Corgi US31312 USAF Lockheed AC-130 Gunship - "First Lady", 711th Special Operations Squadron, 919th Special Operations Wing, Duke Field, FL, 1995 (1:144 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The Lockheed AC-130 gunship is a heavily-armed ground-attack aircraft. The basic airframe is manufactured by Lockheed, and Boeing is responsible for the conversion into a gunship and for aircraft support. It is a variant of the C-130 Hercules transport plane. The AC-130A Gunship II superseded the AC-47 Gunship I in the Vietnam War.
The gunship's sole user is the United States Air Force, which uses AC-130H Spectre and AC-130U Spooky variants. The AC-130 is powered by four Rolls-Royce T56-A-15 turboprops and has an armament ranging from 25 mm Gatling guns to 105 mm howitzers. It has a standard crew of twelve or thirteen airmen, including five officers (two pilots, a navigator, an electronic warfare officer and a fire control officer) and enlisted personnel (flight engineer, electronics operators, and aerial gunners).
The US Air Force uses the AC-130 gunships for close air support, air interdiction, and force protection. Close air support roles include supporting ground troops, escorting convoys, and flying urban operations. Air interdiction missions are conducted against planned targets and targets of opportunity. Force protection missions include defending air bases and other facilities. Currently, AC-130U Spooky model gunships are stationed at Hurlburt Field in Northwest Florida and the AC-130H models are stationed at Cannon AFB, New Mexico. The gunship squadrons are part of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), a component of United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM).
Pictured here is a 1:144 scale replica of an USAF Lockheed AC-130 gunship nicknamed "First Lady", which was attached to the 711th Special Operations Squadron, 919th Special Operations Wing, then deployed to Duke Field, FL. Sold Out!
Length: 8/14 inches
Wingspan: 11 inches
Release Date: April 2011
Historical Account: "First Lady" - Produced in 1953, it was affectionately dubbed the 'First Lady', and was one of five AC-130A gunship aircraft retired during an official ceremony. While the other four aircraft were sent to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center (AMARC), the 'First Lady' went on permanent display at the Eglin AFB Armament Museum in Florida.
This aircraft was the first production Hercules built and she was rolled out in Marietta, Georgia in March 1955. It was first flown a few weeks later on April 7th. Conversion to a gunship configuration (AC-130A, Spectre) was completed in 1968. Also known as The Arbitrator, this gunship was the first In Vietnam to boast nose art.
In September 1995, the Air Force commemorated the end of an era with the retirement of the first C-130 aircraft to come off the production line, tail number 53-3129.