View Full Version : The last C-133.....

31st Aug 2008, 22:57
I haven't seen this on Pprune, so for those of you who might be interested..

Air Show Buzz (http://www.airshowbuzz.com/videos/view.php?v=7027bddd)

Apparently this flight took place last thursday Aug 28th, from Anchorage to Travis AFB in California to become part of a permanent static display.
Lovely to hear the sound of the old engines humming away and to my mind so very similar to the Shorts Belfast.



1st Sep 2008, 02:05
I once knew a USAF pilot (Maj. Seldge, IIRC) who was glad to see them retired. He said nearly every month he had some sort of significant malfunction in them.

But for the day they carried cargo that would fit in no other a/c. And the T34 was the largest US turboprop engine.

galaxy flyer
1st Sep 2008, 02:30
Not bad compared to the C-5. I once had a Chapter 3 Emergency procedure run on every major system. Lost a hydraulic system, shut down an engine, emergency extended the gear and couldn't start an APU in the chocks. Just another day at Lockheed.


I think I shut down about 12 engines total, not one for an engine problem-oil leaks, hyd leaks, thrust reverser unlocked, etc.

1st Sep 2008, 15:04
That video is apparently the arrival at McChord AFB, which is just south of Tacoma, WA, that greenery is not apparent here in N. California where Travis AFB is located, especially at this time of the year.
Nice "firm" arrival there !!:ok:
If anyone knows its intended arrival date/time in Travis please give me a "heads-up" as its only 45 minutes away from me, thanks.

1st Sep 2008, 15:09
Fleigle - sorry to do this, but it arrived yesterday during the airshow.

1st Sep 2008, 16:44
That video is apparently the arrival at McChord AFB, which is just south of Tacoma, WA, that greenery is not apparent here in N. California where Travis AFB is located, especially at this time of the year

You are of course correct fliegle, I sit (stand) corrected :) That's a real shame to have missed it, being that you live so close to it's end destination. I had almost the same situation a year or so ago with the Qantas B707 that was being ferried to Long Reach in Australia from the UK and was close enough to DUB to rush up there and witness and film it's arrival (thanks in part to Pprune for the heads up). It's always sad when these aircraft make their last flight, even if they are only metal and rivets and wires.....:(



1st Sep 2008, 17:36
Bugger !!!!

I went past there last week on the bike, returning from a fast trip to the mountains.
Ah well c'est la vie.:{

1st Sep 2008, 19:22
Two of my UPT classmates got these as initial assignments. They said they became very proficient using the Emergency/Abnormal checklist.

What a great shot... great sound.

2nd Sep 2008, 12:45
by John M. Lacomia
60th Air Mobility Wing History Office

8/29/2008 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- It is in very rare
instances that a person gets to see the last of something occur in front
of their very eyes. This will be the case on Aug. 30 during the 2008
Travis Air Expo, when the last Douglas C-133 "Cargomaster" flies from
Alaska to Travis. Thousands of spectators will be on hand to witness
this historic last flight of an aircraft whose lifespan has spanned over
six decades. The C-133 flew at Travis from 1958 until its departure in

The Cargomaster was the largest turboprop transport to be used by the
United States Air Force. At over 157 feet along with a wingspan of 179
feet, plus its four Pratt and Whitney T34-P-7WA engines were rated each
at 6,500 horsepower and enabled the aircraft to do what was considered
impossible at the time. There were only 50 Cargomasters produced; 35 "A
Models" and 15 "B Models." It was the first aircraft in Air Force
history to go directly into production without any prototypes.

The aircraft was flown only at Travis and Dover Air Force Bases for the
1501st (later the 60 MAW) and 1607th (later the 436 MAW) Air Transport
Wings. Three squadrons flew the aircraft that included the 1st, 39th and
84th Air Transport Squadron (later military airlift squadrons).

As a result of its design, the C-133 was capable of carrying large
payloads that included transporting the Atlas, Titan and Minuteman
ballistic missiles. The C-133 would also do work for NASA transporting
Atlas, Saturn and Titan rockets to Cape Canaveral as the launch booster
for the Gemini, Mercury and then the Apollo space programs.

The first C-133A arrived at Travis on Oct. 17, 1958 and was dubbed the
"State of California" and was assigned to the 84th Air Transport
Squadron of the 1501st Air Transport Wing. The last Cargomaster a C-133B
departed Travis on July 30, 1971 for the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in

The C-133A (Tail Number 56-1999) was assigned to Travis from February
thru November 1960. It is the last Cargomaster in flyable condition and
will become a permanent static display at the Travis Air Museum.

N199AB as it was re-dubbed on Dec. 6, 1975 was purchased by Maurice
Carlson for the Cargomaster Corporation and was flown to Alaska to haul
cargo for the Alaskan Pipeline. Forty-eight years after its departure
from Travis, it will return to a base that it called home for the last

3rd Sep 2008, 13:15
I took this poor quality, but interesting photo at Lajes in January or February 1958. This was the first visit by a C133 and I believe it was a on a proving flight.


