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Lockheed’s unbuilt C-141 Starlifter variants

Pioneer

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Lockheed’s other proposed C-141 Starlifter variants?

Many years ago I came across a big and beautiful book that had many full-spread coloured artwork / drawings of Lockheed’s proposed C-141 Starlifter, that would serve in other roles.
From my memory these included-
· Airborne Command Post variant
· An Airborne Ballistic Missile Launch platform variant
· A Anti-Submarine Warfare variant
· A Airborne Refuelling Tanker variant
I am sure that there were others, but again it was many years ago, and unfortunately the book was out side my price range ($200 over 10 years ago)

Does anyone have any information on these C-141 proposed variants
For with hindsight I should have sold my shoes and the cloths of my back to get that book.

Regards
Pioneer
 

Sentinel Chicken

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The "Warbird Tech Series" of books from Specialty Press recently did the C-141 Starlifter (it was Volume 39 and the author is Frederick Johnsen) and it's much more affordable- I got my copy via Amazon for less than $20. It covers some of those proposed variants in Chapter 3 "What Might Have Been".

In addition to looking at the proposed civil cargo version (Lockheed Model 300A and the 300B Super Starlifter for the stretched version) there was:

-Three versions of an air defense missile platform- all had an enlarged nose for the radar. The first version used a retractable ventral tray to launch missiles housed in the cargo hold, the second carried 22 missiles fired out the back, and the third had an elongated tail cone (another radar?) and a pneumatic "revolver" that fired missiles out the back.

-Bomber version with three tandem bomb bays (proposed last half of the 1960s as a "bomb truck")- load is quoted as 54000 lbs of bombs which could be accurately dropped from as high as 45000 feet.

-SAR version using equipment and technology from the HC-130H, including the Fulton rescue forks.

-Three tanker versions- the first was a minimal change that still retained cargo capability (two fuel tanks in the hold, hose reel in the aft cargo door, the second was a dedicated probe/drogue tanker with a hose reel mounted just forward of the aft cargo door meant to replace the KC-130F, and a third version with a flying boom that was partially retracted into the aft cargo door area.

-A version that acted as a mobile communications station-mobile vans in the cargo hold that could be used in flight by 10 additional personnel with a 10.7 hour loiter time and 500 nm mission radius. There was also a version to act as a tactical air command post similar to what the EC-130 ABCCC aircraft performed.

-AWACS version

-Missile range tracker similar to the ARIA/C-18/EC-135 family of aircraft for support of range telemetry and support of the Apollo program.

-Navigation trainer with an enlarged nose radome and trainee stations in cargo hold.

-Weather reconaissance version with a fuel tank in cargo hold plus meteorology equipment. It would have had an endurance of 17.5 hours.

-Air photographic and charting version to replace the RC-130As.

-Defoliage version with three tanks for herbicide and a retractable spray boom.

-Flare launcher- this was before the days of practical night vision systems. In Vietnam this role was filled by "Blind Bat" C-130As, the Starlifter version would have carried 768 flares and had an endurance of 12 hours.

-Tactical support/rough field version- this one had enlarged main landing gear sponsons to house a six-wheel main bogie unit.

I don't have a scanner as there are some nice schematics and artwork in the book to go along with the narrative.
 

TinWing

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Pioneer said:
Many years ago I came across a big and beautiful book that....

What is the title? You'd be amazed by what I can find.
 

GTX

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I'd definitely be interested in seeing pics of those variants - especially the ASW and air defense missile platform variants.

Regards,

Greg
 

elmayerle

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The nose of those air defense missile platforms sound a lot like what was fitted to the NC-141A operated out of Wright-Patterson AFB. It was used for radar testing and, with appropriate adapters as required could test the B-1, F-15, or F-16 radars.
 

Archibald

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An exotic variant of the C-141 was the Belfast hybrid proposed to the RAF for ASR-364 in the 60's ;)
 

elmayerle

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Archibald said:
An exotic variant of the C-141 was the Belfast hybrid proposed to the RAF for ASR-364 in the 60's ;)

yep, modified Belfast fuselage with the wings, engines, and, I think, tail surfaces of the C-141. As I remember, it made for a rather attractive aircraft.
 

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elmayerle said:
Archibald said:
An exotic variant of the C-141 was the Belfast hybrid proposed to the RAF for ASR-364 in the 60's ;)

yep, modified Belfast fuselage with the wings, engines, and, I think, tail surfaces of the C-141. As I remember, it made for a rather attractive aircraft.
 

