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Douglas YC-15 Demo

The McDonnell Douglas YC-15 is a prototype four-engine short take-off and landing (STOL) tactical transport. It was McDonnell Douglas' entrant into the United States Air Force's Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) competition to replace the Lockheed C-130 Hercules as the USAF's standard STOL tactical transport. In the end, neither the YC-15 nor the Boeing YC-14 was ordered into production, although the YC-15's basic design would be used to form the successful McDonnell Douglas (later Boeing) C-17 Globemaster III.

Douglas: YC-15 Transport

Role Tactical airlifter
Manufacturer McDonnell Douglas
First flight 26 August 1975
Status Retired
Number built 2
Developed into C-17 Globemaster III

McDonnell/Douglas

Douglas Aircraft

The McDonnell Douglas YC-15 is a prototype four-engine short take-off and landing (STOL) tactical transport.

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McDonnell/Douglas YC-15 Transport

The McDonnell Douglas YC-15 is a prototype four-engine short take-off and landing (STOL) tactical transport. It was McDonnell Douglas‘ entrant into the United States Air Force‘s Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) competition to replace the Lockheed C-130 Hercules as the USAF’s standard STOL tactical transport. In the end, neither the YC-15 nor the Boeing YC-14 was ordered into production, although the YC-15’s basic design would be used to form the successful McDonnell Douglas (later Boeing) C-17 Globemaster III.

Design

In 1968, the USAF started work on a series of prototype proposals, which would lead to both the AMST project and the Light Weight Fighter. The official Request for proposal (RFP) was issued in January 1972, asking for operations into a 2,000-foot (610 m) semi-prepared field with a 27,000-pound (12,000 kg) payload and a 400-nautical-mile (460 mi; 740 km) mission radius.[1] For comparison, the C-130 of that era required about 4,000 feet (1,200 m) for this load. Proposals were submitted by BellBoeingFairchildMcDonnell Douglas and the Lockheed/North American Rockwell team at this stage of the competition. On 10 November 1972, the two top bids (from Boeing and McDonnell Douglas) were selected. The companies were awarded development contracts for two prototypes each. McDonnell Douglas’ prototype was designated YC-15

Operators

Two YC-15s were built, one with a wingspan of 110 feet (34 m) (#72-1876) and one of 132 feet (40 m) (#72-1875). Both were 124 feet (38 m) long and powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17 engines, each with 15,500 pounds-force (69,000 N) of thrust.

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Douglas YC-15 Transport (1975)

Two YC-15s were built, one with a wingspan of 110 feet (34 m) (#72-1876) and one of 132 feet (40 m) (#72-1875). Both were 124 feet (38 m) long and powered by four Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17 engines, each with 15,500 pounds-force (69,000 N) of thrust.

The first flight was on 26 August 1975.[6] The second prototype followed in December. They were tested for some time at McDonnell Douglas as the Boeing entry was not ready until almost a year later. In November 1976, both designs were transferred to Edwards Air Force Base for head-to-head testing, including lifting heavy loads like tanks and artillery from dirt airfields at Graham Ranch, off the end of Runway 22.

Specifications

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • Capacity: Up to 150 troops or 78,000 lb (35,000 kg) 
  • Length: 124 ft 3 in (37.9 m)
  • Wingspan: 110 ft 3 in or 132 ft 7 in (33.6 or 40.4 m)
  • Height: 43 ft 4 in (13.2 m)
  • Empty weight: 105,000 lb (47,600 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 216,680 lb (98,285 kg)
  • Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney JT8D-17 turbofans, 16,000 lbf (71 kN) thrust each

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 322 mph (518 km/h, 280 kn) at 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
  • Cruise speed: 198 mph (319 km/h, 172 kn)
  • Range: 1,316 mi (2,118 km, 1,144 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 28,500 ft (8,700 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,850 ft/min (14.5 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 46.6 lb/sq ft (228 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.149 hp/lb (0.245 kW/kg)

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