Hawker-Beechcraft MC-12W Liberty
Published December 20, 2016
Please note: This aircraft is currently in storage and can be viewed on the Behind the Scenes Tours.
The MC-12 was a civilian aircraft modified for military duty. In US Air Force service from 2009-2016, the unarmed Liberty collected information using a variety of sensors as an Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) platform.
Flying at low and medium altitudes over Iraq and Afghanistan, MC-12 crews spotted more than 650 enemy weapons caches and aided in stopping more than 8,000 terrorists. Liberty crews flew more than 400,000 combat hours helping ground troops find enemy forces and avoid Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). In 2016, the MC-12 mission moved to the US Army.
The MC-12 was derived from the Hawker-Beechcraft C-12 Huron, a military personnel transport. The “M” stands for “multi-role.” Along with the Liberty aircraft, the complete MC-12 system included operators on the ground and various communication technologies. The USAF acquired 37 MC-12 aircraft.
This MC-12W arrived at the Museum on October 26, 2016. It is being preserved in the Museum’s Restoration Division awaiting potential display in the main Museum complex.
Sensors: Electro-optical, infrared, and others as missions require
Crew: 2 pilots and 2 sensor operators
Civilian designation: Hawker-Beechcraft King Air 350
Engines: 2 Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60A turboprops of 1,050 hp each
Maximum speed: 359 mph
Range: Approximately 2,760 miles
Ceiling: 35,000 ft