Navigating the C-124 Globemaster: In the Cockpit of America's First Strategic Heavy-Lift Aircraft

Navigating the C-124 Globemaster: In the Cockpit of America's First Strategic Heavy-Lift Aircraft

by Billy D. Higgins


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The C-124 Globemaster--a U.S. military heavy-lift transport in service 1950 through 1974--barreling down a runway was an awesome sight. The aircraft's four 3800 hp piston engines (the largest ever mass-produced), mounted on its 174-foot wingspan, could carry a 69,000-pound payload of tanks, artillery or other cargo, or 200 fully equipped troops, at more than 300 mph.
The flight crew, perched three stories above the landing gears in an unpressurized cockpit, relied, like Magellan, on celestial fixes to navigate over oceans. With a world-wide mission delivering troops and materials to such destinations as the Congo, Vietnam, Thule, Greenland and Antarctica, the Globemaster lived up to its name and was foundational to what Time magazine publisher Henry Luce termed the "American Century."
Drawing on archives, Air Force bases, libraries and accident sites, and his own recollections as a navigator, the author details Cold War confrontations and consequent strategies that emerged after Douglas Aircraft Company delivered the first C-124A to the Military Air Transport Service in 1949.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476677637
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 08/19/2019
Pages: 219
Sales rank: 775,094
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Billy D. Higgins teaches history at the University of Arkansas–Fort Smith.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Introduction 3

 1. “Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth…”: Rolling Takeoffs 11

 2. “Rush by air”: Building an Aluminum Overcast 23

 3. “The West Point of the Air”: Undergraduate Navigator Training 43

 4. “Ike’s Bluff”: The Cold War and Civil Wars 67

 5. “Hairy conditions”: Over the Oceans 83

 6. “Birthplace of Winds”: From Attu to Zaire 108

 7. “The Right Stuff”: Crewing Old Shaky 121

 8. “Fate Is the Hunter”: Mountains and Thunderstorms 141

 9. “Sorry ’bout that”: Korea and Vietnam 155

10. “The backbone of airlift”: Epilogue 177

Appendix: C-124 Globemaster Accidents Involving Loss of Life or Loss of Airplane 181

Chapter Notes 191

Bibliography 202

Index 207

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