AC-47 Gunship SpookyItem Number: 2053
Douglas AC-47 Gunship airplane model. In the early 1960s, Air Force Systems Command began experimenting with side-firing weapons systems for possible use in Vietnam in point defense and night Close Air Support (CAS) roles. In late 1964, the first gunship conversion of a World War II Douglas C-47D was done. The gunship version of the C-47D was initially designated FC-47D (Fighter-Cargo) but was changed to AC (Attack Cargo) primarily because of complaints by traditional fighter pilots. The aircraft had several nicknames: "Spooky", Puff the Magic Dragon", and "Puff".
The AC-47 was equipped with three SUU-11A 7.62 mm "miniguns" with a 6,000 round per minute rate of fire. The miniguns were mounted in the aft left fuselage, one gun was installed in the aft passenger door area. The other two guns were mounted just forward of the passenger door with the gun barrels pointed out window ports. The AC-47D carried about 16,500 rounds of ammunition on a typical mission.
For night missions, the aircraft carried approximately 48 MK-24 flares. Each flare would last up to three minutes (Mod 3 version) and produced a light of 2 million candlepower. The delivery system was extremely simple, the loadmaster armed and dropped the flare out the cargo door when the pilot signaled by flashing a cargo compartment light.