11/15/2005. Remarks by Jess
Steeley: "In 1951 Lockheed started design of the R7V-2 powered by the
YT-34-P-12A turboprop rated at 5,500 eshp driving three-bladed Hamilton
Standard Turbo Hydromatic propellers. 22,000 eshp is some serious horsepower
for a Connie, compared to the 13,000 hp from the reciprocating engines that
powered the R7V-1. The T-34 was to power the Douglas
Four R7V-1’s (BuNos. 131630/131631/131660/131661, c/n 1249A-4131/4132/4161/4162)
under construction were modified to R7V-2’s, the first to fly was 131630 on
September 1, 1954. With 440 mph (708 kmh) the R7V-2 was the fastest prop-driven
transport in the world at that time.
Two of the R7V-2’s, BuNos. 131660/131661 were turned over to the USAF as
YC-121F’s, s/ns 53-8157/8158. The latter was leased back to Lockheed to
become the test bed for the Allison 501D turboprop, the civil version of the
T-56 that already powered the YC-130 Hercules. The 501D was the intended power
plant for the Lockheed 188 Electra, hence the YC-121F was nicknamed Elation.
After the trails the aircraft was fitted with 6,000 eshp T-34-P-6 engines and
returned to the USAF.
After it was struck off charge by the USAF the fuselage was used to rebuilt
1049G c/n 4636 Flying Tiger Line N9749Z (later N174W) to 1049H, resulting in an
unusual configuration with the round windows of the 1249A. It was written off
at Barrow, Alaska, USA while being operated by North Slope Supply Co, Inc., on
May 5, 1970."