When I first came across this image, I thought it was from a lost Aliens scene. But it is real. That’s Staff Sgt Sarah Mrak, from the 4th Special Operations Squadron. And she’s inside a US Air Force AC-130U aerial gunship.
Yes, a flying gunship. With real cannons. Motherbloodydancing 25mm, 40mm and 105mm side firing cannons, designed to fire from the air. These planes were developed from the C-130 Hercules, evolving through numerous variants since their inception in the late ’60s. The latest model – which appears in these images – is the AC-130U, which was originally introduced in 1995 for close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance. One scary flying beast indeed.
US Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Jeremy T. Lock