XC-120 Packplane
Composite image of the sole XC-120 on the ground, and in flight.
Role Military transport aircraft
Manufacturer Fairchild
First flight 11 August 1950
Produced 2
Number built 2
Developed from C-119 Flying Boxcar

The Fairchild XC-120 Packplane was an American experimental modular aircraft first flown in 1950. It was developed from the company's C-119 Flying Boxcar, and was unique in the unconventional use of removable cargo pods that were attached below the fuselage, instead of possessing an internal cargo compartment.

Design and development

The XC-120 Packplane began as a C-119B fuselage (48-330, c/n 10312) with a point just below the flight deck cut off to create the space for the detachable cargo pod.[citation needed] The fuselage was raised by several feet, and smaller diameter "twinned" wheels were installed forward of each of the main landing gear struts to serve as nosewheels, while the main struts were extended backwards.

All four landing gear units, in matching "nose" and "main" sets, could be raised and lowered in a scissorlike fashion to lower the aircraft and facilitate the removal of a planned variety of wheeled pods which would be attached below the fuselage for the transport of cargo. The goal was to allow cargo to be preloaded into the pods; it was claimed that such an arrangement would speed up loading and unloading cargo.[1]

Production aircraft were to be designated C-128.

Operational history

Only one XC-120 was built. Though the aircraft was tested extensively and made numerous airshow appearances in the early 1950s the project went no further. It was tested by the Air Proving Ground Command at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, in 1951,[2] before the project was abandoned in 1952.[3] The prototype was eventually scrapped.

Specifications (XC-120)

XC-120 without its cargo container
The XC-120 on the ground

Data from [4]

General characteristics


See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era

Related lists


  1. ^ Micheal O'Leary (November 1978). "Those Fabulous Flops". Air Progress.
  2. ^ Staff, "XC-120 Goes to Eglin for Tests", Aviation Week, 11 June 1951, Vol. 54, No. 24, p. 15.
  3. ^ "1946-1948 USAAF-USAF Serial Numbers". joebaugher.com. July 13, 2017. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
  4. ^ "Cargo Carrier Concept" Flight International. Archived at [1]. Archive date 28 December 2022
  5. ^ a b c d Johnson 2013, p. 191