The C-21 is a twin turbofan engine aircraft used for cargo and passenger airlift. The aircraft is the military version of the Lear Jet 35A business jet. In addition to providing cargo and passenger airlift, the aircraft is capable of transporting one litter or five ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations.
The turbofan engines are pod-mounted on the sides of the rear fuselage. The swept-back wings have hydraulically actuated, single-slotted flaps. The aircraft has a retractable tricycle landing gear, single steerable nose gear and multiple-disc hydraulic brakes.
The C-21 can carry eight passengers and 42 cubic feet (1.26 cubic meters) of cargo. The fuel capacity of the C-21 is 931 gallons (3,537.8 liters) with refueling accomplished at ground level through each wingtip tank. The safety and operational capabilities of the C-21 are increased by the autopilot, color weather radar and tactical air navigation system, as well as high frequency, very high frequency and ultra high frequency radios.
The aircraft has a crew of two and may be flown from either cockpit seat. It is equipped with an automatic navigation system to enhance crew efficiency. Four cathode ray tubes display essential information to the pilots.
Delivery of the C-21 fleet began in April 1984 and was completed October 1985. DynCorp Technical Services provides full contractor logistics support at seven worldwide locations.
On April 1, 1997, all continental U.S.-based C-21s were realigned under Air Mobility Command, with the 375th Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., as the lead command. C-21s stationed outside the continental United States are assigned to the theater commanders.
Primary Function: Passenger and cargo airlift
Prime Contractor: Learjet, Inc.
Power Plant: Two Garrett TFE-731-2-2B turbofan engines
Thrust: 3,500 pounds each engine
Length: 48 feet, 7 inches (14.71 meters)
Height: 12 feet, 3 inches (3.71 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 18,300 pounds (8,235 kilograms)
Wingspan: 39 feet, 6 inches (11.97 meters)
Maximum Speed: 530 mph (Mach 0.81, 461 knots at 41,000 feet (12,496.8 meters)
Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13,716 meters)
Fuel Capability: 931 gallons (3,537.8 liters) [1,120 gallons (4,256 liters) with ferry tanks]
Maximum Range: 2,306 miles (3,689.6 kilometers)
Maximum Load: : Eight passengers and 3,153 pounds (1,433 kilograms) of cargo, one litter patient or five ambulatory patients
Crew: Two (pilot and co-pilot)
Aeromedical Evacuation: Adds medical crew of three (one flight nurse and two medical technicians). Minimal medical crew may be one flight nurse and one medical technician as required by the needs of patients
Date Deployed: April 1984
Unit Cost: $3.1 million (fiscal 1996 constant dollars)
Inventory: Active forces, 74; ANG, 2; Reserve, 0