C-119G Flying Boxcar

Serial Number: 10-870

The Flying Boxcar was developed by Fairchild in the 1940s as a specialized military freight aircraft for the US Army. From the 1940s and into the late 1960s, the C-119 was modified and redesigned as new technologies and uses evolved. Our boxcar is a G, the last major production model, powered with Wright R-3350 engines. 484 were built. It was used by the RCAF, as a fire bomber by Hawkins & Powers Aviation, and in the Richard Dreyfuss movie Always.


The C-119 Flying Boxcar, developed from the Fairchild C-82 Packet, was a twin-engine, twin-boom, twin-tail transport designed to carry cargo, personnel, litter patients, and mechanized equipment, and to drop cargo and troops by parachute (utilizing its “clamshell” cargo doors at the rear of the cabin).

The first C-119 made its maiden flight in November 1947 and by the time production ceased in 1955, more than 1,150 C-119s had been built. The USAF used the airplane extensively during the Korean Conflict as a transport. In South Vietnam, the airplane once again entered combat, this time in the ground support role as the AC-119G “Shadow” and AC-119K “Stinger” gunships mounting side-firing weapons capable of unleashing up to 6,000 rounds per minute per gun. When acting as a transport, the C-119 could carry up to 62 fully equipped troops or a 30,000 pound cargo load. Perhaps the Boxcar’s most notable feat happened when it made the world’s first mid-air recovery of a capsule returning from outer space. This occurred southwest of Honolulu, Hawaii on 19 August 1960 when it snagged the chute attached to the Discovery XIV satellite at an altitude of 8,000 feet.

  • Manufacturer: Fairchild Aircraft
  • First Flight: 17 November 1947
  • Retired: 1962
  • Crew: Pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer, loadmaster
  • Payload: 30,000 lbs; or 62 troops; or 35 stretchers
  • Length: 86 ft 6 in
  • Wingspan: 109 ft 3 in
  • Height: 26 ft 6 in
  • Empty Weight: 40,000 lbs
  • Loaded Weight: 64,000 lbs
  • Powerplant: 2x Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20 OR 2x Wright R-3350-85 Duplex Cyclone radials
  • Maximum Speed: 296 mph
  • Cruise Speed: 250 mph
  • Range: 2,280 mi
  • Service Ceiling: 23,900 ft
Assignment History

The assignment history for the Air Mobility Command Museum's C-119G Flying Boxcar, serial number 10-870:

Date Location
15 Apr 1953 Transferred to Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
16 Apr 1953 to 436 Squadron, Air Transport Command (ATC), RCAF Dorval, Montreal, Quebec
Dec 1955 to 4 Operation Training Unit, RCAF Dorval, Montreal, Quebec
22 Nov 1956 to 114 Communications FLight, Capodichino, Italy (United Nations Forces in Egypt); flew shuttle flights between Capodichino and Abu Sueir, Egypt, during Suez Crisis
Apr 1957 to 10 Technical Services Detachment, Edmonton, Alberta (received AN/APS-42 radar in an enlarged nose); returned to 114th Communications Flight after modifications completed
Apr 1958 Transferred to 436 Squadron, Air Transport Command, RCAF Downsview, Ottawa, Ontario
Oct 1962 to Central Experimental and Proving Establishment, RCAF Downsview, Ottawa, Ontario
25 Aug 1965 transferred to the Crown Assets Disposal Corporation (CADC) for storage and sale
1969 Sold to Hawkins & Powers, Greybull, WY, registered N3559 (Hawkins & Power A/C #137) and converted to aerial tanker for firefighting
20 Mar 1972 Steward-Davis Jet-Pak 3402 (Westinghouse J-34 jet engine) installed above fuselage
Oct 1991 Flown to Air Mobility Command Museum (then Dover AFB Museum), Dover AFB, DE
Summer 2004 Restoration began


  • I was a radio operator on c-119’s in 53 &54 @ Mitchell in N.Y. & Sewart in TN. went to Fairchild & Kaiser to pick up new aircraft. Kaiser was always 2 or 3 models behind Fairchild the early models all had 4360’s later models all had 3350 compounds. F &G models by Fairchild had a monorail & bomb bay doors

  • I was reading the information about the C-119 . I was a flight engineer on the C-119G at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. I have more that 1,500 hours in the bird. The power plant was W3350-89A . The airplanes did not have the R4360-20. The plane that had that engine was the C-124,because I was a flight engineer on that airplane also.

    Thank you

    Dennis Jacobs

    • Hi Dennis,

      Depending on who constructed the C-119 determined the type of engine that was used. Fairchild obviously built the majority of the C-119s while Henry Kaiser, a contractor, built F-model C-119s. Fairchild used the P&W R-4360 engine while Kaiser opted for the Wright R-3350s. Kaiser ended up building 71 C-119s (AF Serial Numbers 51-8098 to 51-8168).

      The museum’s C-119 was an F-model converted to a G and it does have the R-3350 engines.

      Thanks for your comment!

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