C-141B Starlifter

This is part of the museum's First, Last, and Only aircraft—View the others

Our C-141B Starlifter, 64-0626, was the very last C-141 stationed here at Dover AFB, retiring in February 1996.


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.

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 proved to “bulk out” before it “massed out”, meaning that it often had additional lift capacity that went wasted because the cargo hold was too full. To correct the perceived deficiencies of the original model and utilize the C-141 to the fullest of its capabilities, the entire fleet of 270 in-service C-141As were stretched, adding needed payload volume. These modified aircraft were designated C-141B. Additional fuselage “plug” sections were added before and after the wings, lengthening the fuselage by 23 ft 4 in (7.11 m) and allowing the carriage of 103 litters for wounded, 13 standard pallets, 205 troops, 168 paratroopers, or an equivalent increase in other loads. Also added at this time was a boom receptacle for inflight refueling. The conversion program took place between 1977 and 1982, with first delivery taking place in December 1979. It was estimated that this stretching program was the equivalent of buying 90 new aircraft, in terms of increased capacity.

The aircraft remained in service for almost 40 years until the USAF withdrew the C-141 from service on 5 May 2006, replacing the aircraft with the C-17 Globemaster III.


Serial Number: 64-0626
First Flight:
17 December 1963
6 May 2006
Crew: Two pilots, two flight engineers, one navigator, one loadmaster; five medical crew on medevac missions
Payload: 70,697 lbs
Powerplant: 4x Pratt & Whitney TF33-P-7 turbofans
168 ft 3 in
159 ft 11 in
39 ft 3 in
Empty Weight:
153,350 lbs
Loaded Weight:
342,100 lbs
Maximum Speed:
567 mph
Cruise Speed:
495 mph
Range: 2,935 mi
Service Ceiling: 41,000 ft
AMC Museum Restoration Crew Chief: Gary Kutsch

Assignment History

The assignment history for the Air Mobility Command Museum's C-141B Starlifter, serial number 64-0626:

Date Location
30 Aug 1965 to 1501st Air Transport Wing (MATS), Travis AFB, CA
10 Jan 1966 to 60th Military Airlift Wing (MATS), Travis AFB, CA
2 Jun 1966 to 436th Military Airlift Wing (MATS), Dover AFB, DE
19 Aug 1973 to 438th Military Airlift Wing (MAC), McGuire AFB, NJ
14 Oct 1981 to 438th Military Airlift Wing (MAC), McGuire AFB, NJ
21 Apr 1989 to 437th Military Airlift Wing (MAC), Charleston AFB, SC
26 Apr 1989 to 438th Military Airlift Wing (MAC), McGuire AFB, NJ
1995 to 305th Air Mobility Wing (MAC), McGuire AFB, NJ
1996 38,038.8 airframe hours
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My husband and I were stationed at McChord AFB. I was the ART nurse – in the 40th AES and my husband was an ART pilot in the 446th.

I was stationed at Dover AFB from Aug. 1969 until Jan 1973. Eventually became a crew chief on 40613. Flew in it quite a few times. The best time was in the instructor pilot seat with Lt. Col. Orange, our Commander for 436th OMS. She was a great plane. I live close enough to visit the museum at the south end of the base about 4 times a year.

I have good memories of being flown out from Wheelus AB, Libya in February 1970 on a C-141 to Rhein-Mein, Germany. The pilot invited me and my sister (I was 10 years old, sister was 9 years old) up to the cockpit while we were flying over Sicily. Pretty cool!

I was medavac from Camp Taji Iraq in 2006. We was told it was the last flight for the 141 we was on. When we got to Germany they was a new crew and the works that covered its last mission. They made a big to do out of it.

I was stationed at Dover from Sept 66 – Feb 70 436FMS. Worked in the MA shop in the same hangar as the hydraulics and tire shop. Lots of work on the 141’s as well as the 124 133’s. TDY’ed to Rhine Main in 68 flew on the 141 both ways. Great memories from the work and the guys I worked with.

You can always go to the AMC Museum at Dover AFB. Has everything including the first one 61-2775 (still an A model) and a Starlizard B-model 64-0626.

I was a 438 OMS Crew Chief at McGuire 77-78-79. Then 2 years West Germany 80-81. Then back to McGuire 2 more years 82-83 as a DoD Civilian in the Engine Shop. Just retired after a 45-year career in Acft Mx. The 141 has always been my favorite.