TinWing

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elmayerle said:
Archibald said:
An exotic variant of the C-141 was the Belfast hybrid proposed to the RAF for ASR-364 in the 60's ;)

yep, modified Belfast fuselage with the wings, engines, and, I think, tail surfaces of the C-141. As I remember, it made for a rather attractive aircraft.

Keep in mind that the original Belfast mated the Bristol Britannia's wings with a new, larger fuselage. Of course, the Belfast was inferior to the competing Handley-Page Victor derived airlifter, but sustaining employment in Northern Ireland was the deciding factor.
 

ChuckAnderson

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Another variant of the C-141 that was actually used was a Flying Astronomical Observatory used, I believe, by NASA.

Chuck
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University Place, Washington
 

Sentinel Chicken

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GTX said:
I'd definitely be interested in seeing pics of those variants - especially the ASW and air defense missile platform variants.

Regards,

Greg
Here you go, Greg- breaking in a new scanner today!







 

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Thanks Sentenel Chicken

The new scanner has already payed off - well for me anyway!

Yes these were the sort of drawings that were in the book all those years ago, that I was talking about for this forum - but only they were in colour. Yet your effort are great

Regards
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elmayerle

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I've always wondered if Lockheed ever looked at re-engining the C-141 along the lines of the DC-8, Series 70, or KC-135R aircraft? I keep thinking that CFM56s would look good under C-141 wings.
 

Iranian F-14A

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What about other countries buying C-141s? I know at one point Canada wanted to buy some,but budget problems got in the way.Were any other countries looking at buying them? Also,would it be possible to sell some of the retired C-141Bs or give them away like has been done with C-130A and B models?
 

lark

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Is there someone who knows more of the proposals made by
Boeing , Convair and Douglas
in the competition who produced the Lockheed C-141 ?
(Support System SS 476-L)

Drawing ,info or sources...
Much thanks in advance.
 

GTX

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SC,

Thanks - nice scanning. Did you also have the ASW version details?

Regards,

Greg
 

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lark said:
Is there someone who knows more of the proposals made by
Boeing , Convair and Douglas
in the competition who produced the Lockheed C-141 ?
(Support System SS 476-L)
The Warbird Tech book on the C-141 Starlifter had a simple three-view of the Boeing submission, I'll try to scan it sometime this week. Basically imagine a 707 with the wing mounted above the fuselage and main undercarriage fairings on the lower fuselage.
 

Iranian F-14A

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The Warbird Tech book on the C-141 Starlifter had a simple three-view of the Boeing submission, I'll try to scan it sometime this week. Basically imagine a 707 with the wing mounted above the fuselage and main undercarriage fairings on the lower fuselage.
[/quote]


I've always wondered about doing something like that with a 747.Say,if the wing had been mounted above the fuselage and maybe a T-tail.I'm thinking this would have been a bit more useful as an airlifter when the air force was thinking of buying the 747 as its strategic airlifter.Either way,the C-5 could carry more,so thats a mute point,still,a 747 in that configuration would have been a good airlifter.
 

Sentinel Chicken

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Boeing's submission had a conventional low-set horizontal tailplane and if I remember right, both Dougas and Boeing submissions to the CX-HLS competition also had low-set horizontal tailplanes.
 

TinWing

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Iranian F-14A said:
I've always wondered about doing something like that with a 747.Say,if the wing had been mounted above the fuselage and maybe a T-tail.I'm thinking this would have been a bit more useful as an airlifter when the air force was thinking of buying the 747 as its strategic airlifter.Either way,the C-5 could carry more,so thats a mute point,still,a 747 in that configuration would have been a good airlifter.

Just about every civilian jet transport has had a low wing configuration. I can only assume that there are aerodynamic and weight penalties associated with high mounted wing.

There are exceptions like the BAe 146 - but I don't want to get off topic.
 

elmayerle

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With the exception of aircraft designed for possible rough field operations (BAE 146, for example), most civilian jets are low wing because it allows you to cleanly take the main gear loads into the aircraft structure and, too, the low wing provides volume to store the main landing gear in. High wing aircraft with separate sponsons for the main landing gear are almost always going to be heavier and "drag-ier" than a low-wing version of the same configuration. For military transport roles, though, high-wing makes a great amount of sense.
 

lark

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Is there someone who haves an illustration of the Boeing contender
in the C-141 competition ?

Many thanks in advance...
 

lark

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Dear all,

I'm still looking for a drawing and some information about the Boeing contender
in the C-141 competition.
Is there someone who can help ?

Thanks.
 

