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C-141 Tail Number: 63-8075

63-8075, along with a couple of others, was designated a 'lead the force' aircraft shortly after it arrived at Travis. The idea was to build up hours on the airframes very rapidly to see if any particular maintenance issues could be identified as problem areas. 8075 was given the nickname of 'Petunia Pig'. 63-8088 (also known as the Golden Bear) was another LTF aircraft and was given the nickname 'Porky Pig'.

From a Lockheed publication called "C-141 Service"
July 1965
Source: Contribution to C-141 Heaven from Paul Minert

As of 3/1/67, 63-8075 had set a utilization record of 15.1 flight hours per day during the 'Lead the Force' program. It was the first C-141 to reach 10,000 flight hours, on January 31, 1968.

It was used as a temporary museum aircraft at Travis until the 'Golden Bear' (63-8088) could be permanently assigned for this purpose. 8075 was 'salvaged' at Travis.

In an email to C141Heaven Steven Macy noted:

63-8075 was a designated lead the force aircraft at Travis AFB. During the 60s, it was flown more than others to build up time until 2000 hrs more than other C-141's as a predictor of maintenance problems. There were two at Travis, but I don't know the number on the other. I was in the 602 nd back then as a section leader. It was one of my planes, also 230 to 239.

In an email to C141Heaven Thomas Henrich noted:

I worked on the C141, as a crew chief, from October 1968 to December 1997 when the aircraft left Travis AFB CA. I was sorry to see it go. It was a great and very dependable aircraft. I was crew chief on aircraft 63-8075, 64-0650, 64-0652, 64-0653, and 65-0257 at various times during my career.

The caption that accompanied the following two photographs in a USAF press release read:

LEADER IN COMBAT AIRLIFT

Saigon (7AF) -- OFF LOADING A STARLIFTER -- Air Force men of the 8th Aerial Port Squadron off-load this C-141 Starlifter at the Tan Son Nhut air base near Saigon. Cargo from the U.S. is stored by the squadron until it is requested from the field. It is then reloaded into smaller C-123s and C-130s and delivered to their 'customers'. The 8 th is the largest of three such squadrons in Viet Nam.

On the ramp at Tan Son Nhut AB, July 1966 Copyright: USAF Photo
Source: contribution to C-141 Heaven from Eddie Stough

On the ramp at Tan Son Nhut AB, July 1966 Copyright: USAF Photo
Source: contribution to C-141 Heaven from Eddie Stough


Copyright: 1993 - Al Winzerling
Location: Kadena AB, Japan





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