posted Sep 14, 2013, 4:11 PM by Woodrow Hall
updated Sep 14, 2013, 5:20 PM
'stretched' C-141s in 1979
by Mark Wilderman
60th Air Mobility Wing History Office
8/25/2011 - TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- On Aug. 14, 1979, the
60th Military Airlift Wing sent the first of its 39 Lockheed C-141A Starlifter
aircraft to the Lockheed-Georgia plant near Dobbins Air Force Base, Marietta,
Ga., to be upgraded, or "stretched."
When the C-141A first entered service in April 1965,
it became apparent that the aircraft's volume capacity was low compared to its
lifting capacity. In other words, the C-141A ran out of physical cargo space
before reaching its weight-carrying limit.
The stretch consisted of adding a 160-inch fuselage
plug in front of the wing and 120-inch fuselage plug behind the wing,
increasing the length of the cargo deck by 23 feet 4 inches. In addition, the
upgrade included the installation of an air refueling receptacle on the upper
fuselage, just behind the cockpit. The modified aircraft were designated
By stretching the 270 C-141s in the Military Airlift
Command fleet, the Air Force gained capability equal to an additional 90 new
aircraft, plus increased range from the new air refueling capability.
On April 11, 1980, the first C-141B assigned to an
operational wing in Military Airlift Command arrived at Travis, sporting the
new gray and green "Lizard" camouflage scheme more suitable for
combat operations. The last of MAC's 270 C-141 conversions was completed in
C-141s operated at Travis from 1965 to 1997, bridging
the gap between the piston-powered Douglas C-124 Globemaster II and the Boeing
C-17A Globemaster III. The Travis C-141s were retired in December 1997.
One of the 13 surviving C-141s, "The Golden
Bear," is on display here at the corner of Burgan Boulevard and Travis