The volunteers from Marietta Museum of History’s Aviation Wing of Marietta, Georgia had an exciting day last week as work was begun to prepare the museums’s latest acquisition for transport back to their facility, a Lockheed AC-130 Spectre Ghostrider. The AC-130A, presently at Dobbins AFB is right in the museum’s neighborhood making for a short trip for the crew tasked with preparing the aircraft for overland transport, which necessitates the disassembly of the plane.
The Aviation Wing of the Marietta Museum of History resides within a 15.5 acre park and features various civilian and military aircraft from the latter half of the twentieth century with a particular focus on aircraft produced locally in Marietta, beginning with Bell Aircraft who started making planes there in the early 1940s and with Lockheed Martin, continues to this day. The wing has a dual mission, in addition to displaying their collection of planes and teaching about aviation history, they also seek to show their visitors the prominent role that the aviation industry has played in the history of their community.
This aircraft is the tenth production C-130A and flew test missions for NASA in addition to serving in the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm and Operation Uphold Democracy. It was built in Marietta in 1954, converted at an AC-130A gunship in 1969 (the first C-130A to be converted after the prototype), and removed from active service in 1995. Piece by piece the aircraft will be transported to the grounds of the museum where it will be reassembled over the summer.
The Aviation Wing is now open on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.