FS2002/FS2004 C-46As (R5C-1s) Curtis Commando

By: FSDS DRAWING AND TEXTURE BY JRLUCARINY

Painted overall Glossy Sea Blue, this R5C-1 (LH/H-14) was assigned to Marine Transport Squadron 252 (VMR-252). This unit was based at MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina in the late 1940s. The Navy ordered C-46As (R5C-1s) on behalf of the Marines during World War Two.

HISTORY

The C-46 achieved distinction as the primary cargo lifter for ferrying sup- plies from India to China over “the Hump”, the Himalayan Mountains, after the Japanese closed the Burma Road in 1943. It was preferred over the C-47 for it’s greater cargo capacity and better high-altitude performance. Commandos took off from India loaded with cargos to clear ridges up to 14,000 feet and landed at Chunking to supply Chennault’s Flying Tigers.

SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Troop and cargo transport
Origin: Curtis-Wright
Crew: N/A
Model: See variants list
First Flight:
CW-20: March 26, 1940
Service Delivery: July 1942
Final Delivery: 1945
Number Produced: 3,000+
Weights:
Empty: 30,000 lb. (5945 kg)
Loaded: 45,000 lb. (7585 kg)
Performance: Estimated
Maximum Speed: 270 mph (435 kph) at 15,000 ft.
Cruising Speed: 173 mph (278 kph)
Service Ceiling: 24,500 ft. (7470m)
Range: 3,150 miles (5069 km) at cruising speed
Engine:
Model: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51
Type: Radial piston engine
Number: Two Horsepower: 2,000 hp
Armament: None
Payload:
40 equipped troops.

VARIANTS

CW-20T: Original prototype.
CW-20A: Modification of original prototype with new tail. Evaluated by U.S. Army as C-55. Returned to Curtis and subsequently sold to BOAC.
CW-20B-1: Single conversion from a C-46A to evaluate a stepped windscreen. Designated XC-46B.
CW-20E: Project for AC-46K with new engines.
CW-20G: Testbed conversion from C-46G. Used to test GE TG-100 turboprop installed in starboard nacelle. Originally designated XC-46C but changed to XC-113.
CW-20H: Three aircraft equipped with R-3350 radials. Designated C-46L.
R5C-1: designation for 160 aircraft supplied to U.S. Marines, based on C-46A.
C-46D: Personnel version with extra cargo door on starboard side. 1,610 built.
C-46E: utility version with C-46A door configuration and stepped windscreen of XC-46B. 17 built.
C-46F: Cargo version with doors on both sides and square wingtips.
C-46G: Single example with stepped windscreen and square wingtips.

COMMENT

I fully expected not to find a lot of information on the Curtis Commando in my private book collection, but was pleasantly surprised when I found a few articles. Unfortunately only one photograph was found so I was forced to scour the internet for a few more pictures to compare the model to. The author captured the look of the bird rather well in my opinion, not to mention some excellent textures. This model features some exterior detail, opening cargo door, and a nice thick look. ( I’m not very fond of the flat control surfaces on some models). Unlike Capt. Paulo Afonso Pizzato’s Commando, this model features a rather dull looking instrument panel and no virtual cockpit. The sound package is a bonus, loud and annoying like the old birds of the past. Flight characteristics are similar to the DC-3. Slow and heavy. Overall a very nicely done model, all it needs is a virtual cockpit and a nicer instrument panel.

My Rating 7/10