a Fairchild F-27 "FRIENDSHIP" military conversion planned for Army procurement as C-138, then cancelled (M-258G/H/J/K).
The M-255 COD proposal was conceived in 1957, long after C-136 was allocated to a proposed derivative of the C-123B. The book American Secret Projects: US Airlifters 1941-1961 states that C-136 was most probably allocated to the M-226 proposal because a US Air Force report titled Developmental Aircraft Histories describes the C-136 as having a "pi" tail and improved landing gear, and the M-231 project differed from the C-123B and M-226 in having a longer fuselage as well as larger wings and turboprop engines.
 
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