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aircraft on display in the National Museum of the USAF. Painted to
represent the YC-125B used for cold weather tests, Wright-Patterson AFB,
||1 August 1949
||US Air Force
The Northrop YC-125 Raider was a 1940s American
three-engined STOL utility
transport built by Northrop
Corporation, Hawthorne, California.
Northrop's first post-war civil design was a three-engined STOL
passenger and cargo transport named the Northrop N-23
Pioneer. The Pioneer could carry 36 passengers or five
tons of cargo and first flew on 21 December 1946. The aircraft had
a good performance, but there was little interest due to the
availability of cheap war surplus aircraft. The Pioneer was lost in
a fatal crash in 1947. In 1948 the United States Air Force
expressed interest in an aircraft of the same configuration and
placed an order with Northrop for 23 aircraft, 13 troop transports
designated the C-125A Raider and 10 for Arctic
rescue work designated the C-125B. With the
company designation N-32 Raider the first aircraft
flew on 1 August 1949.
The aircraft was powered by three 1200hp (895 kW) Wright R-1820-99
Cyclone radial engines. The aircraft could also be fitted with JATO rockets that enabled it to take
off in less than 500 ft (152 m). The 13 troop transporters were
designated YC-125A in-service and the Arctic rescue
version the YC-125B.
The Canadian company Canadair did consider
building the N-23 under licence but this was not proceeded
Deliveries of the YC-125 to the USAF began in 1950. Aircraft did
not serve long as they were underpowered and they were sent soon to
Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas
and relegated to be ground instructional trainers until retired in
1955 and declared surplus.
Most of the surplus aircraft were purchased by Frank Ambrose and
sold to bush operators in South and Central America.
- N-23 Pioneer
- Prototype three-engined STOL transport, one built.
- N-32 Raider
- Company designation of military version of the N-23.
- YC-125A Raider
- N-32 with seats for thirty troops, thirteen built (serials
- YC-125B Raider
- Arctic rescue version of the N-32 with twenty stretchers and
provision for a ski undercarriage. Ten built (serials
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of
Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). Orbis Publishing.
- U.S Military Aircraft
Designations and Serials since 1909. Leicestershire UK:
Midland Counties Publications. 1979. ISBN 0 904597 22