Military Factory logo

Fairchild AC-119 (Shadow / Stinger)

United States (1968)
Picture of Fairchild AC-119 (Shadow / Stinger) Gunship / Close-Air Support (CAS) Aircraft

The Fairchild AC-119 gunship proved to be a successful conversion of the Fairchild C-119 transport aircraft.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Fairchild AC-119 (Shadow / Stinger) Gunship / Close-Air Support (CAS) Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 7/10/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Fairchild AC-119 series was a modified form of the successful Fairchild C-119 "Flying Boxcar" transport aircraft. AC-119's saw service in the Vietnam War (1955-1975) and fulfilled a "dual-role" capability based on model type: "Shadow" versions represented the adopted name by crews of their respective AC-119G models whereas "Stinger" versions were AC-119K models. Though similar aircraft in many respects, Shadows were called serve in the close-support and airbase defense roles whereas Stingers fulfilled more aggressive search-and-destroy sorties. Concentration of the AC-119K variants revolved heavily on the Ho Chi Minh supply trail as these aircraft were required to target any and all incoming and outgoing supplies as well as troop convoys.

A standard operating crew during day sorties was six with night sorties adding two more specialists. The aircraft received drive power from 2 x Wright R-3350-85 "Duplex Cyclone" radial piston engines of 3,500 horsepower each (AC-119G models) to which maximum speeds reached 210 miles per hour, cruising speeds reached 150 miles per hour, ranges were out to 1,930 miles and a service ceiling of 23,300 feet was possible. Armament varied between the two models - 4 x 7.62mm GAU-2/A miniguns was standard while the AC-119K carired an additional 2 x 20mm M61 "Vulcan" six-barreled Gatling guns. Each aircraft also carried 60 x Mk 24 flares fired from an LAU-74/A series launcher.

Service entry of this line came during November 1968. Operating squadrons were part of the 14th Special Operations Wing and 56th Special Operations Wing (Thailand) - all serving under the banner of the United States Air Force's Tactical Air Command service. In 1972, control of at least sixteen AC-119K models was given to the South Vietnamese Air Force and limited numbers operated from Thai airfields during the year but the line had seen its end.

52 total AC-119 aircraft were constructed and only five of these were lost during the war.

Any available statistics for the Fairchild AC-119 (Shadow / Stinger) Gunship / Close-Air Support (CAS) Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 300mph
Lo: 150mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (208mph).

    Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Fairchild AC-119G Shadow's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
52
52


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 1968
Type: Gunship / Close-Air Support (CAS) Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Fairchild Corporation - USA
Production: 52
Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
South Vietnam; United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Fairchild AC-119G Shadow model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
6


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
86.38 ft


Meters
26.33 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
109.28 ft


Meters
33.31 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
26.64 ft


Meters
8.12 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
40,124 lb


Kilograms
18,200 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
61,950 lb


Kilograms
28,100 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
2 x Wright R-3350-85 "Duplex Cyclone" radial piston engines developing 3,500 horsepower each.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
208 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
335 kph


Knots
181 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
1,926 mi


Kilometers
3,100 km


Nautical Miles
1,674 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
23,294 ft


Meters
7,100 m


Miles
4.41 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
950 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
290 m/min

Supported Weapon Systems:

Graphical image of an aircraft Gatling-style rotating gun
Armament - Hardpoints (0):

AC-119G "Shadow":
4 x 7.62mm miniguns
60 x Mk 24 flares

AC-119K "Stinger":
4 x 7.62mm GAU-2/A miniguns
2 x 20mm Vulcan six-barreled Gatling guns
60 x Mk 24 flares
Variants: Series Model Variants
• C-119 - Base Transport Model
• AC-119G "Shadow" - Gunship Conversion Model Designation; modified gunship based on the C-119G transport model; fitted with 4 x 7.62mm miniguns.
• AC-119K "Stinger" - Gunship Model Variant; fitted with 4 x 7.62mm miniguns and 2 x 20mm cannons.