Kit #AA2082. 1/72 scale. This is
a highly-detailed resin kit of the Lockheed
C-141B Starlifter, an upgraded and remanufactured version of the first
purpose-built all-jet cargo aircraft, complete with decals.
In 1960, the U.S. Air Force
issued a requirement for a jet powered strategic AND tactical transport aircraft
that could rapidly move U.S. Army troops or military cargo anywhere in the
world. In stiff competition with Douglas, Boeing and General Dynamics, Lockheed’s
Model 300 design was approved for design - five test-aircraft were ordered. In
1965, the first operational C-141As were delivered to units of the Military Air
Transport Service, and they were quickly pressed into service as strategic
airlifters in Southeast Asia.
In 1977 MAC initiated a cargo
capacity upgrade program for its C-141A fleet, stretching the cargo compartment
and adding an in-flight refueling system. This stretched, remanufactured C-141A
was designated C-141B.
The YC-141B conversion – with two
fuselage plugs added 23.3 feet to the cargo compartment and in-flight refueling
giving the planes Trans-Pacific range – proved their worth and the design was
accepted. A total of 270 C-141B conversions were remanufactured, with the
process being completed in June 1982. The conversion program came through ahead
of schedule and under budget, and gave MAC an increased airlift capacity that
was the lift-equivalent to 90 added C-141As. After the Gulf War, 63 C-141Bs were
remanufactured again, with glass cockpit technology and improved equipment. These upgraded aircraft – not visibly
different from the C-141Bs – were redesignated C-141C.