|Updated: 8/27/2012 7:57 pm
||Published: 8/26/2012 7:16 pm
JACKSONVILLE, AR - The main gate and road leading into the Little Rock Air Force Base shut down Sunday morning as military and local officials moved a C-130 plane from the base to the Jacksonville - Little Rock Air Force Base University Center to go on display.
The plane had to be disassembled to be towed through town without causing any traffic problems. Vandenberg Boulevard from Marshall Road to John Hardin road in Jacksonville closed from 7 o'clock until 8:30 Sunday morning to move a retired C-130 to its final resting place.
Col. Dan Lockert says, "Putting the C-130 out on display for the entire community is a way to signify the bond between the military and the local community."
A team of more than 30 people worked for 2 weeks to take the plane apart to move it. Towing the plane the last leg of the trip took 2 days, a difficult task considering C-130's are usually the movers of people and supplies.
Chief Master Sgt. David Graak says, "The C-130 is a tactical air lifter, able to land on short runways, perform quick take offs, and put parts and people where the need to be."
This move is a project that's been in the works for 2 years and took a lot of coordination. Stop signs and light poles had to be moved, and tree branches had to be trimmed so the wide plane could fit through the street.
Staff Sgt. Steven Trupiano says, "Navigating some of these turns, the route changed right when we got out here, so that was a little tricky. I didn't think about navigating the turn. I thought I was going to pull it straight."
Thanks to the spotters, and taking it slow, the towing went off without a hitch and a crane will lift the plane into place on a platform for visitors to enjoy. Visitors will not be allowed inside the C-130, but a staircase to a platform will get people up close and personal with the plane.