Fairchild XC-120 Packplane

The Fairchild XC-120 Packplane was an American experimental modular aircraft first flown in 1950. It was developed from the company's C-119 Flying Boxcar, and was unique in the unconventional use of removable cargo pods that were attached below the fuselage, instead of possessing an internal cargo compartment.

XC-120 Packplane
Composite image of the sole XC-120 on the ground, and in flight.
Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Fairchild
First flight 11 August 1950
Number built 1
Developed from C-119 Flying Boxcar

Design and development


The XC-120 Packplane began as a C-119B fuselage (48-330, c/n 10312) with a point just below the flight deck cut off to create the space for the detachable cargo pod.[citation needed] The fuselage was raised by several feet, and smaller diameter "twinned" wheels were installed forward of each of the main landing gear struts to serve as nosewheels, while the main struts were extended backwards.

All four landing gear units, in matching "nose" and "main" sets, could be raised and lowered in a scissorlike fashion to lower the aircraft and facilitate the removal of a planned variety of wheeled pods which would be attached below the fuselage for the transport of cargo. The goal was to allow cargo to be preloaded into the pods; it was claimed that such an arrangement would speed up loading and unloading cargo.[1]

Production aircraft were to be designated C-128.

Operational history


Only one XC-120 was built. Though the aircraft was tested extensively and made numerous airshow appearances in the early 1950s the project went no further. It was tested by the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in 1951,[2] before the project was abandoned in 1952.[3] The prototype was eventually scrapped.

Specifications (XC-120)

XC-120 without its cargo container
The XC-120 on the ground

Data from [4]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Five (pilot, copilot, flight engineer, two loadmasters)
  • Capacity: 20,000 lb (9,090 kg) (2,700 cu.ft)
  • Length: 82 ft 10 in (25.25 m)
  • Wingspan: 106 ft 6 in (32.46 m)
  • Height: 25 ft 1 in (7.65 m)
  • Wing area: 1,447 sq ft (134.4 m2)
  • Empty weight: 16,195 lb (7,386 kg) (without container)[citation needed]
  • Gross weight: 51,646 lb (23,426 kg) [citation needed]
  • Max takeoff weight: 64,000 lb (29,030 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major radial engines, 3,250 hp (2,420 kW) each for takeoff


  • Maximum speed: 220 kn (250 mph, 400 km/h) [5]
  • Cruise speed: 152 kn (175 mph, 282 km/h) [5]
  • Range: 1,990 nmi (2,290 mi, 3,690 km) [5]
  • Service ceiling: 23,900 ft (7,300 m) [5]

See also


Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ Micheal O'Leary (November 1978). "Those Fabulous Flops". Air Progress.
  2. ^ Staff, "XC-120 Goes to Eglin for Tests" Archived 2017-08-08 at the Wayback Machine, Aviation Week, 11 June 1951, Vol. 54, No. 24, p. 15.
  3. ^ "1946-1948 USAAF-USAF Serial Numbers". joebaugher.com. July 13, 2017. Archived from the original on July 23, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Cargo Carrier Concept" Flight International. Archived at [1]. Archive date 28 December 2022
  5. ^ a b c d Johnson 2013, p. 191