Lockheed AC-130A Spectre – “AZRAEL”
A favorite from the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Dayton Ohio, shot with the super cool Canon 8-15mm Fisheye, the only way to get this beast in the frame with a tripod about 4 feet from the nose. I had another shot of the Globemaster that sits proudly above a mantle of a former Pilot of the same plane so I had to process this one as well, from the outside runway display.
More on the Angel of Death From the Museum website-The crew of this AC-130A Spectre gunship, named Azrael (Azrael, in the Koran, is the angel of death who severs the soul from the body) displayed courage and heroism during the closing hours of Operation Desert Storm. On Feb. 26, 1991, Coalition ground forces were driving the Iraqi army out of Kuwait. Azrael was sent to the Al Jahra highway between Kuwait City and Basrah, Iraq, to intercept the convoys of tanks, trucks, buses and cars fleeing the battle. Facing numerous enemy batteries of SA-6 and SA-8 surface-to-air missiles, and 37mm and 57mm radar-guided anti-aircraft artillery, the crew attacked the enemy skillfully, inflicting significant damage on the convoys. The crew’s heroic efforts left much of the enemy’s equipment destroyed or unserviceable, contributing to the defeat of the Iraqi forces. On Feb. 28, 1991, Iraq agreed to a cease-fire.
The Low Light Level Television Sensor (LLLTV) installed on AC-130 gunships enabled the aircrew to illuminate targets covertly during night operations. Located just in front of the 20mm guns bottom right of the nose in the picture, the LLLTV could amplify the existing light 60,000 times to produce television images as clearly as if it were noon. The crew used a laser, which was invisible to the naked eye but showed up clearly on the LLLTV, to aim the AC-130’s guns with great accuracy.
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