Skip to content

C-130A “Saigon Lady”

The circumstances must have been desperate and chaotic.

About 45 years ago, South Vietnamese Air Force pilot Pham Quang Kheim loaded his family onto a C-130 cargo plane in the final hours of the Vietnam War.

South Vietnam was collapsing into panic and looting as North Vietnamese forces surrounded, and then entered, the capital of Saigon.

Kheim flew the big plane and his family to safety in Singapore — one of the last to leave the city before Communist takeover.

The plane’s giant fuselage finally arrived at its new home on Tuesday, catching a lot of attention locally as it was hauled through Wyoming and Livingston counties on a low-boy tractor-trailer. Nicknamed “Saigon Lady,” it will be the centerpiece of the National Warplane Museum’s planned Vietnam War monument.


Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company.

Powerplant (4):

Allison T56-A-15 turboprops; 4,300 horsepower, each engine.

Wing span:

132 feet, 7 inches (39.7 meters)


374 mph (Mach 0.57) at 20,000 feet (6,060 meters)

Operating Weight:

83,000 Pounds

Service Ceiling:

33,000 feet (10,000 meters) with 100,000 pounds (45,000 kilograms) payload


2,356 miles (2,049 nautical miles) with maximum payload;
2,500 miles (2,174 nautical miles) with 25,000 pounds (11,250 kilograms) cargo;
5,200 miles (4,522 nautical miles) with no cargo.