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CAF Gulf Coast Wing searches for a new aircraft

CONROE, TX - February 1, 2024: The CAF Gulf Coast Wing has officially initiated a search for a new aircraft, marking a significant milestone in the organization's ongoing efforts to expand its fleet. Following extensive deliberations among Wing members and constructive discussions with CAF leadership, the decision has been made to direct their focus toward acquiring a Vietnam-era AC-47 gunship.

In a recent announcement on the Gulf Coast Wing's Facebook page, the organization articulated its commitment to discovering, restoring, and operating an AC-47 gunship. The objective is to present the compelling narrative of 'Spooky' at airshows worldwide, resonating with aviation enthusiasts and the broader public.

The Commemorative Air Force, renowned for its dedication to preserving aviation history, currently has four C-47s in their fleet — C-47 That’s All, Brother of the Central Texas Wing, C-47 Texas Zephyr of Highland Lakes Squadron, R4D (C-47) Ready for Duty of the Dallas/Fort Worth Wing, and C-47 Old Number 30 of Airbase Arizona. Notably, none of these C-47s are AC-47s and none fly in the configuration or livery of a Vietnam-era aircraft.

The Douglas AC-47 Spooky, affectionately known as "Puff, the Magic Dragon," emerged during the Vietnam War as a fixed-wing aircraft designed by the U.S. Air Force. Recognized for providing enhanced firepower compared to light and medium ground-attack aircraft, these gunships played a crucial role in delivering close air support when ground forces required it most. Today’s C-130 gunships operated by the USAF Special Operations Command are direct descendants of the Vietnam – era AC-47.

Expressing eagerness to locate a suitable AC-47 aircraft promptly, the Gulf Coast Wing invites the public to contribute to the search. Potential leads and information can be shared with the Wing via email at info@gulfcoastwing.org or by visiting their website at www.gulfcoastwing.org. The organization's proactive engagement with the community underscores its dedication to preserving aviation history and fostering a vibrant airshow experience for audiences globally.

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