STATUS: Retired, Out-of-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Fairchild Corporation - USA
OPERATORS: South Vietnam; United States
LENGTH: 86.38 feet (26.33 meters)
WIDTH: 109.28 feet (33.31 meters)
HEIGHT: 26.64 feet (8.12 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 40,124 pounds (18,200 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 61,950 pounds (28,100 kilograms)
ENGINE: 2 x Wright R-3350-85 "Duplex Cyclone" radial piston engines developing 3,500 horsepower each.
SPEED (MAX): 208 miles-per-hour (335 kilometers-per-hour; 181 knots)
RANGE: 1,926 miles (3,100 kilometers; 1,674 nautical miles)
CEILING: 23,294 feet (7,100 meters; 4.41 miles)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 950 feet-per-minute (290 meters-per-minute)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Fairchild AC-119 (Shadow / Stinger) Gunship / Close-Air Support (CAS) Aircraft.
Entry last updated on 8/16/2018.
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.
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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.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (208mph).
Graph average of 225 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Fairchild AC-119G Shadow's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
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