Skip to comments.AC-130 "Puff the Magic Dragon"
Posted on 10/16/2001 7:19:27 AM PDT by Dirk McQuickly
Puff the Magic Dragon
Have any FREEpers seen this baby up close?
Some Afghanis have but I doubt they will be talking about it!
You're likely to get some mild flaming on your post, as this is about the tenth post where the SPECTRE (C-130/H) and the SPOOKY C-130/U) are referred to as "Puff the Magic Dragon" which began life as a C-47 / DC-3.
Otherwise, thanks for the cool pic.
The pilot flies the aircraft in a very precise arc while the weapons guys pick AND DESTROY 'surgical' targets, or blanket an area for suppression and destruction. The Spectre and Spooky can be both discriminate and indiscriminate, but always devastating.
The crew of this AC-130A "Spectre" gunship, named Azrael--Angel of Death, (Azrael, in the Koran, was the angel of death who severed the soul from the body) displayed courage and heroism during the closing hours of Desert Storm. On February 26, 1991, the allied ground forces were driving the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. The crew of Azrael, Spectre #54-1630, was sent to the Al Jahra highway between Kuwait City and Basrah, Iraq, to intercept the convoys of tanks, trucks, buses, and cars that were fleeing the battle. Facing numerous enemy batteries of SA-6 and SA-8 missiles, and 37mm and 57mm radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery, the crew attacked the enemy skillfully, inflicting significant damage to the convoys. The crew's heroic efforts left much of the enemy's equipment destroyed or unserviceable, contributing to the defeat of the Iraqi forces. On February 28, 1991, Iraq agreed to a cease-fire.
During the 1950s the versatile C-130 Hercules was originally designed as an assault transport but was adapted for a variety of missions, including weather mapping and reconnaissance, mid-air space capsule recovery, search and rescue, ambulance service, drone launching, and mid-air refueling of helicopters. The C-130 could transport up to 92 combat troops and their gear or 45,000 pounds of cargo. Where facilities were inadequate, the Hercules could deliver cargo by parachute or by using the low altitude parachute extraction system (LAPES) without landing. The AC-130A "Spectre" is a C-130 that was converted to a side-firing gunship, primarily for night attacks against ground targets. In addition to its armament, it also possessed sensors, a target acquisition system, and a forward looking infra-red (FLIR) and lowlight television system.
The aircraft on display was assigned to the 919th Special Operations Wing (SOW) and was retired to the Museum in October 1995.
Span: 132 ft. 7 in.
Length: 96 ft. 10 in.
Weight: 124,200 lbs. max.
Armament: Two 7.62 miniguns plus two 20mm and two 40mm cannon
Engines: Four Allison T-56-A-9D turboprops of 3,750 equivalent shaft horsepower ea.
Serial number: 54-1630
Max. speed: 380 mph/330 knots
Cruising speed: 335 mph/291 knots
Range: 2,500 statute miles/2,172 nautical miles
Service ceiling: 33,000 ft.
Praying this time it will end differently, JL
The gun ship had 2 side firing 20mm Vulcan cannons (gatling guns) a 105mm cannon, and a 40 mm cannon , all individually targeted via a suiteconsisting of four crewmen sitting on the starboard side (right). Most of the monitors were covered with canvas covers and IDed by a crewman as sensors.
Snatch Job was VERY interesting, in the Cargo Area was configured to hold about 30 pax, in the ole sling seats. A VERY young crew chief explained that this a/c was designed to land and take off on about 1300ft. His quote We can land this without any reference to the ground in any weather, day or night, we prefer the night The cockpit had a impressive array of FLIR monitors.
I left feeling very proud of the crews, they were our very best and brightest, and VERY brave. My thoughts these days are with them, may God watch over them and keep them safe for they truly are the tip of the spear in this operation.
God Bless America
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