I was the last Crew Chief on aircraft 626 when it flew to Dover AFB and found a crack in structure. Was notified by assistant when TDY at Sigonella, Sicily. Spent many long nights working on this aircraft. Was a work horse though.

I was stationed at McGuire AFB as an Airframe Repair Specialist from 1973 – 76. I remember the C141A’s well. Great aircraft.

My neighbor was a reservist Co Pilot in the 70’s who did a scrape and go. Got behind the aircraft, didn’t realize gear was up , (kept silencing the horn without thinking) until plane was settling into the runway. Didn’t see red glow of lollypop until too late.

I was a Nav in the Beef, 75-80. I concur the 141 was the prettiest airplane I had ever seen. My belief it was shear power that saved many peoples bacon.

Had MANY Adventures in the Plane including being in Teheran 3 days before the Shah fell to get the Contractors out.

If I had one wish it would be to take a lap or 2 around the patch.

So long Old Friend and “Thanks for all the Fish”

My favorite bird

I was a crew chief for C-141A’s at McChord (62 OMS). The first time I flew on one someone had told me that the wings flapped…I thought they were just pulling my leg!

Around 1970, I was driving on the Grand Trunk Road in Peshawar, Pakistan while, on the other side of the fence, a C-141 was taxiing for takeoff. As the fuselage lifted up, the wings flexed down before settling back into a more normal position. When I told people about it, everyone said I was crazy. I’m glad to know that I was not. It was a great aircraft!

Hi!!! I’m Ed Howard
And I have many found memories on the Aircraft. I was an aircraft electrician working on the aircraft on Yokota Ab Japan from 82-85. It was always a beautiful sight seeing as we called it at the time ” The Flying Lizard”! I remember from the first to last I got a chance to get onboard and marvel everything about the aircraft especially the view from on top of the T tail. Loved it and miss it

Was anyone at Eglin AFB loading C-141’s during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Like to know what you are up to now.

I was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska 65-68 and my job was Pneudraulic Specialist assigned to the 602nd MAC unit out of McCord AFB Washington State. It was our job to fix any flight essential items to get the A/Craft turned around in 1hr. I worked on many of the C-141’s that came thru Elmendorf. Took a hop from Elmendorf to Charlston AFB on leave, 8 hr. flight and got to go to the Flight Cabin to see how everything worked in flight. Havent keeped up with the people I worked with but I still remember each and every one. Great experience wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

I was stationed at Travis from 1967 until 1971, 602 OMS-780

I’m Gerald Smith. I was at McGuire from 74-77 in the 438 FMS Hydraulic Shop. I loved the Starlifter and my fingerprints are all over 626 from the nose landing gear to the elevator pack on top of the T-Tail. Everything that moved-brakes, flight controls, landing gear, engine pumps, spoilers, cargo doors and ramp control was our universe. While on TDY during Saigon Evac in 75 and working the “Tramp Ramp” at Ramstein, we fixed everything else that broke by cannibalizing parts from one aircraft to patch up another one when supplies weren’t available. It was a great time for a young kid to learn responsibility, competence, confidence, trust, mission, and patriotism. A highlight of my life. I love this country!

I was the first active duty female C141 pilot at McGuire AFB. I was in the 30th Squadron. After, I left the Air Force I became a teacher. My students loved all my Air Force stories. I live the C141. I wish I could go into one of them just one more time.

Hello Lisa, Michael McMullan, one of your 30 MAS colleagues. I hope you are doing well my friend!

Great Pilot; great friend!

Hello Jerry my name is Eric Francis, I worked in the same Hydraulics Shop from 78-83, loved working the 141’s. I’m sure we probably know some of the same people!

After verifying my log book I found that I flew this aircraft while at McGuire from 1973 to 1989. After leaving the cockpit in 1984 as a Flight Engineer I was tasked with the construction of cockpit full scale trainers of C-141 and C-5 for various Reserve units. I loved this bird and still find time to visit her each time I pass through Dover.

I enjoy seeing the old aircraft I once flew. I was a Flight Engineer with the 6th at McGuire. Retired September 1994.

