McDonnell Douglas YC-15

The McDonnell Douglas YC -15 is the prototype of a transport aircraft, the McDonnell Douglas developed in the 1970s for the U.S. Air Force.


In 1963, the U.S. Air Force began the first time with plans to replace the Lockheed C -130 Hercules by a novel transporter. That then started project for the development of an aircraft with Senkrecht-/Kurzstart-Fähigkeit ( VSTOL ) proved to be too costly. In the 1972 following competition without VTOL requirement called the Advanced Medium STOL Transport ( AMST ) two business orders received for the construction of two prototypes: Boeing developed the YC -14 and McDonnell Douglas in competition to the YC -15, which later became the basis for McDonnell Douglas should be C-17.

In order to meet the required STOL characteristics, both manufacturers use the principle of forced flow against aerodynamic surfaces to increase the effective buoyancy. While Boeing at its YC -14 the engine jet on the wing surface and the flap led to exploit the Coandă effect to, McDonnell Douglas ordered the four engines of the YC -15 in conventional operation under the wings. In slow flight project large, double- slotted flaps on the trailing edge in the exhaust jet and direct it downwards. A portion of the beam also passes through the column over the top of the flaps, thus producing additional lift. The two built prototypes (code 72-1875 and 72-1876 ) had different spans: 40.4 feet or 33.6 meters.

Your first flight had the McDonnell Douglas YC -15 on 26 August 1975. By the end of the flight tests in 1977, the two prototypes completed approximately 600 flight hours. Although the flight tests showed good performance in both competitive models, went for budget reasons, neither the YC -15 nor the YC -14 in series. In November 1979, finally, the U.S. Department of Defense stopped the AMST program. In developing the C- 17, McDonnell Douglas was based on the design of the YC- 15th

From the end of August 1979, the machines were stored at AMARG. The first built prototype ( 72-1875 ) first went to the nearby Pima Air & Space Museum, to McDonnell Douglas in 1996 put him back into a flight-worthy condition. Since April 1997, this copy is registered under the civil code N15YC. McDonnell Douglas and the U.S. Air Force used it since then as a test plane for new technologies that could come with the C-17 for use then, which the Air Force saved a C-17 test aircraft.

Since January 2009, the N15YC stands as a gate guard in front of an entrance to Edwards AFB.


  • Minimum (empty weight ): 294 kg / m²
  • Maximum ( maximum takeoff weight ): 607 kg / m²