WATCH: A Lockheed C-141 Starlifter Triple Feature

C-141C in flight. Image via US Air Force

These Versatile Airlifters Became the Backbone of Military Air Transport Serving for 40 Years

The Lockheed C-141 Starlifter served with the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), then the Military Airlift Command (MAC), and finally the Air Mobility Command (AMC) of the United States Air Force (USAF). The aircraft also served with airlift and air mobility wings of the Air Force Reserve (AFRES), later renamed Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), the Air National Guard (ANG) and, later, one air mobility wing of the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) dedicated to C-141, C-5, C-17 and KC-135 training. This tribute was compiled as part of the dedication ceremony for the YC-141B (60186) held on November 14, 2020 in Marietta, GA, the birthplace of the StarLifter. The video was uploaded to YouTube by Aviation History & Technology Center.

The first delivery of a Starlifter to an operational unit took place on 23 April 1965 when C-141A AF Serial 63-8088 was delivered to the 44th Air Transport Squadron, 1501st Air Transport Wing, at Travis Air Force Base (AFB) in California. The C-141 eventually replaced the propeller-driven Douglas C-124 Globemaster II and the Douglas C-133 Cargomaster. Production deliveries 285 aircraft began in 1965. 284 of the airlifters went to the USAF, with a single example (the company demonstrator) going to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for use as an airborne observatory. The aircraft remained in service for over 40 years until the USAF withdrew the last C-141s from service in 2006. This video was uploaded to YouTube by Skyships Eng.

Lonnie Linton was one of the crew chiefs for C-141A AF Serial 63-8088 (the Golden Bear) at Travis AFB back in 1971. The Vietnam vet recounts his experience by visiting a similar plane at the National Museum of the US Air Force at Wright Patterson AFB. This video was uploaded to YouTube by Lon Linton.

C-141B in flight. image via us air force