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C-133 Technical Data

MSG E. R. McKinzie, 84th MAS                                          B. McKinzie, 2000

It is fitting that a Flight Engineer head this page. Their immense technical knowledge of the C-133 was critical to safe operation of such a huge, complex aircraft. They had developed their extensive expertise first as flight line aircraft mechanics, before going on flight status. In the C-133, the flight engineers were crucial to mission success, especially at locations where C-133 expertise, supplies and equipment were scarce. Their abilities to work with what was available often made the difference between moving the mission and more delay. Many C-133 flight engineers had experience dating back to the B-17, B-24, C-54 and C-124, all of which counted very strongly.

Aircraft performance was the other area where the engineers were indispensable. Long overwater legs made fuel management crucial, especially when going to destinations where there were no alternates, such as McMurdo Sound. There were some missions that were truly off the charts, such as one to Quito, Ecuador, where the airport was above 13,000'. In those cases, the engineers and pilots extrapolated from information published in the performance manual. 

Flying crew chiefs often augmented the flight crews, especially in the final years,  when the level of C-133 knowledge among enroute transient maintenance personnel had declined and supplies were becoming scarce. The crew chiefs worked while the crew slept and were not able to enjoy the local attractions to the same extent. But, they were often the difference between moving the mission and not.

The rest of this page will give a wide variety of information about the airplane and its performance.

C-133 Cargomaster Specifications

Following are detailed specifications for the C-133A, as obtained from Douglas Aircraft Co. archives and aircraft manuals. Both the C-133A and C-133B had much more powerful engines by 1970. Those data are shown in the summary table below.  

Summary Specifications 

                                                                     Wingspan:                     179’8”                            Stabilizer Span:            60’00“

                                                                                             Length:                          157’6“                           Cargo Deck Length:   81’10”

                                                                                            Height:                            48’9”                              Main Gear Width:        21’8”

                                                                                            Cargo deck ht:               50”

                                                                                            Limiting load dimensions:                                 C-133A                         105” width

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    150” height

                                                                                                                                                                            C-133B                         142” width

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    151” height

                                                                                                                                    Side loading door, both                                       106” width

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    100” height

                                                                                          Ground Clearance:      8’00” Inboard Propeller

                                                                                                                                   8’8”   Outboard Propeller

                                                                                                                                   18’3” Top of Fuselage

                                                                                                                                   16” Bottom of fuselage

                                                                                                                                   22’3” Wingtip

                                                                                          Min Turning Radius   140’ outside wingtip (for 180 turn with

                                                                                                                                         brakes and power assistance)

                                                                                                                                   160’ outside wingtip (for 180 turn without

                                                                                                                                         brakes or power assistance)

                                                                                                                                   175’ outside wingtip (for 360 turn without

                                                                                                                                         brakes or power assistance)

                                                                                                                                   180’ outside wingtip (for 180 turn without

                                                                                                                                        brakes or power assistance and nose gear

                                                                                                                                        turned to maximum degree not to activate

                                                                                                                                        nose steering warning system horn)

                                                                                          Design zero fuel wt     215,000 pounds (C-133A/B)

                                                                                          Design Gross Wt:       275,000 pounds (C-133A)

                                                                                                                                   282,000 pounds (max overload TOGW)

                                                                                                                                   282,000 pounds (max landing GW)

                                                                                                                                   286,000 pounds (C–133B)

                                                                                                                                   300,000 pounds (max overload TOGW)

                                                                                                                                   300,000 pounds (max landing GW)

                                                                                          Engines:                         Pratt & Whitney T34-P-7WA with 6,500 shaft HP (C-133A)

                                                                                                                                   Pratt & Whitney T34-P-9W with 7,500 shaft HP (C-133B)

                                                                                          Fuel Capacity:              18,236 gal (109,416 lbs)

                                                                                          Oil Capacity:                60 gallons

                                                                                          Propellers:                   Curtiss-Wright Turboelectric CTS35S-B319, 18’ diameter

                                                                                          Landing Gear:              Main gear two independent dual tandem trucks

                                                                                                                                   Nose gear twin wheels  


                                                                                         Cruise TAS                 260 knots (C-133A)      270 knots (C-133B)

                                                                                          Ceilings                        Absolute (Zero fpm rate of climb)       35,000'

                                                                                                                                 Service (100 fpm rate of climb)  determined by gross weight

                                                                                                                                 Cruise (300 fpm rate of climb) determined by gross weight

  Detail Specifications

The following data are from Douglas Aircraft Co. for the C-133A. The changes were only in engine power and specifications, as shown above.

Otherwise, the main structural data remained constant, as far as I know. This may indeed be more detail than most people want, but at least a

few desired this level of detail.




Total wing area

Each aileron aft of hinge line

Flap area each side

Total horizontal tail area

Elevator area (total)

      Horizontal stabilizer (total)

Total vertical tail area (w/o dorsal fin)

Total rudder area

Vertical stabilizer area      

2,673.1 ft2

71.6 ft2

248.2 ft2

800.7 ft2

329 ft2

471.7 ft2

536.7 ft2

177.1 ft2

359.6 ft2


Aileron control tab



Elevator trim tab

Elevator trim tab


Rudder control tab

up/down 20

up/down 20

down 45

up/down 20

up/down 20

up/down 20

right/left 20

right/left 20



Wing airfoil section

Theoretical root:  NACA (230)17-64-.131

Theoretical tip:  NACA (230)15-64-.131

Wing incidence @ theoretical root

Wing incidence @ theoretical tip

Sweepback @ 20% chord (wing

        common   %  plane)

        Wing leading edge

Horizontal stabilizer airfoil sections   

        Theoretical root:   NACA 64A 012

        Theoretical tip:   NACA 64A 010.7

Vertical stabilizer airfoil sections

        Station Z = 82.000 NACA 64A 012

        Theoretical tip:   NACA 64A 010.7










12 %



12 %


Design gross wt, gear retracted

        Aft of leading edge of MAC

        Below leading edge of MAC

Design gross wt, gear extended

        Aft of leading edge of MAC

        Below leading edge of MAC

Extreme fwd CG, gear retracted

        Aft of leading edge of MAC

        Below leading edge of MAC

       Gross wt for this condition

Extreme rearward CG, gear extended

        Aft of leading edge of MAC

        Below leading edge of MAC

        Gross wt for this condition


28.0% MAC



28.0% MAC



17% MAC


161,170 lb


32% MAC


255,000 lb


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