National Museum of the USAF   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

Home > Fact Sheets > Lockheed AC-130A Hercules


Posted 8/6/2014 Printable Fact Sheet
Previous ImageNext Image
Lockheed AC-130A
DAYTON, Ohio -- Lockheed AC-130A at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Download HiRes

The C-130 was originally designed as an assault transport capable of operating from unpaved, hastily prepared airstrips. On Aug. 23, 1954, the Hercules made its first flight. By 1976 more than 1,200 C-130s had been ordered, including aircraft equipped for radar 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 its cargo by parachute or by low altitude ground-cable extraction without landing.

Twenty-eight C-130s were converted to side-firing gunships, primarily for night attacks against ground targets. This AC-130A was modified at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, as the prototype for the gunship version and was initially equipped with four 20mm and four 7.62mm multi-barrel guns, a searchlight and target sensors. After testing in Southeast Asia in 1967, it was used as a test bed for additional armament, sensor and fire control development. Later AC-130 gunships mounted improved sensors, a digital fire control computer and heavier armament. 

The aircraft on display was retired to the museum in May 1976.

Armament: Two 7.62mm mini-guns, plus two 20mm, two 40mm and one 105mm cannon
Engines: Four Allison T-56-A-11 turboprops of 4,050 hp
Maximum speed: 380 mph
Cruising speed: 335 mph
Range: 2,500 miles
Service ceiling: 33,000 ft.
Span: 132 ft. 7 in.
Length: 97 ft. 10 in.
Height: 38 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 124,200 lbs. maximum

Click here to return to the Air Park.

Find Out More
Blue line
Related Fact Sheets
Lockheed AC-130A Spectre
Lockheed C-130E Hercules
Blue line
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.

 Inside the Museum

ima cornerSearch

ima cornerAircraft


tabRelated Links

Museum Virtual TourMuseum Facebook PageMuseum Twitter PageMuseum Instagram
Museum Google Plus PageMuseum Pinterest PageMuseum YouTube ChannelMuseum Flickr Page
Museum PodcastsMuseum E-newsletter Sign-upMuseum RSS Feeds

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act