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C-1A Trader

C-1A Trader aircraft in flight, viewed from the left side and slightly ahead, The plane is banking toward the camera.
Here's what the PCAM Flight Wing is all about. They restore and fly historic aircraft. The C-1A is the Flight Wing's flagship, and was donated to the Museum in flying condition back in 2013. This photo shows her performing at the 2016 Wings Over Wine Country Air Show.
C-1A Trader in flight, making a very low pass above the runway. View is of the plane's left side and slightly ahead.
The Flight Wing C-1A Trader makes a low pass while performing at the 2016 Wings Over Wine Country Air Show. It's unusual for a museum to have flying aircraft, but PCAM has among its membership many talented and experienced mechanics and pilots who can keep a plane like this one alive.
C-1A Trader twin engined aircraft unfolding its wings as it taxis down the taxiway. Photo is from the right and slightly ahead.
The C-1A Trader unfolds its wings as it taxis towards the runway for a test flight. The C-1 is a very complex aircraft, with a complicated hydraulic system that could challenge any skilled mechanic.
C-1A Trader in a hangar, wings folded, during a maintenance cycle. Photo is from in front and to the left.
The C-1A Trader requires a lot of care. It was designed as a Carrier Onboard Delivery aircraft (COD), and spent its career flying urgent cargo, personnel, equipment, and such to and from aircraft carriers. It also carried the mail. Those folding wings come in handy -- she's a big plane but will actually fit into a hangar, making maintenance easier.
C-1A Trader parked in front of a hangar, with its wings folded. Photo is shot from the front and slightly to the right.
The C-1A Trader sat patiently for a couple years as the Flight Wing gathered funds for needed upgrades. Propeller hubs needed to be rebuilt, hydraulic systems needed refurbishment, and a number of other issues kept her on the ground. But she was back in the air for the 2016 Wings Over Wine Country Air Show.
C-1A Trader with wings folded sits in a hangar for maintenance. Three crew members are working on the plane.
Mike Joyce (left, in yellow shirt) and Chris Brown (at rear, in dark blue shirt) assist chief pilot and mechanic Lynn Hunt with routine maintenance on the C-1. Lynn is in his natural environment, standing on a bucket with his head buried in an engine compartment. Lynn is a driving force behind the Flight Wing, and is an experienced pilot in many different types of aircraft.
Wide angle view inside the cockpit of the C-1A in flight.
From left: Chris Brown, Mike Joyce (left, rear) and pilot Lynn Hunt, in the C-1 during a July 2016 test flight. Here, they are going through the checklists just before takeoff.
Wide angle photo inside the cockpit of the C-1A Trader as it taxis, showing the copilot and a view of the right engine outside the window
Copilot Chris Brown is extra eyes for the pilot as they taxi the big C-1A Trader for a test flight. The C-1 is the flagship of the PCAM Flight Wing, which is dedicated to restoring and flying historic aircraft.
  • Country of origin:


  • Manufacturer:


  • B/N or Serial #::


  • Type:

    Carrier On-Board Delivery (COD) or Transport

  • Ownership:

    Flight Wing of the Pacific Coast Air Museum. Learn More!

C-1A Trader History

The C-1 Trader grew out of a need by the United States Navy for a new anti submarine airplane. In response to this Grumman began development on a prototype twin-engine, high-wing aircraft which it designated the G-89. In 1952 the Navy designated this aircraft the XS2F-1 and flew it for the first time on December 4 that year. During the rest of the 1950s three major variants emerged, the C-1 Trader being one of them. The C-1 (originally the TF-1) was outfitted to carry nine passengers or 3,500 pounds (1,600 kg) of cargo and first flew in January 1955.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s the C-1 Trader carried mail and supplies to aircraft carriers on station in the Pacific Ocean during the Vietnam War and also served as a trainer for all-weather carrier operations. Over its production life 83 C-1 Traders were built, of which four were converted into EC-1A Tracer electronic countermeasures aircraft. The last C-1 was retired from USN service in 1988; it was the last radial engine aircraft in U.S military service. As of 2010, approximately ten were still airworthy in civil hands, operating as warbirds.

This particular aircraft was donated to the Pacific Coast Air Museum in flying condition. Museum founders and members had long envisioned a division of the Museum that would maintain and operate airworthy aircraft and with this donation, the Flight Wing was born.

More detail will be added about this aircraft as it becomes available

C-1A Trader Specifications


69.6 ft (21.2 m)


42.2 ft (12.9 m)


16.3 ft (4.9 m)

Maximum takeoff weight

29,150 lbs. (13,222 kg)

Empty weight

18,750 lbs. (8,504 kg)

Pilot and Copilot, plus up to nine passengers.

Maximum speed:

287 mph (462 km/h)


1,300 miles (2,092 km)

2 × Wright R-1820-82WA Cyclone 9-cylinder radial piston engine, 1,525 hp (1,137 kW) each

Lynn Hunt

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