Our C-141A Starlifter, 61-2775, was the very first ever built and had its maiden flight on 17 December 1963, the 60th Anniversary of the Wright Brothers first flight. It spent its entire career as a test aircraft in numerous programs.
The last program this A model carried out was to test a new tension rope from NASA while towing a QF-106 in air. Below in the Gallery are a few images regarding the program.
Introduced to replace slower piston-engined cargo planes such as the C-124 Globemaster II, the C-141 was designed to requirements set in 1960 and first flew in 1963. Production deliveries of an eventual 285 planes began in 1965: 284 for the Air Force, and one for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for use as an airborne observatory.
The C-141 Starlifter was the workhorse of the Air Mobility Command from the 1970s into the early 2000s. The Starlifter fulfilled the vast spectrum of airlift requirements through its ability to airlift combat forces over long distances, delivering those forces and their equipment either by air, land or airdrop, resupply forces and transport the sick and wounded from the hostile area to advanced medical facilities.
|7 Sept 1963||First C-141A built—Completed as test aircraft C-141A, gained by Systems Command|
|17 Dec 1963||1st Flight|
|31 Mar 1964||Converted as test aircraft from C-141A to JC-141A|
|31 May 1967||Converted as test aircraft from JC-141A to C-141A|
|25 Sept 1969||Converted as test aircraft from C-141A to NC-141A|
|12 Dec 1969||Assigned as test aircraft, Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Systems Command.|
|30 Nov 1972||Assigned as test aircraft, 4950th Test Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Systems Command|
|4 Sept 1996||Assigned as NC-141A test aircraft, 4950th Test Wing, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Systems Command|