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Aviation History And Aircraft Photography
XC-99
Kelly USA
San Antonio, TX


XC-99

XC-99 sitting in a field outside of Kelly AFB in San Antonio, Texas. The XC-99 was a proposed cargo airlifter and passenger airliner built on the B-36 airframe. It featured a double-deck layout that could hold 400 troops, 305 liters and 35 attendants, or 100,000 pounds of cargo. The US Army Air Force decided not to take the C-99 into production. As a result, the program was canceled. The USAF ended up using the single XC-99 prototype for 10 years as an airlifter. The plane was retired, and put on display in San Antonio. The XC-99 museum failed, and was sold and reopened several times. The XC-99 was in relatively poor condition by the mid-90’s. The title of the plane was obtained by the US Air Force museum. The plane has since been moved onto the grounds of Kelly USA, which is the former Kelly AFB. The USAF Museum is working to obtain funds to move the aircraft to Dayton for restoration and display. A recent story in Air Force Magazine confirms that the USAF Museum has now made the XC-99 a priority. It further states that while the exterior of the XC-99 looks rough, the basic airframe is still in very good condition.

Update—as of mid-2004, the engines and props have been pulled from the XC-99 and shipped to the USAF Museum in Dayton. Disassembly of the aircraft continues. The USAF Museum has made the XC-99 a priority, but they are still looking for an economical way to move the larger parts of the aircraft.

Update—as of mid-2005, the XC-99 has reportedly been fully moved to Dayton for restoration. The USAF Museum has reportedly found funding to restore the XC-99, and plan to make it the centerpiece of a new display of X-aircraft.

Update—as of mid-2006, I visited Kelly USA, and saw that the main fuselage of the XC-99 is still sitting on the ramp at Kelly. The wings and engines appear to be gone, and those are likely the parts that have been moved to Dayton so far.

Update— as of early 2009, it was confirmed that the XC-99 has now been fully disassembled and was moved to Dayton during 2008.

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