C-9A/C Nightingale

Serial Number: 67-22584

The C-9A, known as the Nightingale, was developed to fill the need for an aero medical evacuation (medevac) aircraft. The Air Force purchased 20 C-9As to replace older propeller driven medevac planes.

This plane, serial number 67-22584, was the first C-9A delivered to the Military Airlift Command in 1968 and was retired from the Air Mobility Command (AMC) in August 2005 after 37 years of outstanding service. It was delivered by a crew from the 932nd Airlift Wing Stationed at Scott AFB, Illinois.


The C-9A Nightingale is a modified version of the McDonnell Douglas’s DC-9. It is the only aircraft in the inventory specifically designed for the movement of litter and ambulatory patients. The C-9A’s airlift capability to carry 40 litter patients or 40 ambulatory and four litter patients, or combinations of those, provides the flexibility for AMC’s worldwide aero medical evacuation role.

In addition to speed, quiet and comfort for patients, the aircraft has many special features for the care of patients:

  • Hydraulically operated folding ramp, which allows for efficient loading and unloading of litter patients and special medical equipment.
  • Ceiling receptacles for securing intravenous bottles.
  • A special care area with a separate ventilation system for patients requiring isolation or intensive care.
  • Eleven vacuum and therapeutic oxygen outlets, positioned in sidewall service panels at litter tier locations.
  • A 28 VDC outlet located in the special care area. Twenty-two 115 VAC-60 hertz electrical outlets, located throughout the cabin, permit the use of cardiac monitors, respirators, incubators and infusion pumps at any location within the cabin.
  • A medical refrigerator for preserving whole blood and biological drugs.
  • A medical supply work area with sink, medicine storage section and work table, fore and aft galleys and lavatories.
  • Aft-facing commercial airline seats for ambulatory patients.
  • A medical crew director’s station with desk, communication panel and a control panel to monitor cabin temperature, therapeutic oxygen and vacuum systems.
  • An auxiliary power unit that provides electrical power for uninterrupted cabin air conditioning, quick servicing during en route stops and self-starting for the twin engines.


  • Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
  • First Flight: 1968
  • Retired: September 2005
  • Crew: Pilot, co-pilot, flight mechanic, two flight nurses and three aeromedical technicians
  • Payload: 30-40 stretcher patients; or 40 ambulatory patients
  • Length: 119 ft 4 in
  • Wingspan: 93 ft 5 in
  • Height: 27 ft 6 in
  • Empty Weight: 57,068 lbs
  • Loaded Weight: 120,747 lbs
  • Powerplant: 2x Pratt & Whitney JT-8D-9 turbofans
  • Maximum Speed: 562 mph
  • Cruise Speed: 504 mph
  • Range: 2,063 mi
  • Service Ceiling: 33,400 ft
Assignment History

The assignment history for the Air Mobility Command Museum's C-9A/C Nightingale, serial number 67-22584:

Date Location
Aug 1968 to 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing (MAC), Scott AFB, IL
Jun 1984 to 374th Tactical Airlift Wing (MAC), Clark AB, Philippines
Jun 1989 to 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing (MAC), Scott AFB, IL
Sep 1991 to 435th Airlift Wing, Rhein-Main AB, Germany
Aug 1992 to 375th Airlift Wing, Scott AFB, IL
Dec 2003 to 932nd Airlift Wing, Air Force Reserve, Scott AFB, IL
Aug 2005 to Air Mobility Command Museum, Dover AFB, DE for display


  • Michael,
    Which years did you serve as a Flt. Mech? I was a Flt Mech from 1981-1985
    Kevin Elizondo

  • The max ceiling was 37,000 ft. I still have my T.O.

  • Michael Milligan

    Every time I look at the pictures of these I get a tear in my eye. What a great job I had as a flt mech out of Scott AFB! Over 2800 hrs in these. I wish I could go back and do it all over again. Great mission, great crews!

    • I have flown many hours on this aircraft as an Aeromedical Technician. Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Hawaii, and throughout the United States. Being attached to a Reserve unit we thought it was odd to change colors of our flight suits from OD green to blue, but the experiences acquired flying a hospital equipped aircraft with patients will last in my memory and pictures forever.

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