C-119 aircraft rocket-assisted take-off

C-119 aircraft rocket-assisted take-off

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Credit: US AIR FORCE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Fairchild C-119 military transport aircraft. This example is seen during trials of rocket-assisted take-off (rato) equipment. Known as the 'Flying Boxcar', the C-119 was a medium-capacity transporter built in the USA designed to take troops and equipment directly to the battlefield. The rockets could be added to allow very short take-off and rapid climb capability from remote airstrips to take the aircraft out of danger from small arms fire in theatres such as Korea and Vietnam. The C-119 was powered by two radial piston engines of 3,500hp each and could carry 4,500kg of cargo or 62 troops. It entered service in 1949 and 1183 were built, serving in several variants until 1974.

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