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MAPS Air Museum welcomes largest aircraft in its history


A four-engine turboprop C-130H Hercules combat cargo aircraft is arriving on-loan from the Mansfield-Lahm Air National Guard Base to the Military Aviation Preservation Society Air Museum on Jan. 7.

A Mansfield-Lahm Air National Guard crew commemorates the final flight of its C-130H “Spirit of Mansfield.” The combat cargo plane was decommissioned and will be loaned to the Military Aviation Preservation Society Air Museum in North Canton, OH. The aircraft’s arrival is expected on Jan. 7.  Time has yet to be determined.

DGKN staff report

The New Year brings one of the biggest physical loans to the MAPS Air Museum: a C-130H Hercules Air Force combat cargo aircraft. This is something of a homecoming for the C-130 since MAPS volunteer member Ray Weber has a personal connection to this type of aircraft, according to a news release.

“Ray, a retired one-star general, flew C-130s out of the 179th Airlift Wing, a unit of the Ohio Air National Guard, stationed at Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base,” Kim Kovesci, MAPS executive director, said in the news release. “He flew the first C-130 to Mansfield when the base opened. Now, his son, a two-star general, and Ray’s grandson also fly C-130s. That’s three generations of history with that type of aircraft. Ray’s been trying to get a C-130 to MAPS for about three years.”

One of the largest aircraft loaned to MAPS will join its historic fellow aircraft on Saturday, Jan. 7. The C-130H “Spirit of Mansfield” – serial number 88-4401 – is more than 97 feet long, with a wingspan of more than 132 feet, and a height of more than 38 feet. The next largest aircraft at MAPS are the WWII vintage aircraft, a Douglas A-26C-25-DT Invader bomber and a Douglas C-47D-45-DK Skytrain, also known as a “Gooney Bird.” The A-26 has a length of 50 feet, a wingspan of 70 feet, and a height of 18½ feet. The C-47 is more than 62 feet long, a wingspan of 95½ feet, and a height of 17 feet.

The C-130H was flown from the Mansfield-Lahm ANG Base to the Akron-Canton Airport. It will be towed across the airport property to MAPS. In general, former military aircraft still in military inventory are loaned to museums rather then donated. The C-130 joins almost 60 other aircraft at the MAPS museum. The Air National Guard removed instruments still in use in active C-130s, as well as fuel and oils. The C-130 is retiring to MAPS as Mansfield-Lahm was selected to transition to the nation’s first Air National Guard Cyber Wing. The unit moves from flying C-130s to a cyberspace combat organization delivering intelligence, tactics, techniques, procedures, deployable combat communications, engineering and installation capabilities, defensive cyber operations, and network security operations across the air force. With Mansfield-Lahm’s new mission, the Air Force is removing eight C-130Hs from its aging inventory. MAPS was lucky enough to be chosen as one of the “retirement homes” for a Hercules, the news release states.

The public may come to see the arrival with the cost of admission to the museum. More information about MAPS admission and location can be found at The exact time of arrival is yet to be determined. The MAPS video team will be set up at about 9 a.m. to record the arrival.

MAPS Air Museum, a 501c3 not for profit organization is an internationally known museum of aviation with almost 60 aircraft on display. The museum serves as a center of aviation history for Northeast Ohio. It features educational displays of its collection of acquired artifacts, interactive exhibits, and historical archives in its own library.

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