I was stationed at Dover Aero Repair when the “First State” C-141 landed. A few of us airmen along with some press and local officials got to fly on it that day. Flew up to Atlantic City and Back low level. What a ride. Worked on C-141 at Dover as they came in. Then worked on them at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, 602 MASS. Then at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio.

We covered the Voyager 1 and 2 space launches from Darwin and Perth Australia in 77 with our EC-135N aircraft and crews. A McCord AFB C-141 Crew flew my maint. team and myself to Australia and back In support of this mission. Safest aircraft ever built. Loved the C-141. S/MSgt David Dillon Ret.

David, When were you at Elmendorf? Trying to locate 602 MASS. Thank you.

My name is Tom Roache and I was stationed at Norton AFB in San Bernardino, Ca. From Jan 1979 through July 1982. I worked exclusively on C-141’s first in structural repair, sheet metal shop, then a year in the fiberglass and composite shop and my last 6 months in the refurb shop, a small group from different specialties working together on 141’s scheduled extended maintenance and refurbishment. We’d usually have each bird for 2 or 3 weeks. I treasure my time at Norton and San Bernardino. The Starlifter represents the period of my life I became a man.

I too was a Airframe Repair Spec and had addition duty as Mobility Augmentee loading these wonderful planes. I miss it so much. I live for my memories.
Tom Coco

I was an avionics technician assigned to the 436AMS, Dover in 1969. The C-141 Starlifter was the most beautiful aircraft I ever worked on.

My name is Robert Short I was Crew Chief on 626 at Dover. 626 was the last C141 to leave Dover because of NLG repair. I was also a one of the Crew Chiefs on 9014 when Gary Giles and Rodney Moore were the main Crew Chiefs. I went from Dover to the Air National Guard in Feb 1977 working C130E,H Aircraft retired as Chief Master Sargent Aircraft Maintenance.

Straight out of tech school as a sheet metal tech, I was assigned to McGuire, April 1973 to November 1976. The C-141 was a great aircraft to get my training with because we literally did everything in sheet metal work. In addition to the C-141s, we also maintained several T-29 aircraft (which we converted to C-131) and a T-39 which was used by the 21st AF commander. So this aircraft will have some of my handy-work in it. After leaving McGuire, I spent the rest of my career in either TAC, USAFE, or ACC, but continued to often fly in C-141s on deployments. It was my 2nd favorite aircraft, after the F-111.

Hello David Adams, this is the son of Stanley Sterling, who was a Civilian working on C-141’s during the 60’s and 70’s. I was wondering if you or anyone on this forum knew my dad. His life slowed down a bit after having a massive Coronary. He went back to McGuire for 2 years after that then retired.He was also a hero fighting on Pelliliu Is. In the Soloman’s in WW2. Please write back thank you,
Glenn Sterling

38000hrs. Seems like they put it in the air for close to 4 years then brought it back for retirement.

I worked on 141s at Mcguire AFB in New Jersey after we changed from C-135 A and B models in the mid 60s. The plane was a lot different than 135s, but I enjoyed working on them. I went to FTD school on 141s at Dover. A few years back I got a chance to take a flight on one as part of my duties with the fire department. I was amazed at how much longer they were than I remembered. Of course I now know it was due to their having additional fuselage sections added after I got out.

I didn’t know about the museum until today. The next time I’m out east I’ll make it a point to visit.

I flew on this C-141 several times back in the 60s and early 70s as flight engineer. I am also a volunteer at the AMC museum with the restoration crews. When visitors come to check out the insides of 40626 I can tell them of my experience flying on the C-141. I will sometimes sit in the flight engineers seat and give them explanation of the fuel system or electrical distribution system and other facts. That I enjoy.

I was on the ground crew of this very aircraft at dover from summer 1967 to summer 1968. I learned a lot in that year. I enjoyed keeping it flying. I was what was called APG [ Air Plane General ]. I always wondered if it survived the bone yard. Hope to visit the museum someday. Thanks

Retired at Travis in 87 sore using the -21 section or what they used to call 780 gear. Configured the aircraft for missions, litters, cargo, etc.

Victor, I remember you. Are you listed anywhere?

Hey Vic, had the pleasure of working with you. Steve Holler, Jeff Lindemuth, Dan Sorsen, Sheri Silvia, Chris Benzie and Jimmy May. I miss that kind teamwork.