Northrop YC-125 Raider
|The aircraft on display in the National Museum of the USAF. Painted to represent the YC-125B used for cold weather tests, Wright-Patterson AFB, 1950.|
|First flight||1 August 1949|
|Primary user||U.S. Air Force|
Design and development
Northrop's first postwar civil design was a three-engined STOL passenger and cargo transport named the Northrop N-23 Pioneer. The Pioneer could carry 36 passengers or five tons of cargo and first flew on 21 December 1946. The aircraft had a good performance, but there was little interest due to the availability of cheap war surplus aircraft. The Pioneer was lost in a fatal crash in 1947. In 1948 the United States Air Force expressed interest in an aircraft of the same configuration and placed an order with Northrop for 23 aircraft, 13 troop transports designated the C-125A Raider and 10 for Arctic rescue work designated the C-125B. With the company designation N-32 Raider the first aircraft flew on 1 August 1949.
The aircraft was powered by three 1200 hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-99 Cyclone radial engines. The aircraft could also be fitted with JATO rockets that enabled it to take off in less than 500 ft (152 m). The 13 troop transporters were designated YC-125A in-service and the Arctic rescue version the YC-125B.
Deliveries of the YC-125 to the USAF began in 1950. Aircraft did not serve long as they were underpowered and they were sent soon to Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas and relegated to be ground instructional trainers until retired in 1955 and declared surplus.
Most of the surplus aircraft were purchased by Frank Ambrose and sold to bush operators in South and Central America.
- N-23 Pioneer
- Prototype three-engined STOL transport, one built.
- N-32 Raider
- Company designation of military version of the N-23.
- YC-125A Raider
- N-32 with seats for thirty troops, 13 built (serials 48-628/640).
- YC-125B Raider
- Arctic rescue version of the N-32 with twenty stretchers and provision for a ski undercarriage. Ten built (serials 48-618/627).
Data from National Museum of the US Air Force YC-125B Factsheet
- Crew: four
- Length: 67 ft 1 in ()
- Wingspan: 86 ft 6 in ()
- Height: 23 ft 1 in ()
- Max. takeoff weight: 41,900 lb ()
- Powerplant: 3 × Wright R-1820-99 Cyclone radial, (1200 hp)895 kW each
- Andrade, John M. U.S Military Aircraft Designations and Serials since 1909. Leicestershire, UK: Midland Counties Publications, 1979. ISBN 0-904597-22-9.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London: Orbis Publishing, 1986.
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