C-133B Cargomaster

Serial Number: 59-0536

The C-133 Cargomaster that so many worked so hard to bring to the AMC Museum is a reality. The success of the C-133 veterans in raising enough money for the reassembly of the plane, the hard work of the volunteers and the thousands of manhours, and the determination of the museum and its foundation to place a Cargomaster in the collection has paid off!


Conceived as an air transport for America’s large missiles, the C-133 was designed to meet the requirements for the USAF’s Logistic Carrier Support System. The C-133 Cargomaster was developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company and first flown on 23 April 1956. It was the largest turboprop transport ever to be accepted by the U.S. Air Force. In 1958, C-133s began flying MATS air routes throughout the world, and two Dover based C-133s established transatlantic speed records for transport aircraft on their first flights to Europe. The fleet of 50 aircraft proved itself invaluable during the Vietnam War, but fatigue problems led to their withdrawal from service in 1971.

The aircraft differed considerably from the C-74 and C-124 Globemasters that had preceded it. A high-mounted wing, external blister fairings on each side for the landing gear, and rear-loading and side-loading doors ensured that access to, and the volume of, the large cargo compartment were not compromised by these structures.

The cargo compartment (97 feet 4 inches length and 13 feet 4 inches high) was pressurized, heated, and ventilated. The Cargomaster had a 13,000 cubic foot cargo area with floor tie-down facilities permitting installation of 200 airline-type seats.

The C-133 could accommodate 110,000 pounds of cargo or a fully-assembled Thor, Jupiter or Atlas ballistic missile. Cargo was loaded via a two-section rear door assembly, the lower section formed a ramp for drive-on/drive-off capability, or by a cargo door on the port side of the forward fuselage. The C-133 was able to accept practically every type of vehicle in service with the U.S. Army.

The Cargomaster went directly into production as C-133A; no prototypes were built. The first C-133As were delivered to the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) in August 1957 at Dover. A total of 35 were built: the last three having a “clamshell” rear door assembly which increased the compartment length by 3 feet, making it possible to airlift completely assembled Titan missiles. These were followed by 15 C-133B aircraft that retained the “clamshell” doors and incorporated more powerful engines.


  • Manufacturer: Douglas Aircraft
  • First Flight: 23 April 1956
  • Retired: 1971
  • Crew: Two pilots, navigator, two flight engineers, loadmaster
  • Payload: 110,000 lbs
  • Length: 157 ft 5 in
  • Wingspan: 179 ft 7 in
  • Height: 48 ft 3 in
  • Empty Weight: 120,109 lbs
  • Loaded Weight: 285,406 lbs
  • Powerplant: 4x Pratt & Whitney T34-P-9W turboprops
  • Maximum Speed: 346 mph
  • Cruise Speed: 310 mph
  • Range: 2,245 mi
  • Service Ceiling: 20,000 ft
Assignment History

The assignment history for the Air Mobility Command Museum's C-133B Cargomaster, serial number 59-0536:

Date Location
22 Mar 1961 Delivered to the USAF
Apr 1961 To 1501st Air Transport Wing (Military Air Transport Service), Travis AFB, CA
Jan 1966 Unit became 60th Military Airlift Wing
Jun 1971 To 3902nd Air Base Wing (Strategic Air Command), Offutt AFB, NE
Dec 1971 Dropped from inventory by transfer to school or museum

1 Comment

  • Richard Morrison Sr.

    I was stationed at Dover AFB, Delaware from Nov 1954 until April 1961, assigned to the 1607th Periodic Maintenance Squadron, first as an administrative clerk in the Orderly room, and then became Chief Clerk at 1607th Periodic Maintenance Squadron working on the Flight Line behind the large Black hanger. Anyone who may be associated with the AMC Museum who may have worked in the 1607th, please contact me at this e-mail address. Thanks.

    Pastor Richard Morrison Sr.
    Billings, Montana

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

All comments are reviewed before being posted.
Please check "I'm not a robot" before clicking Send.