This collectable model represents the C-46 Commando, a twin-engine cargo lifter famous for its operations over the Hump in World War II. Able to lift twice the load of a C-47, the Commando continues in service today. Painstakingly built from Philippine mahogany by skilled craftsmen using a wealth of detail, this 1/72-scale model C-46 makes a great gift for any aviation enthusiast or history buff.
Powered by two Wright Double Cyclones, the C-46 made its first flight on March 25, 1940. During the early production run, the Cyclones were replaced by 2,000-hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radials, giving it a strong performance envelope.
The C-46 made its real mark in cargo operations over the Hump the dangerous routes over the Himalayas in the China-Burma-India Theater. Its powerful though thirsty engines allowed it to fly higher than the C-47 Skytrain, with larger payloads and a greater margin of safety. The Commando, also known as the R5C in Marine Corps service, saw extensive use in the Pacific theater.
After World War II, its relatively high operating costs kept the Commando limited to mostly cargo flights, especially in remote areas where its performance in mountainous areas made it especially useful. The C-46 continued service in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and was also used by the Central Intelligence Agency for resupply missions.
Several C-46s continue to fly in cargo service today.