20 Cold War-Era Warplanes of the U.S. Air Force

C-119 Flying Boxcar

Fairchild addressed shortcomings in the C-82 by grabbing a Packet off the production line and modifying it. Aircraft designers moved the cockpit to the front of the aircraft and strengthened the air frame. Two powerful Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major engines were installed, allowing the “Flying Boxcar” to haul 30,000 pounds of gear. The Air Force ordered over 1,000 C-119s by the time production ended in 1955. These planes flew in Korea, where they dropped the Treadway bridge sections that allowed trapped Marines and soldiers to finally break out of the Chosin Reservoir to reach safety. Some C-119s were also modified to capture equipment as it parachuted to earth, such as drones (like the Ryan Firebee), instruments dropped from weather balloons, or film canisters dropped from orbiting Project Corona spy satellites.

Author: Chris Carter

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