Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Denmark - Air Force
Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Lockheed C-130 Hercules
United Kingdom - Air Force
The Lockheed C-130 Hercules, a four-engine turboprop aircraft, is the main
tactical air transport aircraft of the United States and United Kingdom military
forces. Capable of landing and taking off from short, rough dirt runways, it is
a personnel and cargo hauler and is used in a wide variety of other roles such
as gunships, weather watchers, tankers, firefighters, and aerial ambulances.
There are more than 40 versions of the Hercules and it is widely used by more
than 50 nations establishing a long record of reliability and durability,
participating in a variety of military, civilian, and humanitarian operations
The KC-130 tanker is equipped with a removable 13,626 L (3600 US gallon)
stainless steel fuel tank that is carried inside the cargo compartment providing
additional fuel when required. The two wing-mounted hose and drogue aerial
refueling pods each transfer up to 19 L/s (300 US gal/min) to two aircraft
simultaneously allowing for rapid cycle times of multiple-receiver aircraft
formations (a typical tanker formation of four aircraft in less than 30 minutes).
Tanker aircraft, when initially procured for the U.S. Marine Corps in 1958, were
The C-130 was intended to be replaced by USAF's AMST project. However, following
AMST's cancellation the C-130 has remained in production. Today the only
production model is the new C-130J.
The C-130 holds claim to the longest continuous production run of any military
aircraft in history. The first flight of the YC-130 prototype took place on
August 23, 1954, from the Lockheed plant in Burbank, CA. The aircraft, serial
number 53-3397, was piloted by Stanley Beltz and Roy Wimmer. After the two
prototypes were completed production was moved to Marietta, GA, where workers
have built more than 2,000 C-130s.
One of the famous events involving the unique capabilities of the Hercules was
the 1976 Entebbe raid in which Israeli commando forces carried out a surprise
assault to rescue 103 passengers of a hijacked airliner at Entebbe Airport,
Uganda, Africa. Entebbe was 4,000 kilometers from Israel and the force of 200
soldiers, Jeeps, and a black Mercedes car (intended to resemble Idi Amin's
vehicle of state) was ferried by 5 participating IAF Hercules aircraft without
refueling. On the way back with the freed hostages they refueled in Nairobi,
Deliveries of the C-130A to the U.S. military began in December, 1956.
The C-130A was delivered with Allison T56-A-1 turboprops and 3 blade propellers.
The first B models came on board in April, 1959. The B model is known as the
sportscar of the fleet because it had no wing tanks and had fully boosted
ailerons with 3,000 versus 2,050 lbf/inē (21 versus 14 MPa) on other models.
This allowed the B model to have a higher roll rate. The B model was equipped
with the T56-A-7 uprated turboprops and four bladed propellers.
Redesignated A models fitted with wheel/ski landing gear. The D model also has
increased fuel capacity and provision for jet-assisted takeoff.
The extended range E model entered service in 1962. The increased range was
achieved by underwing fuel 1,360 U.S. gallon (5,150 L) tanks and more powerful
Allison T-56-A-7A turboprops. The E model also featured structural improvements,
avionics upgrades, and a higher gross weight.
Naval/Marine Corps variant. The Marine Corps version is fitted with Allison
The Naval variant G model has increased structural strength allowing higher
gross weight operation
The H model has updated Allison T56-A-T5 turboprops, a redesigned outer wing,
updated avionics, and other minor improvements. The H models remains in
widespread use with the USAF and many foreign air forces. Initial H model
deliveries began in 1964, and remained in production until 1996. An improved
C-130H was introduced in 1974. The equivalent model for export to the U.K. is
referred to as the C-130K and known as the Hercules C.1 by the RAF. The C-130H-30
is a stretched version of the original Hercules, achieved by inserting a 2.54 m
plug aft of the cockpit and a 2.03 m plug at the rear of the fuselage - this is
known to the RAF as the Hercules C.3.
The C-130J is the newest version of the Hercules. While externally virtually
indistinguishable from the classic Hercules the J model is a radically different
aircraft "under the skin." These differences include new Rolls-Royce Allison
AE2100 turboprops with composite propellers, digital avionics including Heads
Up Displays for each pilot, reduced manpower requirements (2 pilots—no navigator
or flight engineer), increased reliability, and up to 27% lower operating costs.
The C-130J is also available in a standard-length or stretched version (C-130J-30).
Lockheed received the launch order for J model from the RAF who ordered 25
aircraft, first deliveries began in 1999. The RAF calls the C-130J the Hercules
C.5 and the C-130J-30 the Hercules C.4
The largest operator of the new model will be the USAF who are ordering the
aircraft in increasing numbers, although in the latest round of budget cuts
(2005), the US Congress announced that the acquisition of the C130J would be
one of the projects to be dramatically cut back. Current operators of the C130J
are the USAF, US ANG, USCG, RAF, RAAF, Danish Air Force, and the Italian Air
Naval/Marine Corps variant. The C-130R is equipped with underwing external
fuel tanks and the Marine Corps variant is equipped with Allison T-56-A-16
Naval/Marine Corps variant. The C-130T is similar to the C-130R, equipped with
underwing external fuel tanks. The C-130T has numerous avionics improvements
over the R model and is fully night-vision system compatible. The Marine Corps
variant is equipped with Allison T-56-A-16 engines.
Civil variant equivalent to the E model but without pylon tanks or military
equipment. The civilian version also has 2 stretched versions, the L-100-20
(8.3 feet/2.5 m fuselage stretch) and the L-100-30 (15 feet/4.6 m fuselage
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It uses material from the Wikipedia article "C-130 Hercules".