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AC-130 "Puff the Magic Dragon"

Posted on 10/16/2001 7:19:27 AM PDT by Dirk McQuickly

Puff the Magic Dragon


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS:
In case you haven't seen a picture of one of these in flight, here's a great image from The Aviation Zone.

Have any FREEpers seen this baby up close?

1 posted on 10/16/2001 7:19:27 AM PDT by Dirk McQuickly
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To: Dirk McQuickly
No, I ain't never seen one of these and hopefully, I never will have to in person, but it sure is beautiful!!!
2 posted on 10/16/2001 7:23:18 AM PDT by Nick Thimmesch
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To: Dirk McQuickly
Have any FREEpers seen this baby up close?

Some Afghanis have but I doubt they will be talking about it!

3 posted on 10/16/2001 7:23:21 AM PDT by Katie_Colic
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To: Dirk McQuickly
1967 - 1969 I worked at LTV installing the gattling-guns. Awesome firepower, and I suppose they've updated the firepower since then. Nice pic, thanks.
4 posted on 10/16/2001 7:23:55 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: Dirk McQuickly
The taliban just opened the whole can of whup-ass!
5 posted on 10/16/2001 7:25:32 AM PDT by jsraggmann
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To: lodwick
It is so wonderful being superior to everyone else on the planet!
6 posted on 10/16/2001 7:25:35 AM PDT by Galtoid
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To: Dirk McQuickly
I've been in it, never flown tho. Did some nightime fire adjustment with it. At night you can hear the whirs and booms, then you see the results. Much better with NVGs.
7 posted on 10/16/2001 7:25:54 AM PDT by opbuzz
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To: Dirk McQuickly
Dirk--

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.

http://www.theaviationzone.com/facts/ac130.htm

Otherwise, thanks for the cool pic.

8 posted on 10/16/2001 7:30:24 AM PDT by Blueflag
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To: Dirk McQuickly
I am not an Air Force type, but I think if you check you will find the AC-130 is a "Spectre" and the original AC-47 used in Vietnam was "Puff."
9 posted on 10/16/2001 7:33:50 AM PDT by SLB
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To: Blueflag
Thanks for the clarification. Here is an FAQ on tha AC-130 posted by The Times of London
10 posted on 10/16/2001 7:34:16 AM PDT by Dirk McQuickly
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To: SLB
Thank you -- I stand corrected.
11 posted on 10/16/2001 7:34:52 AM PDT by Dirk McQuickly
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To: lodwick
"1967 - 1969 I worked at LTV installing the gattling-guns."

And YOU did a great job!
I saw Puff in action many a time.
At night we would get within 1/4-1/2 mile off shore and light up the night sky with starshells
so Puff could come in for strafing runs.
12 posted on 10/16/2001 7:39:02 AM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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To: Dirk McQuickly
What that FAQ does NOT state, is that the AC-130 U/H leaves complete devastation and destruction in its wake, and can hit a vehicle on one side of the street while troops on the other side perform an extraction from a hot LZ. Like when you snatch a foreign minister out from under the nose of the (now dead) troops guarding him.

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.

13 posted on 10/16/2001 7:40:36 AM PDT by Blueflag
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To: Dirk McQuickly
Lockheed AC-130A "Spectre" Gunship

Lockheed AC-130A Spectre

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.

SPECIFICATIONS
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

PERFORMANCE
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.

Click the above links for additional views of Azreal
14 posted on 10/16/2001 7:44:16 AM PDT by deport
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To: 68-69TonkinGulfYatchClub
Did you ever see the 130 Light Plane? LTV also had that contract for "lighting up the night" for our troop. We had all the toys - Washington simply didn't have the stones.

Praying this time it will end differently, JL

15 posted on 10/16/2001 7:46:34 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: deport
Thanks for the pics - brings back some memories of getting the planes back home, tying them down, placing the chocks, emptying the fuel cells, and then getting them patched-up and ready to fly and fight again.
16 posted on 10/16/2001 7:57:34 AM PDT by lodwick
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To: lodwick
"Did you ever see the 130 Light Plane?"

