C-123 Provider / USAFItem Number: 2121
USAF Fairchild C-123 Provider airplane model. The "Provider" is a short-range assault transport used to airlift troops and cargo onto short runways and unprepared airstrips. Designed by the Chase Aircraft Co., the C-123 evolved from earlier designs for large assault gliders. The first prototype XC-123 made its initial flight on October 14, 1949, powered by two piston engines. A second prototype was built as the XG-20 glider. It was later test-flown, powered by four jet engines. The production version, with two piston engines, was designated the C-123B. Chase began manufacture in 1953, but the production contract was transferred to Fairchild. The first of more than 300 Fairchild-built C-123Bs entered service in July 1955. Between 1966 and 1969, 184 C-123Bs were converted to C-123Ks by adding two J85 jet engines for improved performance.
The C-123B weighed 35,000 lb. empty and accommodated 62 fully equipped troops or a large variety of vehicles and weapons. It could be quickly converted to a 50-litter medical evacuation transport. The aircraft's ability to operate from short, minimally prepared landing strips soon attracted the attention of the Strategic Air Command. This large organization needed an aircraft to support their northern snow-bound bases and sites. SAC operated more than 60 different Providers between 1958 and 1966. Many of these were returned to Fairchild at the end of their SAC tour.
Mahogany Wood. Wingspan 20 inches, Length 13 1/2 inches.