click map AirPigz About mail Robert Clupper

click map 787 Caption Contest CoolPix Homebuilt Military Must See Oshkosh Racing RC Space Video Podcast

click map Perfect Paper Airplane Facebook twitter

Search AirPigz...
Popular Previous Posts




Search AirPigz 1000+ posts


« Video: Boeing Tests Taildragger Version Of The 787 Dreamliner! | Main | Caption Contest #37 - Ends Wednesday 10.6.10 At 9PM EDT  »

All I Want For Christmas Is A YC-14! (CoolPix - Modern Military) 

(click pic for hi-res)

 About the time I was getting my drivers permit, the Boeing YC-14 made its first flight. I was well aware of this because we got Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine when I was a kid, so staying up on all the cool aerospace projects was easy. It was the mid 70’s and the Air Force was looking for an airplane to fill the Advanced Medium STOL Transport (AMST) role, ultimately looking at a modern replacement for the C-130. Boeing offered up the 2-engine YC-14 and McDonnell Douglas had the 4-engine YC-15. This CoolPix in the Modern Military category gives a great view of the Boeing airplane in flight. In the end, neither airplane went on to production and the AMST concept was dropped, but the YC-15 did later become the foundational concept that led to the C-17. Both the YC-14 and the YC-15 were considered quite successful at meeting the AMST requirements.

 Something about the Boeing airplane really caught my attention over the one from MD. Of course I liked the high mounted turbofans that were tapping into a little used concept of Upper Surface Blowing (USB), where the high velocity jet blast actually sticks to the upper surface of the drooping flaps and gets directed downward giving you a large increase in lift. The YC-15 (and the C-17) mount the engine blast below the wing and direct it right at the drooped flaps for increased lift, but USB allowed the engines to be mounted higher and thus farther away from the ground and possible foreign object damage. This was potentially a pretty big deal as the primary objective was STOL performance from relatively unimproved fields.

 But it was more than just the USB element of the YC-14 that I liked. It just looked like more fun. This short, tubby jet that was somehow ’sporty’ at the same time. And with massive flaps on a relatively short wing, stylish main gear pods, a huge T-tail and loads of cockpit windows, it seemed like it would be a great airplane to go play with. Imagine buzzing your friend’s house with this! The reports I’ve seen indicate the airplane had very impressive performance, especially low speed maneuverability. One of the AMST requirements was that the airplane had to be able to carry a 27,000 pound cargo, and fly a 1,000 mile round trip into a 2,000 foot runway without refueling. It appears that the airplane met its target, and the Boeing website even says the airplane could takeoff in just 1,000 feet with that 27,000 pound cargo. Pretty stinkin’ amazing for an airplane with a wingspan of 129 feet, which is actually about 3 feet shorter than its length! In a non STOL setting, the YC-14 had a 251,000 pound gross weight with an 81,000 pound payload.

 So, I think I could be happy if this Christmas I somehow wound up with a flyable YC-14 under the tree. Only two were built, and it appears they both still exist out in sunny Arizona. S/N 72-1873, the prototype (and the airplane in the picture above) is on display at the Pima Air Museum, and S/N 72-1874 is at Davis Monthan AFB. Hopefully Santa is on good terms with Uncle Sam… and I promise, if I get this sweet STOL superjet for Christmas, everyone gets a free ride!


EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (14)

Man, those GE CF6-50s are huge! Bet that thing sounds awesome! - found a small vid.

October 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin

Marvin- I'm gonna try to do a lot more research sometime in the future on the YC-14... maybe I'll eventually find a really great video that gives us an idea what it really did sound like.

October 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

I think perhaps the best way to hear what it sounds like is to march over to Davis Monthan AFB and demand the keys and a copy of the startup procedures!

October 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarvin

Marvin- I like your thinking, except that the picture in the post above of the airplane at Davis-Monthan shows that the wind generators have been removed. If you've got a couple GE CF6's I can borrow, let's go see if we can make some noise... and some wind!

October 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartt (admin)

an-72 reincarnation - who's bring old technology fron russia and ukraine?

June 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlol

I had the good fortune of watching one of the two YC-14's take off from the flight line! It was back in the summer of 1977 at Scott AFB in Illinois. They made two aircraft, one was silver, the other was painted camouflage. As with all "C" aircraft (C-5, C-141, C-130) that plied the military airfields, they all had their own distinct sound. The CY-14 was no exception. It had a typical high whine (similar to a C-5) but in a lower register. I was only 16 at the time, but I remember really liking the look of the aircraft. There's lots of good information out there on the plane, just start at Wikipedia. Like your site, -d

November 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDave Durham

Why not go out and buy a Russian one?Antonov --could be 74? and they work.LOL

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjeanchene

Back in the day when I was young Marine seat mech type one each...I watched the YC-14 and YC-15 do a fly off at Andrews AFB in Maryland. What a great sight watching two large cargo jets do a nimble air show! Must have been summer of 1977, I remember chilling out at the LOX area filling converters for my F-4B and F-4N aircraft at VMFA-321 MARTD, Washington,DC...That's my story and I'm sticking to it! OOOoooraaahhh!

May 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBob Parker

Thanks Martt, the YC-14s were very active around Boeing Field when we moved up from Burlingame, to Auburn, WA in '76. That take-off/landing performance was incredible. For me, this is sort of the "End of the natural metal prototype", LOL.

Always loved that 1950s bare metal look, and was sort of pleasantly surprised to see that on the YC-14s.

October 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristian

I was at Edwards when this aircraft was testing along with others for contract competition.
I think 1975 or 76 very interesting base and time. I saw the x24 many times, blackbird, B1, and Space Shuttle first test glide on my last work day in Aug of 77, right out at edge of dry lakebed. Dave

December 12, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterspring,-110.84749&spn=0.000521,0.000618&sll=44.001231,-71.566139&sspn=5.128464,10.118408&t=h&z=21

February 27, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterdiggafromdovert

I was a flight test engineer at Boeing and was assigned to the YC-14 program from the design phase through the 12 month test program. The GE CF-6 engines were the same as used on the 747. At lighter weights we could lift of in 800ft and land and stop even in a little less distance. We put on demos in England, Germany and and the Paris airshow. On the way back did demos at many USAF bases. It was the most interesting assignment I had in 28 years in Boeing flight test.. The plane preformed beautifully in it's STOL purpose.

February 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterhal whidden

Call me crazy but in my minds eye I can see a couple of floats mounted under the wings next to fuselage for water STOL. Yes/No?

August 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrent looks like YC-14

March 26, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterIgor

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>