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LOCKHEED C-141 STARLIFTER. From the 1960s to the 21st century, C-141s have been a trusted transporter of everything from troops and helicopters to returned hostages and presidential limousines. Pictorial.
LOCKHEED C-141 STARLIFTER. by Frederick A. Johnsen.
During World War II, the need for military transports prompted the modification of bombers with varying degrees of success, yet ships remained the means for moving armies overseas. As the Cold War verged into the early 1960s, some American military planners realized the need for rapid deployment of military assets to trouble spots around the world, since not all threats could be countered with a nuclear deterrent. Airlift would be a key, but old reliable transports like the piston-engine C-124 Globemaster II were too slow for the task.
Using generally proven components, Lockheed’s swept-wing C-141 confirmed for the U.S. Air Force the promise of a global airlift. With the Starlifter, cargo and troops could be airlifted intercontinentally at three-quarters the speed of sound. From the 1960s to the 21st century, C-141s have been a trusted transporter of everything from troops and helicopters to returned hostages and presidential limousines.
Lockheed C-141 Starlifter includes an account of the circumstances that led to the C-141, its design and structural details, flight characteristics, and development from C-141A to C-141B, and finally to C-141C.