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C-21A
Aircraft Model: C-21A
 
Aircraft Type: Transport
 
Fly During Show: Yes
 
Display Open To Public: Yes
 
Web Site: www.af.mil
C-21A
Divider

Mission
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.

Features
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.

Background
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. C-21s stationed outside the continental United States are assigned to the theater commanders. Air Mobility Command is the lead command for the aircraft.

In April 1997, the majority of continental U.S. based C-21s were consolidated within the 375th Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base, Ill., with the National Guard Bureau retaining aircraft at Peterson AFB, Colo., Air Force Flight Standards Agency retaining aircraft at Andrews AFB, Md., and the Air Education and Training Command retaining aircraft at Keesler AFB, Miss.

In January 2007, Program Budget Decision number 720 reduced C-21 operations to 40 aircraft. AMC dissolved C-21 operations at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. U.S. Air Forces in Europe was reduced from 13 to 10, Pacific Air Forces from 4 to 3 and AETC from 5 to 3.

The NGB picked up 16 aircraft for bridge missions at Fargo, N.D. and Bradley Air National Guard Base, Conn., until they receive C-27s. Base Closure and Realignment actions moved the AFFSA from Andrews AFB to Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Okla. In June 2007 PACAF divested itself of its three C-21s and the NGB gained three additional C-21s.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Passenger and cargo airlift
Contractor: Learjet, Inc.
Power Plant: Two Garrett TFE-731-2-2B turbofan engines
Thrust: 3,500 pounds each engine
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 18,300 pounds (8,235 kilograms)
Length: 48 feet, 7 inches (14.71 meters)
Height: 12 feet, 3 inches (3.71 meters)
Wingspan: 39 feet, 6 inches (11.97 meters)
Fuel Capability: 931 gallons (3,537.8 liters) [1,120 gallons (4,256 liters) with ferry tanks]
Speed: 530 mph (Mach 0.81, 461 knots at 41,000 feet (12,496.8 meters)
Range: 2,306 miles (3,689.6 kilometers)
Ceiling: 45,000 feet (13,716 meters)
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
Unit Cost: $3.1 million (fiscal 1996 constant dollars)
Initial operating capability: April 1984
Inventory: Active forces, 35; ANG, 21; Reserve, 0

Information and photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

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