Convair C-131 Samaritan "1949"

The Convair C-131 is an American airliner that Convair manufactured from 1947 to 1954, initially as a possible replacement for the ubiquitous Douglas DC-3. Featuring a more modern design with cabin pressurization, the 131 series made some inroads as a commercial airliner, and had a long development cycle that produced various civil and military variants. Though reduced in numbers by attrition, various forms of the "Convairliners" continue to fly in the 21st century.

Convair C-131 Samaritan "1949"

Role Military transport
Manufacturer Convair
First flight 22 September 1949
Introduction 1950
Retired 1990
Primary users United States Air Force / United States Navy
United States Marine Corps
United States Coast Guard / Paraguayan Air Force
Number built 512
Developed from Convair CV-240

Consolidated / Convair Millitary aircraft

Convair / Consolidated / Vultee Aircraft

Convair B-36 Peacemaker (1946) – intercontinental bomber
Stinson 108 (1946) – general aviation aircraft
Consolidated B-24 – Consolidated PBY Catalina
Convair CV-240 (1947) Convair CV-340 Convair CV-440 Metropolitan
Convair C-131 Samaritan Convair CV-540 (1955) Convair CV-580
Convair CV-600 (1965) Convair CV-640 Convair CV 5800
Canadair CC-109 Cosmopolitan – licence built turboprop powered CV-440
Convair F-102 Delta Dagger (1953) – Convair B-58 Hustler (1956) – Convair F-106 Delta Dart (1956) –
Convair 880 (1959) – Convair 990 Coronado (1961) – Vultee BT-13 Valiant – Vultee A-13 Vengeance



C-131 Samaritan "1949"

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C-131 Samaritan "1949"

The Convair C-131 Samaritan is an American twin-engined military transport produced from 1954 to 1956 by Convair. It is the military version of the Convair CV-240 family of airliners.

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 CV-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 AirlinesContinental AirlinesPan American AirwaysKLMSabenaSwissair and Trans Australia Airlines.


The CV-240/340/440 series was used by the United States Air Force (USAF) for medical evacuation and VIP transport and was designated as C-131 Samaritan. The first model Samaritan, the C-131A, was derived from the CV-240 model, and was delivered to the USAF in 1954 The initial trainer model, designated the T-29, was also based on the Convair CV-240 and was used to instruct USAF navigators for all USAF aircraft and United States Navy (USN) Naval Flight Officers (NFOs) selected to fly land-based aircraft. The first deliveries to the USAF were made in 1950 followed by large production quantities until early 1955. The USAF and the USN operated T-29s in separate units at separate locations until 1976. In 1974, the USAF T-29s with the 323d Flying Training Wing (323 FTW) at Mather AFB, California began to be replaced by the Boeing 737-derived T-43.


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Convair C-131 Samaritan (1949)

From 1952, the USN and United States Marine Corps (USMC) took delivery of 36 R4Y-1 transport aircraft similar to the commercial CV-340 and USAF C-131D, configured with 44 passenger seats and powered by a pair of 2,500 hp (1,900 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-52W engines. A single otherwise similar aircraft was acquired with a 24-seat VIP interior and designated R4Y-1Z. In 1957, the USN took delivery of two additional aircraft similar to the commercial CV-440 and designated R4Y-2. With the 1962 redesignation of USN/USMC aircraft, the three types were redesignated as the C-131FVC-131F, and C-131G
 A number of R4Y-1 (C-131F) aircraft were converted to R4Y-1Z (VC-131F) or R4Y-2 (C-131G) standards after delivery, and several C-131F and C-131G aircraft were ultimately sold as military surplus and converted to civil use.


Crew: four

Capacity: 48 passengers

Length: 79 ft 2 in (24.14 m)

Wingspan: 105 ft 4 in (32.11 m)

Height: 28 ft 2 in (8.59 m)

Empty weight: 29,248 lb (13,294 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 47,000 lb (21,363 kg)

Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-2800-99 “Double Wasp” 18 cylinder air cooled radial engines, 2,500 hp (1,865 kW) each

Maximum speed: 293 mph (472 km/h, 255 kn)

Cruise speed: 254 mph (409 km/h, 221 kn)

Range: 450 mi (725 km, 391 nmi)

Service ceiling: 24,500 ft (7,470 m)

Rate of climb: 1,410 ft/min (7.2 m/s)

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A Samaritan was the first aircraft used as a flying gunship testbed in mid-1963, in a program known as "Project Tailchaser".[9] A C-131B (AF Ser. No. 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 overland tests were successful.

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