Probably, but not sure.
And IT WILL be different this time!
17 posted on 10/16/2001 7:58:10 AM PDT by 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub
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To: deport
The newer version, the 130U, carries a 105mm cannon in addition to Gatling guns and 40mm Bofors. What is amazing is how they can mount such a high recoil weapon as the 105mm, which was originally a field artillery cannon. The effectiveness of artillery is very much a function of projectile velocity (in addition to explosive charge). Can you imagine the effect of the 105mm firing down at a 45 degree angle from a mile or so away, in effect point blank, at a target. With the computer aiming based on radar and infrared, it has first round accuracy. This is an unbelievably destructive weapons system.
18 posted on 10/16/2001 8:17:29 AM PDT by thucydides
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To: Dirk McQuickly
I took my family to the “Freedom 2001” airshow at Pope AFB this spring. Among the various and sundry static displays were the AC-130/U gunship, a heavily armed Blackhawk (dont remember the designation) used for SAR. and another C-130 known as SNATCH JOB to the crew, all from Elgin AFB I believe.

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 “suite”consisting 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

19 posted on 10/16/2001 8:25:38 AM PDT by Robe
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To: Dirk McQuickly
This pic looks as though they maybe dropping flares used to fake out heat seekers. You should see it in action she'll really light up the sky.
20 posted on 10/16/2001 8:38:08 AM PDT by XA-3Whaler
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To: thucydides
Like you, I was wondering about the recoil of that 105mm cannon. It's hard to see how the aircraft's frame could take that sort of a pounding. I'd imagine that the plane must be knocked sideways a bit as each round is fired; after all, the 130 itself isn't mounted to anything, and has only it's own weight and perhaps the gyroscopic effect of the props and turbines to resist the recoil, and to the extent it did resist the recoil, even more stress would have to be absorbed by the frame. I wouldn't be surprized to hear that the 105s are light loads or something, if that's the right term for it.
21 posted on 10/16/2001 7:44:10 PM PDT by PUGACHEV
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To: Dirk McQuickly
During a night defense of a hamlet in the Mekong River Delta, a reporter from the Stars and Stripes watched an AC-47 attack from inside the fortitfications. Upon witnessing the wrath that the AC-47 brought down on the VC attackers that night, he reported that visual effect of the tracers, 1 in every 5 rounds or 20 per second, gave the appearance of dragon's breath. He also tied the roar of the guns into the description. Upon reading the account in the Stars and Stripes, the CO of the 1st Commando Squadron exclaimed "Well, I'll be damned! Puff, the Magic Dragon." from a child's song recently popularized in the U.S. by the trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Captured VC documents later told of orders not to attack the Dragon as weapons are useless and it will only infuriate the monster.

Pic of a AC-47 gunship aka "Puff".

My service in the USAF special ops was a bit after the Vietnam war. A few of the old sergeants I worked with related how the mere mention of Puff on the radio sent the VC scurrying out of the area. Sometimes they even simulated a call to Puff to get the same effect when no Puff was available.

22 posted on 10/16/2001 7:56:24 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: PUGACHEV
The M102 105mm Cannon was derived from the Army field artillery M1A1 howitzer and was modified to be fired from the left rear side door of the AC-130 gunship aircraft. To accomodate this cannon, one of the side-firing 40mm guns was removed from the aircraft and replaced by the radome that formerly had been installed in the door cavity. That change provided enough space for the 105mm gun to be mounted in the doorway in place of the radome. The gun was used extensively beginning with the Vietnam War.

