Requiem for a Prototype

Volunteers are refurbishing the sole prototype of Lockheed’s stretched C-141B transport at the Marietta Museum of History’s Aviation Wing, adjacent to the Lockheed plant in Marietta, Ga., where workers built the airlifter. Designated YC-141B, the aircraft (serial number 66-0186) first flew in March 1977. It languished for many years in Lockheed Martin’s boneyard, stripped of its wings and pilfered for parts until the Air Force retired the Starlifter fleet in 2006. The volunteers reattached the aircraft’s left wing early this month and are currently mounting the right wing, former Lockheed employee and restoration volunteer Bill Paden told the Daily Report. They aim to refurbish the flightdeck, exterior, and cargo hold “as funds permit,” he said. Given that all C-141s in the Air Force’s aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., are “now reduced to scrap, virtually nothing is available to replace missing items,” meaning replacement parts must be fabricated, said Paden. (Museum’s aviation wing website)