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C-46 Gallery


The sign accompanying the C-46. It reads

Curtiss C-46D Commando

Entering service in 1944, the C-46 was extensively used in the Pacific Theater during World War II. It was the largest and heaviest twin-engine aircraft to fly the dangerous route over the Himalayan Mountains known as the "Hump." Eventually replacing the C-47 in Asia, the Commando could carry a larger load and offered better performance at higher altitudes, but required extensive maintenance and suffered technical problems due to the higher altitude and severe weather. After WWII, the USAF utilized the C-46 operationally during the Korean Conflict as well as in the early stages of hostilities in Vietnam where the 1st Air Commando Group used it to perform counterintelligence missions.

During World War II, Robins AFB assumed logistics management and repair for all C-46s in a five-state area of the Southeast. Manufactured by Curtiss-Wright, Buffalo, NY, the aircraft on display was assigned to the 20th Air Force stationed at Karachi, India, in December 1944 where it joined a fleet of aircraft flying the Hump. It was later sold to the Indian government in April 1946. The Museum acquired it in August 1991 from Haiti Air Freight.

Specifications & Performance
Wingspan 108 ft.   Engines (2) 2,000 HP   Max Speed 270 mph
Length 76 ft., 4 in   Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51   Range 1,200 miles
Height 21 ft., 9 in   radial piston engines      
Weight 30,000 lbs   Cost $233,000   Service Ceiling 24,500 ft

Sponsor: Henry Lowe Family

This aircraft is dedicated to the memory of James T. Lowe, a Lt. J.G. who served his country as a Naval Aviator during World War II and was later the founder and president of Lowe Aviation. James Lowe was enshrined in the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame on May 18, 1996, for his distinctive contributions to the advancement of aviation in Georgia and this nation.

James T. Lowe
December 18, 1913 — December 26, 1998

The "entering service in 1944" must refer specifically to the C-46D variant, as the first C-46s were delivered to the Air Corps in the summer of 1942.

Sign by the C-46 at the Museum of Aviation
Time picture taken Sun Jun 21 13:20:04 2009
Location picture taken WWII Hangar (Hangar 3)
Museum of Aviation
Warner Robins, Georgia
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