During the 1950s the C-130 Hercules was originally designed as an assault transport, but it was adopted for a variety of missions. The C-130 primarily performs the intratheater portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for paradropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. Basic and specialized versions perform a variety of roles including airlift support, DEW Line and Arctic resupply, aeromedical missions, aerial spray missions, fire-fighting duties for the US Forest Service, and natural disaster relief missions.

Four decades have elapsed since the Air Force issued its original design specification, yet the remarkable C-130 remains in production. It is the preferred transport aircraft for many US Government services and over 60 foreign counties. The basic airframe has been modified to hundreds of different configurations to meet an ever-changing environment and mission requirement. The C-130 Hercules has unsurpassed versatility, performance, and mission effectiveness. Early C-130A, B, D and E versions are now retired.

The AC-130A Spectre is a C-130 that was converted to a side-firing gunship, primarily for night attacks against ground troops. The AC-130A was equipped with two 40mm cannons, two 20mm Vulcan cannons and two 7.62mm miniguns.

Warner Robins Air Logistics Center is responsible for program management and logistics support for all USAF C-130s worldwide. The Museum’s AC-130A was accepted by the USAF in September 1956 as a standard cargo aircraft serving the U.S., Europe and Panama. In 1970 it was converted to an AC-130A gunship, deployed to Southeast Asia in 1971 and flew numerous combat missions, returning to the U.S. in June 1975. In 1991 it deployed to the Persian Gulf and participated in Desert Storm combat operations before being retired and flown to the Museum in 1995.

  • Span: 132 ft. 7 in.
  • Length: 96 ft. 10 in.
  • Height: 38 ft. 6 in.
  • Weight: 124,200 lbs. max
  • Armament: Two 7.62mm mini-guns, two 20mm and two 40mm cannons
  • Engine: Four Allison T-56-A-9D turboprops of 3,750 hp. ea.
  • Cost: $3,646,734
  • Serial Number: 55-0014
  • Maximum speed: 380 mph.
  • Cruising speed: 335 mph.
  • Range: 2,500 miles
  • Service ceiling: 33,000 ft.