The Curtiss-Wright C-46 was designed in the 1930s as a commercial transport aircraft. It first flew as CW-20 in March 1940. First production aircraft had 2 Wright R-2600 Twin Cyclone engines. It was ordered in 1940 for military usage for the USAAF as C-46 and U.S. Navy/Marine Corps under the designation R5C and used first during the Second World War and Korea. It was also called the "whale". It was also later fitted with Pratt and Whitney R-2800 engines. After the war, many were purchased by commercial airlines but mainly also for transports in various parst of the World. The USAF used it until 1968. In total over 3,100 aircraft were manufactured in a few versions with different engines, doors and cabin layouts.
This C-46D c/n 33415 and US military serial 44-78019 is now coded "478019". The aircraft is preserved at the Joe Davies Heritage Airpark, Palmdale Plant 42.
Photographed November 2016 by Cees Hendriks (c) copyright
Just a few kits have appeared in plastic of the C-46 Commando. In 1/72 scale Williams Bros had a nice kit. Platz has a nice 1/144 kit.
Drawing from the Williams Bros 1/72 kit of the C-46
This webpage was first created September 2017 by M. de Vreeze