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C-133 Development

                               C-132 in Flight (Artist's Concept)                                                                                                         Air Progress 1955

Comparative Chronologies of C-133 and C-132

Because of the numerical sequence of Air Force designations, the Douglas C-132 has been cited as a predecessor of the C-133. In fact, this is not at all the case. Comparison of development timelines makes quite clear that the C-133 came much earlier, and the Douglas model numbers confirm the sequence. The C-133 was Douglas Model 1333, and the C-132 was Model 1814. The following comparative timelines shows key steps in the process. Primary source for C-132 dates was The "C" Planes, by Bill Holder and Scott Vadnais.

    C-132 (Douglas Model 1814) C-133 (Douglas Model 1333)

Jul 50 Letter contract for YC-124B
Jan 52 Prelim specs for Model 1324 (C-124X), a pressurized C-124.
Oct 52 Configuration decided as high-wing, rear loading truck height deck with full pressurization.

    Dec 52 Letter contract
Jan 53 Phase I design initiated

          Feb 53 Douglas told to discontinue work on Model 1324, begin work on high-wing model 1333.
          Mar 53 Detailed specs for Model 1333 submitted to AMC
Apr 53 Flight compartment mockup completed
Jun 53 Formal Spec DS-1333 submitted to AMC
Sep 53 AF confirms Model 1333 to be logistics carrier
Oct 53 Aircraft to be procured cut from 16 to 12
Nov 53 Formal Spec DS-1333 submitted to AMC

    Feb 54 Mock-up started
May 54 Initial Phase II

          Nov 55 Additional 17 aircraft authorized (total 29)

    Dec 55 Phase II

          Jan 56 First C-133 rolled out
Mar 56 AF asked Douglas to look at C-132 or C-133 to move Atlas missiles from West Coast to Patrick
Apr 56 First C-133 flight
Feb 57 Six more C-133As authorized, last three mod for ICBM hauling

    Jul 59  (Est) First flight

C-132 Projected Performance

The C-132 was proposed in two versions. One would have been a straight logistics carrier, and the other would have served as an aerial refueler. The Air Force made public announcement of the airplane on 14 Feb 57, to be built at the Douglas Tulsa plant. If built, the C-132 would have carried a maximum payload of 137,000 pounds a distance of 2,200 nautical miles, at a speed of 418 knots. The tanker version was to have detachable tip pods with hose reels for probe and drogue refueling, plus auxiliary internal tanks in the cargo compartment. The idea was that the tip tanks and the internal tanks could be installed and removed at enroute bases, an idea that might have proven more difficult in practice than in theory. In the end, the C-132 progressed no further than a full-scale mockup and inflight testing of the 15,000 shp Pratt & Whitney YT57 turboprop engine mounted in the nose of a modified C-124. Some of the lessons learned with the T57 were applied to the C-133s T34 engine to raise its horsepower from 6,500 shp (T34-P-7WA) to 7,500 T34-P-9W).

XKC-132 performance data shown below comes from the same source as the three-view drawing that follows.

The drawing below, from a Douglas informational pamphlet, shows the tanker version (Source: The XC-132 Logistic Transport and Inflight Refueler, Report No. S.M. 14873. Douglas Aircraft Co., 1953, pg. 5.)

C-133A Cutaway Drawing

The color original of this drawing is in the Travis Air Museum collection, Travis AFB, CA. It was originally done by Robert A. Wallace, a Douglas Aircraft Company artist.

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Copyright June 2000. Cal Taylor
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