The 105MM cannon fires both the M-1, 32.5 pound high explosive (HE) and the M-60, 34.2 pound white phosphorous (WP) projectile. The fuzes available for the HE round are the super quick M-557,selectable to point detonate (PD) or a 0.05 second delay, the hardened FMU-153B, with PD or 0.007 second delay, and the M-732 proximity fuze, which detonates at approximately 7 meters above the ground, or point detonates if the proximity function is not set or fails.

The M-1 HE projectile with the M-557 fuze in the PD mode is effective against personnel and light vehicles. The M-1 HE projectile with M-557 fuze in delay is effective against light structures and personnel under heavy foliage or cover as the round penetrates prior to detonation. This combination does not work as well against concrete or hardened structures as the fuze and projectile may break up on impact, causing the round to not function. With the FMU-153B fuze in delay mode, the M-1 HE projectile has hardened target penetration capability. The M-732 also makes the M1 HE round an effective personnel physical suppression weapon, as the air burst enables the fragmentation to impact prone or entrenched troops.

For effective area coverage it may be necessary to fire several rounds at least 20 degrees apart, aiming approximately 2 mils high of the central point. The M-732 fuze may function based on the height of the highest obstacle in the area. The M-60 WP round, used only with the M-557 fuze, is an effective smoke round with limited incendiary effect.

23 posted on 10/16/2001 8:08:47 PM PDT by spectr17
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To: Dirk McQuickly
Have any FREEpers seen this baby up close?

This REMF has only seen one at an air show. They actually let us walk through it. An amazin' machine!

Here's another pretty piece of eye candy I haven't seen on FR before:

Here's another one, over Vietnam perhaps?

Anyone know? . . . What is the difference between Puff the Magic Dragon and Spooky?

24 posted on 10/16/2001 9:03:16 PM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker
. What is the difference between Puff the Magic Dragon and Spooky?

83.

The former's an AC-47, the latter's an AC-130.

130-47=83 ;-)

25 posted on 10/16/2001 11:48:55 PM PDT by DuncanWaring
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To: DuncanWaring
Thanks for the cypherin'.

A merry tune sung by the gunship crews. It is sung to the tune of "Ghost Riders in the Sky", an old country/western tune.

Fly high you mighty Spectre, you ship of blazing fools
Deal death around the table, and never play by rules
Lift up your wings at suns last ray, and silent like the night
Fly East to where your target lies, and start your deadly fight

Your foes will not suspect you're near, until they feel your sting
Spit forth a flame that points at death, and make your bullets sing

Though flak explode around you, stay on your circled path
Bathe the bad in bloody steel, make them feel your wrath

When all is quiet down below, and flames reach for the sky
Speed home you battle-weary ship, for soon the dark will fly

Speed home you mighty Spectre, touch down at sun's first ray
You've flown to hell for battle, but shun the light of day

Rest, rest you awesome Spectre, lick your battle wounds
And fill your side with deadly store for night is coming soon.

26 posted on 10/17/2001 12:06:11 AM PDT by spectr17
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To: thucydides

I saw this and my first thought was: "HOW THE F do you get a howitzer in a plane?"

27 posted on 10/17/2001 10:26:34 AM PDT by pittsburgh gop guy
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To: LibWhacker
That'd be Navarre Beach -- just south of Hurlburt Field, Florida, home of USAF Special Forces and the Spectre Gunships.
28 posted on 10/17/2001 10:57:54 AM PDT by Orbiter
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To: Dirk McQuickly
The AC-130 is not Puff the Magic Dragon -- it is Specter or Spooky. Puff the Magic Dragon was built on a DC-3 airframe.

This is Puff:

More information can be found at this website.

29 posted on 10/17/2001 11:17:08 AM PDT by Junior
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To: SLB
the original AC-47 used in Vietnam was "Puff."

Actually, the official Air Force name was "Spooky." I saw many while I was in Nam. It was interesting to see them work out at night. All we could see, was a steady stream of tracers raining down from the sky.

30 posted on 10/17/2001 11:22:15 AM PDT by Mark17
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