Fairchild XC-120 Pack Plane

1949

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Fairchild XC-120 Pack Plane

Conversion of one C-119B to meet USAF requirement for an experimental detachable-fuselage transport; C-119B wings and tail surfaces combined with new upper fuselage component with a flat surface; lower component with flat upper surface, and incorporating cargo compartment, could be mated with the Packplane; flight deck in upper component; the type could be flown with or without pack and it was intended that various packs for different military operations would be provided; first flown on 11 August 1950; no production contract followed military evaluation.

Specification 
 MODELXC-120
 CREW5
 PASSENGERS66
 ENGINE2 x Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20, 2435kW
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan33.3 m109 ft 3 in
  Length25.3 m83 ft 0 in
  Height7.6 m25 ft 11 in

Comments
marinerg6, e-mail, 03.01.2021 18:20

This "flying container-ship" actually pre-dated the sea-going container-ships which have revolutionized the transportation industry. Unfortunately, not only was this aircraft ahead of its' time, but it came out just as the Korean War began, due to which advanced projects such as this were given a very low priority. Another problem with the XC-120 was that, without the "pack" in place, the aircraft's flying characteristics' deteriorated, becoming dangerously unstable.

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Skylab72, e-mail, 25.04.2016 19:11

Ran some wind tunnel runs with a model of this acft. A good description of the fuselage without the "packet" would be a "poorly designed airfoil". The stability issues were due to significant turbulence aft of that airfoil, which disrupted the effectiveness of the horizontal stabilizer, and to a lesser extent the vertical stabilizers because of interaction with the horizontal planes. On the model we "solved" the problem by moving the horizontal stabilizer to the top of the vertical fins, rather like an OV-10 Bronco. Some rather minor reshaping of the fuselage then resulted in a model that was near impossible to stall. The design had potential that was never explored.

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stephen russell, e-mail, 11.08.2012 20:54

Saw jet mode in movie Journey to the Far Side of the Sun & in Thunderbirds TV show for Thunderbird 2
Viable Today for sure.

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bee-plane, e-mail, 07.04.2012 12:36

we are launching bee-plane project and are looking for XC-120 information. Please contact us !

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Erik Hertzer, e-mail, 07.12.2011 06:32

Was the only prototype scrapped or does it exist anywhere...?

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Chris J, e-mail, 26.10.2011 00:46

@JIm Winnie did you feel like the landing gear was unstable

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Noname, e-mail, 31.03.2020 10:24

Glad they only made one.

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JIm Winnie, e-mail, 22.12.2009 16:37

I flew in this aircraft as a flight engineer in 1950 at Eglin Air Force Base testing the aircraft. I found it to be very unstable without the fuselage on it. Glad they only made one.

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