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The Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, nicknamed "Old Shaky", is a retired American heavy-lift cargo aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California.

Douglas C-124 Globemaster

The Douglas C-124 Globemaster II, nicknamed “Old Shaky”, is a retired American heavy-lift cargo aircraft built by the Douglas Aircraft Company in Long Beach, California.

The C-124 was the primary heavy-lift transport for United States Air Force Military Air Transport Service (MATS) during the 1950s and early 1960s, until the Lockheed C-141 Starlifter entered service. It served in MATS-gained, later Military Airlift Command (MAC)-gained, units of the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard until 1974.


Douglas Aircraft developed the C-124 from 1947 to 1949, from a prototype they created from a World War II–design Douglas C-74 Globemaster, and based on lessons learned during the Berlin Airlift. The aircraft was powered by four large R-4360 piston engines producing 3,800 hp (2,800 kW) each. The C-124’s design featured two large clamshell doors and a hydraulically actuated ramp in the nose as well as a cargo elevator under the aft fuselage. The C-124 was capable of carrying 68,500 lb (31,100 kg) of cargo, and the 77 ft (23 m) cargo bay featured two overhead hoists, each capable of lifting 8,000 lb (3,600 kg).

Douglas Transport


RoleHeavy-lift military transport aircraft
ManufacturerDouglas Aircraft Company
First flight27 November 1949
Retired1974 (USAF)
Primary userUnited States Air Force
Number built448
Developed fromDouglas C-74 Globemaster
Developed intoDouglas C-132 (Unbuilt)



The C-124 first flew on 27 November 1949, with the C-124A being delivered from May 1950. The C-124C was next, featuring more powerful engines, and an APS-42 weather radar fitted in a “thimble”-like structure on the nose. Wingtip-mounted combustion heaters were added to heat the cabin, and enable wing and tail surface deicing. The C-124As were later equipped with these improvements.

One C-124C, 52-1069, c/n 43978, was used as a JC-124C, for testing the 15,000 shp (11,000 kW) Pratt & Whitney XT57 (PT5) turboprop, which was installed in the nose

Specifications (C-124)

General characteristics

  • Crew: 6 or 7: Aircraft Commander, Pilot, Navigator, Flight Engineer, Radio Operator, 2 Loadmasters
  • Capacity: 200 troops / 123 litter patients with 45 ambulatory patients and 15 medical staff. Maximum payload 74,000 lb (34,000 kg)
  • Length: 130 ft 5 in (39.75 m)
  • Wingspan: 174 ft 1.5 in (53.073 m)
  • Height: 48 ft 3.5 in (14.719 m)
  • Wing area: 2,506 sq ft (232.8 m2)
  • Empty weight: 101,165 lb (45,888 kg)
  • Gross weight: 185,000 lb (83,915 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 194,500 lb (88,224 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 11,128 US gal (9,266 imp gal; 42,120 l) ; 2x 30 US gal (25 imp gal; 110 l) water/alcohol tanks
  • Powerplant: 4 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-63A Wasp Major 28-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engines, 3,800 hp (2,800 kW) each with water/alcohol injection
  • Propellers: 3-bladed Curtiss Model C634S-C402, 16 ft 6 in (5.03 m) diameter fully-feathering reversible-pitch constant-speed propeller


  • Maximum speed: 304 mph (489 km/h, 264 kn) at 20,800 ft (6,300 m)
  • Cruise speed: 230 mph (370 km/h, 200 kn)
  • Range: 4,030 mi (6,490 km, 3,500 nmi) with 4,030 lb (1,830 kg) payload
  • Ferry range: 6,820 mi (10,980 km, 5,930 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 21,800 ft (6,600 m)
  • Rate of climb: 760 ft/min (3.9 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 73.8 lb/sq ft (360 kg/m2)
  • Power/mass: 0.041 hp/lb (0.067 kW/kg)

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An air force, also known in some countries as an aerospace force or air army, is in the broadest sense, the national military branch that primarily conducts aerial warfare.