Here's another crazy concept airlifter...the six-engine Lockheed GL-194.
When embarking upon aviation archeological searches, you encounter many dead ends.
In this case, the only GL-194 information I can easily find are these photos.
the first two are from an eBay listing that ended several years ago. It, apparently, was a traveling demonstration model, presumably used by a Lockheed exec to present the concept to high-ranking USAF officials.
The last photo came from printed material showing the general arrangement of the aircraft.
Lockheed obviously ended up with the C-141 Starlifter, which in turn led to the C-5 Galaxy...but this concept is an interesting look at how they got there.
Sporting six JT3D engines, as used on the 707, DC-8, C-141, and B-52, this particular concept was planned to have a maximum takeoff weight of 411,000 lbs (186,000 kg). Overall, that weight, the planned payload, and the dimensions were very close to that of the C-141, which Lockheed ultimately ended up building.
It would be interesting to learn what specific design criteria led to the GL-194's early demise. It's entirely possible the USAF decided they wanted no more than four engines for their airlifter, leading to the C-141.
It's frustrating to know that the rest of the story is almost certainly stored away in some anonymous, forgotten storeroom or warehouse, forever hidden from public view.
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