Starting as an
in-house project (DHC-4) to design a short take-off and
landing (STOL) aircraft for the military and airlines,
the Caribou was influenced by a U. S. Army requirement
for a tactical STOL aircraft capable of carrying a
6,000-pound payload. Army aircraft were originally
identified as AC-1 and then as CV-2, but with the
transfer of the aircraft to the U.S. Air Force in 1966
(Operation “Red Leaf”), the designation became C-7A.
The STOL capabilities for the
Caribou are impressive. The plane is designed to clear a
50-foot obstacle in a distance of 1,040 feet with no
wind. With a 20 mph head wind, the distance needed is
460 feet. Landing over a 50 foot obstacle is
accomplished in 590 feet, shortened to 300 feet with a
10 mph head wind. The aircraft also has the ability to
use extremely rough and unimproved fields due to the
strong landing gear system.
courtesy Scott Kordes)
Tail Number: 63-9719
active-duty Caribou in the Department of Defense
inventory, this aircraft was donated to the museum
on 20 May 1991 and was flown to the museum under its
own power. It was presented by the Directorate
of Flight Operations, U. S. Army Missile Command,
Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, and was crewed by retired
Chief Warrant Officers Jim White and La Rue Wisener
and retired Staff Sergeant Douglas Paddock.
Our C-7 Caribou is open and ready for your inspection.
Enter through the side door, sit where the jumpers sat,
look in the back where jeeps and equipment rolled up and
down the ramp, sit in the pilot's seat, look around the
cockpit, check your instruments and radios which, by the
way, are still tuned to the last frequencies the pilots
used when they landed this famous aircraft in Amarillo
in 1991. Now, buckle your seatbelt, grab the checklist
and get ready to start your memories.
Click below to see a 23-minute US Air
Force - C7A Caribou Aircraft Operations Training Film
that was made in 1969, then come to the Texas Air &
Space Museum, climb aboard this famous aircraft and
spend a few minutes surrounded by history.