The Canadian DHC-4 Caribou, a dedicated short takeoff and landing (STOL) utility transport, first flew in 1958. The aircraft was designed to combine the STOL performance of the Canadian Otter aircraft with the load-carrying capability of the DC-3.
The U.S. Army was so improved by the rugged Caribou that it ordered a total of 159, and it became the army's standard STOL utility transport.
In 1967, the U.S. Army's CV-2s were transferred to the U.S. Air Force and were redesignated C-7s. In the Vietnam War, the flexible Caribou proved its worth ferrying troops and freight to places no other conventional aircraft could reach.
After being transferred from the army, the museum's Caribou was assigned to the 483rd Troop Carrier Wing in Vietnam from 1967 to 1971. In 1972, it was transferred to the Alabama Air National Guard. In 1983, it was again transferred to the U.S. Army to be a jump aircraft for the Golden Knights, the army parachute team. The aircraft was retired to the AMC Museum in 1991.
Manufacturer: de Havilland Canada
Type: Short takeoff and landing utility transport
Powerplant: Two 1,500-hp Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7M2 air-cooled radial piston engines
Maximum Speed: 215 mph
Range: 1,380 mi.
with max payload
Service Ceiling: 24,800 ft
Max Takeoff Weight: 28,500 lb
Crew: Pilot, co-pilot, and loadmaster
Payload: 8,740 lb of cargo, 32 passengers, 26 paratroopers, or 20 litter patients
Wing Span: 95 ft 7 in
Length: 72 ft 7 in
Height: 31 ft 10 in
Above: In Vietnam, Caribous flew supplies to forward airstrips where helicopters then took over. Eight were lost in combat.
A high-mounted flight compartment gives a good view on takeoff and landing. The Caribou's primary mission is providing rapid mobility of troops, equipment, and supplies in a forward battle area.
Power comes from two wing-mounted Pratt & Whitney R-2000-7M2 Double Wasp air-cooled, 14-cylinder, two-row radial engines, each driving a Hamilton Standard three-blade airscrew propeller.
The cabin space accommodates 32 troops sitting on side folding seats, or 20 litter patients, four sitting casualties, and four medical attendants.
The cabin floor is stressed to support evenly distributed loads of 2,150 pounds per square yard.
A hinging, electrically powered tail ramp is also used as the principal entrance door for troops and freight. Light-wheeled vehicles such as jeeps can easily enter the cabin by driving
up the ramp.