The Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter was a long-range heavy military cargo aircraft developed from the B-29 and B-50 bombers. Design work began in 1942,

BoeingC-97/377 Stratocruiser/Stratotanker

RoleLong range piston airliner
National originUnited States
ManufacturerBoeing Commercial Airplanes
First flightJuly 8, 1947
IntroductionApril 1, 1949, with Pan American World Airways
Primary userPan American World Airways
Number built56
Developed fromBoeing C-97 Stratofreighter
VariantsAero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy
Aero Spacelines Super Guppy
Aero Spacelines Mini Guppy

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Boeing 377 / C97 Stratocruiser/Stratotanker

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Boeing 377/C97 Stratocruiser/Stratotanker "1947"

The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser was a large long-range airliner developed from the C-97 Stratofreighter military transport, itself a derivative of the B-29 Superfortress. The Stratocruiser’s first flight was on July 8, 1947.[3] Its design was advanced for its day; its innovative features included two passenger decks and a pressurized cabin, a relatively new feature on transport aircraft. It could carry up to 100 passengers on the main deck plus 14 in the lower deck lounge; typical seating was for 63 or 84 passengers or 28 berthed and five seated passengers.

The Stratocruiser was larger than the Douglas DC-6 and Lockheed Constellation and cost more to buy and operate. Its reliability was poor, chiefly due to problems with the four 28-cylinder Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial engines and structural and control problems with their propellers. Only 55 Model 377s were built for airlines, along with the single prototype. The 377 was also converted into the Aero Spacelines Pregnant Guppy by John M. Conroy for NASA’s Gemini space program.

Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter

The Australian Department of Defence evaluated industry proposals for airborneThe Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter was a long-range heavy military cargo aircraft developed from the B-29 and B-50 bombers. Design work began in 1942, the first of three prototype XC-97s flew on 9 November 1944 (none saw combat), and the first of six service-test YC-97s flew on 11 March 1947. All nine were based on the 24ST alloy structure and Wright R-3350 engines of the B-29, but with a larger-diameter fuselage upper lobe (making a figure of eight or “double-bubble” section) and they had the B-29 vertical tail with the gunner’s position blanked off. The first of three heavily revised YC-97A incorporating the re-engineered wing ( higher strength 75ST alloy), taller vertical tail and larger Pratt and Whitney R-4360 engines of the B-50 bomber, flew on 28 January 1948 and was the basis of the subsequent sole YC-97B, all production C-97s, KC-97s and civilian Stratocruiser aircraft. Between 1944 and 1958, 888 C-97s in several versions were built, 811 being KC-97 tankers.[ surveillance and early warning systems as early as 1986. Further studies led to the approval of the first phase of Project AIR 5077 in 1994.

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BoeingC-97/377 Stratocruiser/Stratotanker

The C-97 entered service in 1947, during a period of rapid development of heavy transport aircraft. Only 77 were built before the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II was delivered in 1950, with nearly twice the payload capacity of the C-97. The USAF Strategic Air Command operated C-97 Stratofreighters from 1949 to 1978. Early in its service life, it served as an airborne alternative SAC command post. While only 77 C-97 transports were built, 811 were built as KC-97 Stratofreighters for inflight refueling. The KC-97 began to be phased out with the introduction of the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker in 1957. Many KC-97s were later refitted as C-97G transports and equipped several squadrons of the U.S. Air National Guard


  • Crew: 4 flight crew + cabin crew
  • Capacity: Up to 100 passengers on main deck plus 14 in lower deck lounge; typical seating for 63 or 84 passengers or 28 berthed.
  • Length: 110 ft 4 in (33.63 m)
  • Wingspan: 141 ft 3 in (43.05 m)
  • Height: 38 ft 3 in (11.66 m)
    Empty weight: 83,500 lb (37,875 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 148,000 lb (67,132 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-B6 Wasp Major 28-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 3,500 hp (2,600 kW) each

    • Maximum speed: 375 mph (604 km/h, 326 kn)
    • Cruise speed: 301 mph (484 km/h, 262 kn)
    • Range: 4,200 mi (6,800 km, 3,600 nmi)
    • Service ceiling: 32,000 ft (9,800 m)

Aircrafttoaal encyclopedia

The Israelis turned to Stratocruisers and KC-97s when they could not buy the preferred C-130. They adapted Boeing 377 Stratocruiser airliners into transports, including many using C-97 tail sections including the loading ramps.Others were adapted with swiveling tails and refueling pods