The Starlifter Enters Service

On this day in 1965 the first production C-141A Starlifter was delivered to the USAF Military Airlift Command.

The Starlifter was intended to replace slower, piston-engine driven planes such as the C-124 Globemaster. It was designed to requirements in 1960 and had its maiden flight in 1963. Between 1963 and 1968 a total of 285 aircraft were produced; 284 for the Air Force and one for NASA for use as an airborne observatory. It remained in service in 2006 when it was replaced with the C-17 Globemaster III.

The C-141 first saw operational use during the Vietnam War, even though it was still undergoing operational testing. It was also used extensively during Operation Desert Shield, flying a total of 159,642 tons of cargo and 93,126 passengers during 8,536 missions.



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