Skybolt

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A Starlifter bomber, wooo, B) and much more in the site I posted in the Useful Links section...
 

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Skybolt

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And missile launcher(s)
 

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Sentinel Chicken said:
GTX said:
I'd definitely be interested in seeing pics of those variants - especially the ASW and air defense missile platform variants.

Regards,

Greg
Here you go, Greg- breaking in a new scanner today!








Great to see that you good gents are still researching and finding info for older forums!!!!
But I can not see any of the picture you have posted SC!

Regards
Pioneer
 

Skybolt

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Pioneer, no problem. I've found the original brochure from which the WarBirdTech book illustrations were taken, so I'll post them piecemeal.
 

flateric

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Marco, looks like it goes from Lockheed Horizons?
 

Skybolt

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Grigory, no, it is a brochure entitled "Lockheed C 141: Versatility" from circa 1965. Can be found on the site I posted in the Useful Links section. It is possible the same or similar info is included in some Horizons issue (not in those I own in paper or electronic form). I attach the first three pages of the brochure.
 

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frank

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I haven't really looked at the site, but as versatile as it's made out to be, I wonder if a Gunship AC-141 was ever in the works. I like the bomber idea. Being from the last half of the '60s, I wonder if the plan was for it to free up the B-52s for their strategic role back home, or to supplement them in the bombing of Vietnam jungles, or just be another bomber. I don't see any defensive weapons in the drawing either. I wonder if they'd have come under SAC or TAC, too.
 

flateric

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Marco - thanks, I really should have been check it! Great site, hands off
 

Skybolt

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Frank, the C-141 bomber was a real bomb truck, like B-52Ds after modifications, and its use was intended for mission as Arc Light, not Linebacker II. The idea was the same as the VC-10 bomber derivatives. SO, really no need for defensive weapons, because the AA menace was zero (and air superiority absolute). Don't be misguide by the art, the C-141 bmber would have operated from mid-to-high altitude, tending to high (like Arc Light's B-52Ds). As for a gunship, no hint in the brochure and personally I think the C-141 woudn't have been the right aircraft, characteristics-side, even not considering cost.
 

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;D Don't forget the special operations variant SOLL II (Special Operations Low Level) with the 16th AS, which had FLIR, enhanced EW suite and self protection.

http://www.specialoperations.com/USAF/SOLLII/C141/
 

Caravellarella

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Dear Boys and Girls, a bit off-topic; here is an artist's impression with a caption in French showing how similar the Starlifter must/could have been (at one time) to the Hercules......

The picture comes from the 24th March 1961 issue of Les Ailes......

Terry (Caravellarella)
 

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LowObservable

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Interesting. Back in the 1970s, Lockheed was proposing an L-100-50 version of the Hercules and one idea was to fit the C-141 nose.

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1978/1978%20-%202862.html
 

Triton

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Civilian Lockheed L-300 possibly manufactured by Verkuyl found on eBay.

Seller's description:
This auction is for a Lockheed C-141/L-300 vintage metal airplane model - a civilian proposal that never made it to production. This is a super rare model that is different from the L-500 (C-5 proposal) that is relatively common. The model, I believe is a Verkuyl manufacture (definitely not a Pacmin) - note there is variance in size and details compared to the Topping I have listed separately. Overall very good condition and only flaw I can see is some paint that rubbed off the tip of the nose. Scale is approximately 1/144, size is 12" wingspan by 12" length on original metal stand.

URL:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Metal-Airplane-Airline-Model-L-300-proposal-Lockheed-/200661629568?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2eb85d7a80
 

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hesham

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Hi,


here is a Liquid Hydrogen Fueled C-141 aircraft drawing.


http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/19740003630_1974003630.pdf
 

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Spark

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Hi,
Any one know the C-141 costs including unit costs????

lark said:
Is there someone who knows more of the proposals made by
Boeing , Convair and Douglas
in the competition who produced the Lockheed C-141 ?
(Support System SS 476-L)

Drawing ,info or sources...
Much thanks in advance.
 

fightingirish

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An artist painting showing a early Lockheed C-141 Starlifter.

Source: Wings Magazine October 2005 (Vol.35 No.10), page 43
 

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lark said:
Is there someone who knows more of the proposals made by
Boeing , Convair and Douglas
in the competition who produced the Lockheed C-141 ?
(Support System SS 476-L)

Drawing ,info or sources...
Much thanks in advance.

G'day Lark
As far as I'm aware the USAF sent a Request for Work and Request for Proposal to Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed. I not aware of Convair being involved???

Regards
Pioneer
 
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