R4Q-2 Packet (Fairchild)
Length: 86 ft 6 in (26.37 m)
Wingspan: 109 ft 3 in (33.30 m)
Height: 26 ft 6 in (8.08 m)
Wing area: 1,447 sq ft (134.4 m2)
Propellers: 4-bladed Hamilton-Standard Hydromatic, 15 ft 0 in (4.57 m) diameter
Empty weight: 39,800 lb (18,053 kg)
Gross weight: 64,000 lb (29,030 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 74,000 lb (33,566 kg)
Fuel capacity: 2,800 US gal (2,300 imp gal; 11,000 L)
Powerplant: 2 × Pratt & Whitney R-4360-20W 28-cylinder air-cooled radial engines, 3,500 hp (2,600 kW) each [N 3]
Maximum speed: 281 mph (452 km/h, 244 kn) at 18,000 ft (5,500 m)
Cruise speed: 200 mph (320 km/h, 170 kn) (70% normal rated power)
Range: 1,770 mi (2,850 km, 1,540 nmi) with 5,500 lb (2,500 kg) cargo
Service ceiling: 23,900 ft (7,300 m)
Rate of climb: 1,010 ft/min (5.1 m/s)
Crew: 5 (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, radio operator and crew chief)
Capacity: 67 troops or 35 stretchers or 27,500 lb (12,500 kg) cargo
The R4Q-2 Packet, designed and manufactured by Fairchild Aircraft, holds a significant place in the history of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). Introduced during the 1950s, the R4Q-2 Packet was a versatile transport aircraft that played a crucial role in the Marine Corps' logistical operations and troop movements. Derived from the C-119 Flying Boxcar, the R4Q-2 Packet possessed enhanced capabilities that made it well-suited for tactical and strategic airlift missions. Its large cargo hold and capacity to carry heavy equipment made it invaluable for transporting troops, supplies, and vehicles to various locations, particularly in challenging and remote terrains. The Packet's ability to operate from unprepared or austere airstrips further amplified its utility, enabling the USMC to extend its reach and mobility.
The aircraft's significance to the USMC lay in its pivotal role in supporting military operations, disaster relief efforts, and humanitarian missions. During conflicts such as the Korean War and the Vietnam War, the R4Q-2 Packet played a vital role in delivering troops and supplies to the frontlines, sustaining the Marine Corps' operational effectiveness. Furthermore, its involvement in rescue missions and medical evacuations showcased its adaptability in responding to diverse situations. Beyond combat operations, the Packet's contribution to disaster relief efforts, including delivering aid and supplies to disaster-stricken areas, underscored its versatility and commitment to service.
In essence, the R4Q-2 Packet stands as a testament to the enduring partnership between Fairchild Aircraft and the United States Marine Corps. Its robust performance in a variety of missions, ranging from military campaigns to humanitarian endeavors, solidified its status as an essential asset for the USMC. The aircraft's legacy continues to remind us of the critical role that reliable and adaptable transport platforms play in maintaining military readiness and safeguarding the well-being of individuals, both in times of conflict and during times of need.