McDonnell Douglas C-9
|C-9 Nightingale/Skytrain II|
|A C-9A Nightingale used for Aeromedical Evacuation|
|National origin||United States|
|Retired||September 2005 (USAF C-9A)|
|Primary users||United States Air Force
United States Navy
|Developed from||McDonnell Douglas DC-9|
The McDonnell Douglas C-9 is a military version of the McDonnell Douglas DC-9 airliner. It was produced as the C-9A Nightingale for the United States Air Force, and the C-9B Skytrain II for the U.S. Naval Reserve and Marine Corps. The final active-duty flight of the C-9A Nightingale was in September 2005. The Boeing C-40 Clipper is replacing the Navy Reserve's aging C-9B fleet.
Design and development
In 1966, the US Air Force identified a need for an aeromedical transport aircraft. The following year the Air Force ordered C-9A Nightingale aircraft. Deliveries began in 1968. The C-9As were used for medical evacuation (MedEvac), passenger transportation, and special missions from 1968 to 2005. The first C-9A aircraft was named for Florence Nightingale.
After selecting a modified DC-9 for passenger and cargo transport, the U.S. Navy ordered its first five C-9Bs in April 1972. The C-9B aircraft have provided cargo and passenger transportation as well as forward deployed air logistics support for the Navy and Marine Corps. A C-9B was also chosen by NASA for reduced gravity research, replacing the aging KC-135 Vomit Comet.
Many of the Navy's C-9Bs have a higher maximum gross take-off weight (114,000 lb or 52,000 kg) and are fitted with auxiliary fuel tanks installed in the lower cargo hold to augment the aircraft's range to nearly 2,600 nautical miles (4,200 km) for overseas missions along with tail mounted infra-red (IR) scramblers to counter heat seeking missile threats in hostile environments.
- C-9A Nightingale - 23 aeromedical evacuation aircraft for the United States Air Force received from 1968.
- C-9B Skytrain II - 24 convertible passenger/transport versions for the United States Navy and Marine Corps delivered from 1973 to 1976. An additional five C-9s were converted from passenger configured DC-9s.
- VC-9C - 3 executive transport aircraft for the United States Air Force. The three aircraft were delivered to the US Air Force in late 1976.
- C-9K - 2 aircraft for the Kuwait Air Force.
- 75th Airlift Squadron
- 20th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron
- 20th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron/Airlift Squadron 1989-93
- 30th Airlift Squadron 1993-2004
- 11th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron/Airlift Squadron
- 55th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron/Airlift Squadron
- 932d Aeromedical Airlift Group/Aeromedical Airlift Wing/Airlift Wing - Scott AFB, Illinois 1969-2005
- 73d Aeromedical Airlift Squadron/Airlift Squadron
- 1st Military Airlift Squadron/Airlift Squadron 1977-88
- 99th Military Airlift Squadron/Airlift Squadron 1988-2009
- 932d Airlift Wing - Scott AFB, Illinois 2005-2007
Data from Encyclopedia of World Air Power
- Crew: 5 to 8
- Length: 119 ft 3 in (36.36 m)
- Wingspan: 93 ft 5 in (28.42 m)
- Height: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
- Wing area: 1,001 ft² (92.97 m²)
- Empty weight: 59,700 lb (27,080 kg)
- Max. takeoff weight: 110,000 lb (49,900 kg)
- Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney JT8D-9 turbofan, 14,500 lbf (64.5 kN) each
- Maximum speed: Mach 0.84 (576 mph, 927 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 504 mph (485 knots, 811 km/h)
- Range: 2,900 mi (4,700 km)
- Service ceiling: 37,000 ft (11,000 m)
- Rate of climb: 3,000+ ft/min (900+ m/min)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Related lists
- List of active United States military aircraft
- List of military aircraft of the United States
- List of military transport aircraft
- "Historic C-9 heads to Andrews for retirement". US Air Force, 24 September 2005.
- C-40A Clipper history page. US Navy, 16 November 2000.
- "C-9B Skytrain II Completes 30 years of Continuous Fleet Support". US Navy, 2 June 2003.
- Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Air Power. New York, NY: Crescent Books, 1986. ISBN 0-517-49969-X.
- The History of C-9B Reduced Gravity Research Program. NASA/JSC, March 25, 2008
- C-9 Skytrain fact file. US Navy, 15 April 2005.
- Becher, Thomas. Douglas Twinjets, DC-9, MD-90, MD-90 and Boeing 717, pp. 170-176, Crowood Press, Aviation Series, 2002. ISBN 1-86126-446-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to C-9 Nightingale.|
- C-9 Skytrain fact file and C-9 history page on U.S. Navy site
- C-9 Nightingale page and C-9 Nightingale/Skytrain pages on U.S. Air Force site
- C-9 Nightingale/Skytrain GlobalSecurity.org
- "Goodbye to an era", deploymentlink.osd.mil, Fall 2003