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C-131 Samaritan

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C-131 Samaritan
Convair C-131D Samaritan
Type Military transport
Manufacturer Convair
Primary users United States Air Force
United States Navy
Paraguayan Air Force
Developed from Convair 240

The Convair C-131 Samaritan was an American military transport produced from 1954 to 1956.

Contents

History

The design began life in a production requirement by American Airlines for a pressurized airliner to replace the classic Douglas DC-3. Convair's original design had two engines and 40 seats, and thus it was designated the CV-240. The first 240 flew on March 16, 1947, and production aircraft were first delivered to American on February 28, 1948. Seventy-five were delivered to American, with another fifty going to Western Airlines, Continental Airlines, Pan American Airways, KLM, and Trans Australia Airlines.

Military variants

The CV-240/340/440 series was used by the United States Air Force for medical evacuation and VIP transport and was designated as C-131 Samaritan. The first model Samaritan, the C-131A, was derived from the 240 model, and was delivered to the USAF in 1954. A trainer model, designated the T-29, was also based on the Convair 240 to instruct navigators and radio operators. The T-29 was eventually replaced by the T-43. A planned bomber training version of the T-29 (designated T-32) was never built. The 340 model was used for most C-131Ds.

The U.S. Navy used the Samaritan as the R4Y. Nearly all of the C-131s left the active inventory in the late 1970s, but Air National Guard units operated a few into the mid-1980s. The C-131 was eventually replaced by the C-9 Nightingale.

A Samaritan was the first aircraft used as a flying gunship testbed in mid-1963, in a program known as Project Tailchaser. A C-131B (#53-7820) was given a gunsight for the side window, but instead of guns it had cameras in the cargo area. Eventually the C-131 was ferried to Eglin AFB in Florida and a General Electric SUU-11A/A 7.62 mm Gatling-style Minigun was installed. Live ammunition was used and both over-water and over-land tests were successful.

Variants

C-131A
United States Air Force version of the Model 240 with seats for 37 passengers, 26 built.
HC-131A
Surplus C-131As transferred to the United States Coast Guard, 22 transferred.
MC-131A
Temporary designation used before 1962 when a C-131A was used for medivac duties with 27 stretchers.
VC-131A
Temporary designation used before 1962 when a C-131A was used as a staff transport.
C-131B
A hybrid Model 240/340 with seats for 48 passengers, 36 built.
JC-131B
C-131B converted for missile tracking, six conversions.
NC-131B
One C-131B used for permanent testing.
VC-131B
C-131B when used as a staff transport.
YC-131C
Two Model 340s flown with Alison 501D-13 engines.
C-131D
Military version of the Model 340 with seats for 44 passengers, 33 built.
VC-131D
C-131D when used as a staff transport.
C-131E
Electronic Countermeasures training version for Strategic Air Command, later designated TC-131E, 15 built and one conversion from C-131D, two transferred to United States Navy as R4Y-2.
TC-131E
C-131E redesignated.
C-131F
R4Y-1 redesignated.
RC-131F
Conversions for photo-mapping and survey, six conversions.
VC-131F
R4Y-1Z redesignated.
C-131G
R4Y-2 redesignated.
EC-131G
One C-131G modified as an electronics trainer.
RC-131G
One C-131G modified as an airways aid checking duties.
VC-131G
C-131G used as a staff transport.
C-131H
Other models converted to Model 580 turboprop standards.
NC-131H
One conversion with an extended nose incorporating a separate cockpit as a Total In-Flight Simulator,
R4Y-1
United States Navy version of the Model 340 with 44 passenger seats, redesignated C-131F in 1962, 36 built.
R4Y-1Z
United States Navy staff transports, redesignated VC-131F in 1962, one built and conversions from R4Y-1.
R4Y-2
Two C-131Es transferred to the United States Navy, redesignated C-131G in 1962, an additional 13 cancelled.
R4Y-2Q
Projected radar countermeasures version of the R4Y-2, five cancelled
R4Y-2S
Projected United States Navy Anti-Submarine Warfare trainer version, 14 on order cancelled.
XT-29
Prototype military trainer version of the Model 240 for the United States Air Force, two built.
T-29A
Initial production version for navigator training, unpressurised cabin for 14 students, 46 built.
VT-29A
T-29As converted for staff transport.
T-29B
Pressurised version with room for 10 navigator and four radio operator students, 105 built.
NT-29B
One T-29B used for permanent testing.
VT-29B
T-29B converted for staff transport with seating for 29 or 32 passengers.
T-29C
T-29B with 2500hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-29W engines, 119 built.
AT-29C
T-29C modified for airways checking duties, redesignated ET-29C in 1962.
ET-29C
AT-29C redesignated.
VT-29C
T-29C converted for staff transport.
T-29D
Bombardier training version of the T-29C with room for six students, 93 built.
ET-29D
Airways checking conversion of the T-29D.
VT-29D
Staff transport conversion of the T-29D.
XT-29E
Proposed turboprop version of T-29B, none built.
YT-32
Proposed bomber training version with transparent nose, none built.

Operators

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Specifications (240)

General characteristics

  • Length: 74 ft 8 in (22.8 m)
  • Wingspan: 91 ft 9 in (28 m)
  • Height: 26 ft 11 in (8.20 m)
  • Wing area: 817 ft² (75.9 m²)
  • Empty weight: 25,445 lb (11,540 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 42,500 lb (19,280 kg)
  • Powerplant:Pratt & Whitney R-2800 "Double Wasp" 18 cylinder air cooled radial engines, 2,100 hp (1,567 kW) each

Performance


References

See also

Related development

Comparable aircraft

Related lists

Template:Convair aircraft Template:USAF transports Template:USAF trainer aircraft Template:USN transports

de:Convair CV 240

ja:コンベア240 no:Convair 240 pt:Convair 240


This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "C-131 Samaritan".
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