3rd Sep 2008, 18:48
I am delighted to hear that the old girl made it from Anchorage to Travis without incident. It must have been a whole lot of fun (and relief) for the crew.

The C-133 did not have the happiest of careers. More than one disappeared without trace and I seem to remember that the one that ditched somewhere in the vicinity of Japan and from which some survivors emerged, were able to tell that it was an electrical fault which had caused all four propellers to feather.

Certainly, that would be an event that would be guaranteed to get your attention.

One of the instructors on my conversion to the Short Belfast had done an exchange tour with the USAF on the C-133 and I can well remember his response to ATC going into one USAF base;

ATC: "Jeez, what's a Short Belfast?"

Andy: "Well, it's a bit like your C-133 only our one works!"

P.S. At the risk of being boring the other American classic was:

ATC: "What did you say that was?"

Aircraft: "A Short Belfast".

ATC: "Jeez, if that's a Short Belfast then I would hate to see the long one".

3rd Sep 2008, 19:49
G'day Chaps

I had the unpleasant experience of watching a M.A.T.S. C-133A stall and crash a couple of hundred feet in front of me at 17:05 hours local on the 7th of November 1964 at Goose Bay, Labrador. Seven crewmen were killed. They had been de-iced twice and the A/C waved off the third so they could depart and make up time to their destination at Sonderstrom Air Base, Greenland. The aircraft struck the ground left wing first beside a 100,000 gallon above ground fuel tank. There was a terrific fire ball and in the blink of an eye, I was hit by the blast concussion. Nasty to say the least!!!

3rd Sep 2008, 20:56
I had the unpleasant experience of watching a M.A.T.S. C-133A stall and crash a couple of hundred feet in front of me

I believe the C-133 was the recepient of a large number of vortex generators installed spanwise on the upper wing surface during the original development program, in an attempt to correct handling issues in the stall. These VG's became perfect ice catchers, of course, which became the presumed cause of several losses, if I am not mistaken.

Brian Abraham
4th Sep 2008, 01:37
C-133 accidents listed here c133bunits (http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/c133bcargomaster/c133baccidents.html)

Keith Breazeal
6th Mar 2009, 07:00
I shot several interior/exterior shots Sunday morning at the Travis show. While shooting, I met one of the original crew members that came to see it. Man, the C-133 has had some tough times. I dedicated a separate gallery to it on my site. ( Douglas C-133A Cargomaster | Keith Breazeal Video Productions (http://www.kbvp.com/image/tid/709) )

here's one of the photos:


7th Mar 2009, 13:25
Check out the instruments and the layout. On the Captain's side note the biggest and most central location is occupied by a HUGE compass. When I first went into KC-135s, they still had this layout in 1970 and it was the tail end of the era of the GCA. With that big compass you could easily see 1-2 deg heading changes. It was amazing to see the different ways guys used that big ball. Some would put the runway heading at the top and you would then basically 'see' the pattern you were flying. Others REQUIRED the current heading to always be at the 12 position.

When we got the super-duper wowie-zowie COLLINS FD-109A flight director, the old heads scoffed and said, "Flight DIRECTOR? Hell, it don't direct anything and it sure as hell ain't needed! .... just another crutch for a p*ss poor instrument pilot!" Harumph.

Long time ago.

Two guys in my UPT class got -133s. They later got -141s. Must have been a big change.

8th Mar 2009, 01:00
I flew her for about 3000 hrs and never had a comfortable minute. We never believed the theories about why they crashed, whether in the local pattern or over the ocean. She was a good trainer for dozens of 3 engine landings and one circumnavigation without an autopilot. She also had the distinction of being the only 4 engine aircraft in the world that required 3 consecutive simulated dead stick-landings(all engines out) to check out in the left seat.

8th Mar 2009, 04:01
I remember when I was in the USAF I was told that the C-133's were restricted, in that they could carry cargo only, no passengers. In reading the site on C-133 crashes it must have been true as only causalities were crew.

India Four Two
8th Mar 2009, 04:29

Welcome to PPRuNe.

She also had the distinction of being the only 4 engine aircraft in the world that required 3 consecutive simulated dead stick-landings(all engines out) to check out in the left seat.

It sounds like you might have some interesting stories. I encourage you to post more information.

8th Mar 2009, 14:49
We were prohibited from carrying passengers, even additional crew members(ACM). I flew her out of Dover 1966-69, flying all over the world. The Air Force was reluctant to let us fly off the beaten path because of the difficulty of maintenance support. A 10 day trip from Dover to SEA and return would accumulate 80-90 hours flying time and from my experience usually included a 3 engine landing somewhere. Normally, engine shutdowns were a result of prop problems.