Sunday, 16 September 2012
Budd RB C-93 Conestoga -Rare Birds (1)
Here's a rare type that I failed to identify on the aviation quiz pages of the world affairs board - the Budd /RB C-93 Conestoga. The Conestoga was a transport built by the Budd railroad car company and constructed of spot welded stainless steel sheet metal as an insurance against shortage of light alloys. The first prototype flew on 31 October 1943. About 800 aircraft were ordered by the US Army and US Navy but there never was an aluminium shortage, so the need for the RB disappeared and only 17 aircraft were built.
" ....During an Easter week-end motorhome trip back in the 1980's our families stayed overnight at the Douglas Muni AP. In the morning we went for a hike out to an old relic abandoned far out away from the runways. Neither my friend nor I, despite long careers in the airplane business had any idea what this airplane was. A few months later when in Wash DC I stopped in at the Air Museum to inquire about it. They ushered my back to the working area and introduced me to an old timer who listened to my story. He knew almost instantly (how many stainless steel two engine cargo airplanes were there after all?). He copied some old newspaper articles and gave them to me. I subsequently sent them to the Pima Air Museum. I don't recall ever hearing back from them but this may have been the link that saved the old relic which is now on display at the Pima Museum, presuming that it's the same S/N.."
More at http://www.aviastar.org/air/usa/budd_conestoga.php