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Budd Conestoga

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The Aircraft

Early in World War II, a shortage of aluminum was predicted and alternative material for aircraft manufacture were investigated.  The Budd Conestoga was designed around welded stainless steel stressed-skin construction.

The upswept tail incorporated a ramp to a 8ft high and 8ft wide cargo space.  As the flight deck was placed high above the nose, these height and width dimensions were maintained over a length of 25ft.


In addition to cargo, the Conestoga could carry 24 fully armed paratroopers and equipment or 24 stretchers and 16 sitting patients.

The prototype first flew on 31 October 1943.  Production delays, cost overruns and the lack of an aluminum shortage led to a cancelled USAAF contract and a limited US Navy production run of 17 aircraft.  Fourteen of these aircraft were purchased by National Skyway Freight, later known as the Flying Tiger Line.






Type: Cargo/Troop Transport
Engines: two 1,200 hp (895 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-1830-92 Twin Wasp piston engines
RB-1: US Navy transport designation
C-93: US Army cargo designation

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Kenneth W Shanaberger 2000 - 2010