Curtiss C-46 Commando
|Papel||Aeronaves de transporte militar|
|Primeiro voo||26 March 1940|
O Curtiss C-46 Commando is a transport aircraft derived from the Curtiss CW-20 pressurised high-altitude airliner design. Early press reports used the name ‘Condor III’ but the Commando name was in use by early 1942 in company publicity. It was used as a military transport during World War II by the United States Army Air Forces and also the U.S. Navy/Marine Corps, which used the designation R5C. The C-46 served in a similar role to its Douglas-built counterpart, the C-47 Skytrain, but it was not as extensively produced as the latter.
|Curtiss C-46D Commando Walk Around|
|Curtiss C-46D-10-CU Commando Walk Around|
|Localização||Museu Castle AFB|
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The Curtiss C-46 Commando was a twin-engine transport aircraft used by the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and the Korean War. It was designed to carry cargo, troops, or passengers, and could operate from short and unimproved airstrips. The C-46 was the largest and heaviest twin-engine aircraft to see service with the USAAF, and was capable of flying over the Himalayas, earning the nickname “The Hump”.
The C-46 was developed from the Curtiss CW-20, a civilian airliner that first flew in 1940. The USAAF ordered 200 C-46s in 1941, and later increased the order to over 3,000. The C-46 had a pressurized cabin, a large cargo door, and a reinforced floor. It could carry up to 40 passengers or 15,000 pounds of cargo. The C-46 was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial engines, giving it a top speed of 270 mph and a range of 1,200 miles.
The C-46 saw extensive service in the China-Burma-India theater, where it was used to supply the Allied forces fighting against the Japanese. The C-46 could fly over the high mountains of the Himalayas, where the weather was unpredictable and dangerous. The C-46 also flew missions in Europe, North Africa, and the Pacific. It was used for paratroop drops, glider towing, medical evacuation, and VIP transport.
After the war, the C-46 continued to serve with the USAAF and later the US Air Force until 1968. It was also used by other air forces around the world, such as China, Japan, Brazil, and Canada. Many C-46s were sold to civilian operators and converted into cargo or passenger planes. Some C-46s are still flying today as museum pieces or in remote areas.
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