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C-38 Courier

The transcontinental C-38A is a special mission Gulfstream 100. The aircraft is in service with the 201st Airlift Squadron, Andrews Air Force Base. The introduction of the C-38A has dramatically improved the squadron's effectiveness. The C-38A flies farther, faster and more efficiently than any other similarly priced business jet aircraft and provides the necessary communications technology. Typical cruise speed is Mach 0.80 with a long range cruising speed of Mach 0.75. Maximum range is 2,950 nautical miles, providing U.S. coast-to-coast capability under virtually any conditions. The C-38A offers substantially greater cabin volume and enhanced passenger comfort for long-range travel, including an aft lavatory. Its oval cabin cross-section provides ample room for in-flight comfort. Remarkably, it offers these benefits at a lower operating cost than its competitors.

The Gulfstream 100, designated the C-38 by the U.S. military, has superb maneuverability, a maximum speed of .875 Mach, and a maximum cruise altitude of 45,000 feet. Its robust design makes it the only in production aircraft of its size certified to carry under-wing-mounted accessories required for the specialized mission of target towing. With the best operating performance in its class, the C-38 is also the only new business jet capable of being certified with Standard NATO wing attachment points. Currently, the Gulfstream 100 is used for executive transport, as an air ambulance, for specialized target towing, and for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications.

The mid-cabin, high-speed Gulfstream G100, available now, is powered by two Honeywell TFE 731 engines. The G100 can fly up to 2,700 nautical miles, at altitudes up to 45,000 feet and at speeds up to Mach 0.875. From throughout the United States, the Gulfstream G100 can reach most airports in North America and the Caribbean. The G100 offers competitive warranty, training and maintenance programs. Combined with the Gulfstream reputation for safety, reliability, comfort and performance, the G100 will meet individualized mission requirements.

The C-38 Courier replaces two C-21A transports currently operated by the 201st Air National Guard based at Andrews AFB, Md. It holds 11 passengers and crew, is primarily for operational support and distinguished visitor transport and can be configured for general cargo duties. The passenger seating can be removed to accommodate a medical evacuation system, then can swiftly be converted back to passenger seating.

The Gulfstream fleet expanded significantly in June 2001 when General Dynamics acquired Galaxy Aerospace Company, LP. General Dynamics acquired the Galaxy and Astra SPX aircraft and assigned responsibility for marketing, servicing and supporting them to Gulfstream. The Astra SPX, now rebranded the Gulfstream 100, and the Galaxy, rebranded the Gulfstream 200, made their debut at the 2001 Paris Air Show. The addition of the G100 and G200 enables Gulfstream to offer a fleet of business jet aircraft capable of meeting a broader range of mission requirements ranging from the mid-size to the ultra-long range market segments.

The C-38, first acquired in 1997, is a US Air National Guard staff transport version of the Israel Aircraft Industries Ltd. / Galaxy Aerospace Corporation Astra SPX business jet. The Model Astra SPX is a derivative of the Model 1125 Westwind Astra. The changes include: installation of AlliedSignal (Garret) TFE 731-40R-200G engines; installation of winglets and minor structural modifications to the wing; installation of Collins pro-line 4 avionics; and a new Airplane Flight Manual to take credit for the aerodynamic and performance improvements.

The C-38A is an intercontinental passenger aircraft modified by Tracor Inc., the US prime contractor. The C-38A normally carries a crew of two and has accommodations for eight passengers. The C-38A is equipped for commercial flight operations under Federal Aviation Administration guidelines. Converting the civil aircraft for its military role involved modifications to its avionics suite. The Air Force transport was equipped with US military versions of the global positioning system; tactical air navigation; ultrahigh-frequency/very-high-frequency command radio secure communications capability and an identification, friend or foe system. It is configured with the latest in vertical separation and safety equipment, along with new state-of-the-art avionics. These features are all integrated to the commercial avionics system. The commercial, off-the-shelf equipment also includes a terrestrial, aeronautical radio-telephone system that provides voice and data communications for the passengers. Also included is an extensive inertial reference navigation system. Because of its specialized electronics and global positioning system, the C-38A can assist in command control and communications in time of disaster or war.

The Air Force accepted the first of two C-38A aircraft 17 April 1998. The C-38A was procured by Aeronautical Systems Center's commercial aircraft integrated product team, in partnership with the single program director at Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center, Tinker AFB, Okla. The program's logistics support includes a $5.2 million contract to provide depot support and Contractor Operated and Managed Base Support functions. The C-38A acquisition program used streamlined acquisition reform techniques focused on saving time and funds. C-38As will be sustained by the integrated product team at Tinker.

The designation was previously applied to the Douglas C-38, a C-33 with a DC-3 tail, of which one was built.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:28:36 ZULU