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Libya's Gadhafi still wants his Lockheed planes

7:20 PM, Mar 18, 2011   |    comments
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  • One of eight Libyan C-130's stuck in Marietta for nearly 40 years.
  • Four of the eight Libyan C-130's stranded in Marietta for nearly 40 years.
    

MARIETTA, GA - Over the past 60 years, Lockheed Martin has built and delivered more than 2,400 of its famous C-130 "Hercules" cargo planes to customers all over the world.

All but eight that is.

They still sit near the company's Marietta plant, out in the elements, where they've languished since Libya's Moammar Gadhafi paid $70 million for them in the early 1970s.

The U.S. government has never allowed delivery because of tension between our two countries.

Lockheed Martin won't comment, referring us to the Defense Department.

DOD confirms that Libya wants their money back, but says it's up to Libya to find another buyer, if possible.

Meanwhile, a group who'd like to get their hands on one is the Marietta Museum of History's Aviation Wing.

They have several retired aircraft, but so far, no C-130s.

Gadafi's are in such bad shape they're unflyable after sitting in the open for nearly four decades with no care or maintenance.

"Good example is a car sitting out in a field by itself for 20 years, 30 years, or 40 years in this case," says museum volunteer and retired Lockheed C-130 worker Robert Elliott.

When asked if they're still any good to anybody Elliott replies, "Yeah, scrap metal."

With aluminum selling at 40 cents a pound, Elliott says the planes could still be worth a lot of money or could possibly be cannibalized for spare parts.

The Department of Defense says Libya has been offered a commercial contract for an engineering survey to determine the cost to reconstitute the aircraft or their value in spare parts.

Meanwhile, they're stuck in political limbo.

Right now the only C-130's flying near Libya are some of ours being used to help refugees fleeing the country.

But Gadhafi may soon get a visit from Lockheed Martin's latest product, whether he wants it or not.

On Thursday President Obama said the U.S. is now willing to participate in a multi-nation military campaign to set up a "no fly" zone over Libya to stop government forces from attacking civilians.

Lockheed Martin's F-22 "Raptor" stealth fighter is now in service and could soon be taking part in that effort to keep the planes Gadhafi already has on the ground.

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