A recent trip to Hill Air Force Base Museum in Ogden, UT netted this picture of a strange looking beast. This is the Douglas C-124 Globemaster II – Yes, this is the daddy of the C-17 Globemaster III. The C-124 was developed from 1947 to 1949 and in service until 1974.
This monstrous turboprop, nicknamed “Old Shaky” was the only aircraft at the time that could carry heavy equipment without having to take apart its cargo. It could carry up to 68,500 lbs, a record payload at the time. With its maximum airspeed an “astounding” 280 knots, I bet it took these guys a while to truck across the pond.
Of note: the weird thimble-looking protrusion on the nose is housing for a weather radar.
The wreckage of a C-124 was recently found on a glacier up in Alaska. It’s a pretty interesting read if you have time. Read the story here.