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|This collectable model represents the AC-119 Stinger, a deadly variation of the C-119 Flying Boxcar. With the addition of jet engines and side-firing cannon and machine guns, the Stinger could bring devastating firepower to bear on an enemy. Painstakingly built from Philippine mahogany by skilled craftsmen using a wealth of detail, this 1/72-scale model AC-119K makes a great gift for any veteran, aviation enthusiast or history buff.|
The C-119 grew out of the militaryís experience with the C-82 Packet, produced between 1945 and 1948. By moving the cockpit flush with the front of the fuselage, widening and strengthening the airframe and adding more powerful engines, the C-119 showed significant improvements over the earlier version.
The genesis of the side-firing gunship dates to 1964, when Project Tailchaser converted a C-131 to carry a single Gatling-type minigun firing downward from the left side of the ship. Tests showed that even crude grease-pencil sights inked on the pilotís window enable accurate shooting from a pylon turn. Further tests with C-47s proved successful, resulting in the AC-47 Spooky gunship.
As the Vietnam War continued, the Air Force sought replacements for the underpowered AC-47s, and to supplement the AC-130 gunships mostly used to interdict the Ho Chi Minh trail. The definitive version of the C-119 gunship is the AC-119K Stinger, with four GAU/2A miniguns and two M61 Vulcan 20mm cannon. The AC-119K also featured the addition of two J85 jet engines in underwing pods, as well as upgraded radar and forward-looking infrared detection gear.
The AC-119K served until 1972, then was phased out in favor of the AC-130 gunships.