Commando file photo [31]

C-46 Commando

CountryUnited States
ManufacturerCurtiss-Wright Corporation
Primary RoleTransport


ww2dbaseThe C-46 Commando transports were lovingly nicknamed "the Whales" by their United States Army Air Force crew and were best known for flying "the Hump" over the Himalayas to deliver supplies into China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. When they first flew on 26 Mar 1940, they were actually of a commercial transport design made for 36 passengers. However, by late 1941, the USAAF realized their cargo capacity and ordered 46 of them. These unpressurized transports had the largest cargo capacity of all Allied transports during WW2. Together with other models of transports, the Commandos delivered 45,000 tons of cargo per month to China between 1942 and 1945. These transports remain in use well after the war; between 1993 and 1995 they were still being used to deliver humanitarian supplies to Somalia.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

ww2dbaseSpecifications provided by Alan Chanter.

Last Major Revision: Jul 2006


MachineryTwo Pratt and Whitney R-2800-51 Twin Wasp 18-cylinder air-cooled radial engines rated at 2,000hp each
Span32.91 m
Length23.27 m
Height6.62 m
Wing Area126.30 m²
Weight, Empty13,608 kg
Weight, Maximum20,412 kg
Speed, Maximum435 km/h
Speed, Cruising278 km/h
Rate of Climb6.60 m/s
Service Ceiling7,470 m
Range, Normal5,069 km


C-46 Commando aircraft in flight, circa late 1943 to 1945Cargo loaded in a C-46 Commando transport aircraft at Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico while in transit to the European Theater, 1942. Note the CCKW truck.Cockpit of a C-46 Commando aircraft, 1942Controllers in the tower at Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico as a C-46 Commando lands on the runway, 1942.
See all 28 photographs of C-46 Commando Transport

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Inuvik says:
10 Jul 2009 04:57:26 PM

These are still being flown comericaly on a daily basis by Buffalo Air in Yellowknife NorthWestTeratories in Canada.

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C-46 Commando Transport Photo Gallery
C-46 Commando aircraft in flight, circa late 1943 to 1945
See all 28 photographs of C-46 Commando Transport

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