Tag Archives: AC-47D Spooky gunship

Fly By Night Outfit: Spooky does it

Official caption: “Air War In Vietnam, 1966: Crew of US AC-47 plane firing 7.62 mm GE miniguns during a night mission in Vietnam.”

The trio of General Electric GAU-2/M134 miniguns carried by the gunship was able to lay down a total of 6,000 rounds of 7.62 NATO per minute, or 100 per second.

The night attack of a U.S. Air Force Douglas AC-47D Spooky gunship over Saigon in 1968. This time-lapse photo shows the tracer round trajectories. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force photo 120517-F-DW547-001

Going well beyond the “whole nine yards”

AC-47 Spooky by Stu Shepherd

With less than 40 AC-47s of all types used by the USAF’s 3rd and 4th Air Commando Squadrons between 1964-69, few remained in U.S. inventory as most flyable examples were passed on to Southeast Asian allies (i.e. Cambodia, Laos, RVN, Thailand) after the much more capable AC-130 gunship entered service.

However, there is one that I happen to visit every time I head to Destin, located at the USAF Armament Museum, although it is actually just a modded C-47K Goony Bird (S/N 44-76486).

The AC-47D depicted emulates SN 43-49010 which was one of the first 20 C-47Ds converted to its AC-47D configuration by Air International at Miami, FL. The original was assigned to the 4th Special Operations Squadron, 14th Special Operations Wing, flying out of Udorn RTAFB, Thailand during the Vietnam War from 1969-1970.