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C-46 "Commando"

Military Transport Aircraft


C-46 Commando

At the time of its mass-production, the C-46 was the second-largest (behind the American Martin PBM) and also one of the top-five heaviest (behind the German He 177, the Martin PBM and the British Avro Manchester and Vickers Warwick) two-engine aircraft to have seen combat service in World War II.


  • C-46 Commando. Twin engined military transport aircraft, powered by two 2,000 hp (1,491 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-43 radial piston engines.
  • C-46A Commando. Twin-engined military transport aircraft, powered by two 2,000 hp (1,419 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-51 radial piston engines, fitted with a large cargo door on the port side of the fuselage, equipped with strengthened cargo floor, a hydraulic winch and folding seats for up to 40 troops.
  • C-46B Commando. One C-46A was converted into a test aircraft to evaluate a stepped windscreen design, it was powered by two 2,100 hp (1,567 kW) H-2800-34W radial piston engines.
  • C-46D Commando. Twin-engined personnel, paratroop transport aircraft, fitted with an extra door on the port side; 1,610 built.
  • C-46E Commando. Twin-engined utility transport aircraft, equipped with a large cargo door on the port side of the fuselage, fitted with a stepped windscreen; 17 built.
  • C-46F Commando. Twin-engined cargo transport aircraft, equipped with cargo doors on both sides of the fuselage, fitted with square cut wingtips; 234 built.
  • C-46G Commando. This one-off aircraft was fitted with a stepped windscreen and square wingtips, one built.
  • R5C-1. Twin-engined military transport aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps. Similar to the C-46A Commando; 160 built.

Total built 3,181.

Crew 4
Length, m 23.26
Height, m 6.62
Wing span, m 32.91
Wing area, m2 126.3
Weight, kg
Empty weight 13,608 (30.000 lbs)
Maximum takeoff weight 20,412 (45.000 lbs)
Power Plant
Engine 2 x PE Pratt Whitney R-2800-51
Takeoff power, hp 2 х 2000 (1491 kW)
Maximum speed, km/h at altitude 3000 m 435
Cruise speed, km/h at altitude 2700 m 378
Service range, km 2897
Service ceiling, m 6706
Max. payload, kg 6804 (15.000 pounds) or 40 troops
Photo Description

Drawing C-46A Commando

Two C-46А in flight. Pictured in the foreground "Commando" in "iron color".

Loading C-46D. In front cargo hatch segment was the passenger door, just in case, when there was no need to open all the cargo hatch.

C-46 in USSR on test flights at NII VVS, 1945.


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "American Warplanes of World War II" /under cor. David Donald/

Cockpit C-46F "Camba", modern photo - on average instrument panel is KLN-90. According to the testimony of instruments - left engine running.

by Rob Schleiffert, 1997

The same C-46F "Camba", running left engine.

by Rob Schleiffert, 1997

21 03 2017.

"342/CK 319 347272 C-46A-60 CR Soviet Air Force USAAF s/n 43-47271; modified with R-2800-75 engines by the Louisville factory; in olive drab c/s with light grey undersides;
ferried from Fairbanks to Moscow via ALSIB 28apr45/15may45; underwent trials with the NII VVS in summer 1945;
used by the Soviet Aeronautical Commission inspecting aircraft and rocket factories and research institutions in Eastern Germany in 1946, undertook several flights to Berlin and Ribnitz-Damgarten mar46/apr46 (carried e.g. Ar 234 parts from Ribnitz-Damgarten to the Soviet Union);
possibly wfu 1946"