Lockheed C-130 Hercules

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Lockheed C-130 Hercules
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About the Lockheed C-130 Hecules

The Lockheed C-130 can be seen as a symbol of strength, durability and versatility in the history of aviation. It was primarily developed as a transport aircraft, but a lot of other 'works' has been performed by this aviation hero too. The development of the C-130 started in 1951 to fulfill a US Air Force requirement for a tactical freighter powered by turboprop engines. In more than half a century 2,200 aircraft have been built and production still continues.
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The maiden flight of the first of two YC-130A test aircraft, built in Lockheed's so-called 'Skunk Works', took place on 23 August 1954. The test aircraft was flown from the Lockheed factory in Burbank, California, to Edwards Air Force Base and production of the airlifter was located in Marietta, Georgia.
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Design features of the C-130 are a high wing with four Allison T56 turboprops installed, a fully pressurized cargo hold and an integral 'roll-on/roll-off" rear loading ramp. The interior of the cargo hold can be rapidly reconfigured for change of missions within a short time, for example from the carriage or troops to transporting stretchers of vehicles. Equipment is included for airdrops and the delivery of loads in flight at low altitudes by dropping them with parachutes. Rollers in the floor make the handling of freight pallets easier. The C-130 can carry around 20 tons of cargo or accommodate 92 soldiers or 64 paratroopers plus equipment.
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The initial production model was the C-130A, with four three-bladed Allison T56-A-9 turboprops, of which a total of 233 were built. The first production aircraft took to the air on 7 April 1955 and deliveries started in December 1956.
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The C-130B, with Allison T56-A-7 engines, four-bladed propellers, additional fuel in the wings and a strengthened landing gear, entered service in June 1959. Of this version 134 were delivered to the US Air Force. Some C-130Bs were used for aerial fire fighting and six were modified in 1961 for mid-air snatch recovery of classified Air Force satellites.
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The C-130F was a version of the C-130B for the US Navy. Subvariants were the LC-130F with skis and intended for Antarctic support missions and the KC-130F for the Marine Corps in 1962 as assault transport and aerial tanker. The US Coast Guard took 12 HC-130B aircraft for patrol duties and Lockheed delivered 5 aircraft as WC-130B for weather reconnaissance. Of all C-130B versions 230 were built.
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The C-130C was a proposed STOL-version (short take off and landing), which didn't go in production. Several C-130A aircraft were fitted with wheel/ski landing gear for service in the Arctic and designated C-130D. The two main skis are 20 feet (6m) long, while the nose ski measures 10 feet (3m). The C-130D-model also incorporates more fuel capacity and provision for jet-assisted takeoff (JATO).
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The third main production model was the C-130E, first flown on 25 August 1961. This version was actually a C-130B with extended range, higher weights and more powerful engines. The C-130E was 20,000lb (9,720kg) heavier than the B. Deliveries began in April 1962 and Lockheed built more than 500, including 389 for the USAF. With the E-model Lockheed introduced two large external fuel tanks under the wings between the engines.
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The C-130G, appearing in 1965, was intended for the US Navy to support Polaris submarines and the exchange of their crews. The G is based on the C-130E but has increased structural strength to allow higher weights. Later the four of these aircraft were modified and became EC-130G TACAMO communications relay aircraft. After being replaced three aircraft were returned to transport configuration as TC-130Gs. Of all E-versions 491 were built.
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The C-130H is based on the E-model and includes updated T56-A-T5 turboprops, updated avionics and a redesigned outer wing. Delivery started in July 1974 and it became the most produced of all C-130 models with 1078 built. A lot of subvariants for special duties exist. The C-130H-30 is a stretched version like the civil L-100-30.
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The newest standard version is the C-130J, which actually is a new airplane in many ways. The J flies 21 per cent faster than the C-130E, and climbs 50 percent faster. It flies 40 per cent higher and 40 per cent further. The cockpit is modernized with new avionics and dual headup-displays. The J is equipped with four Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 engines, generating 29 percent more thrust and improving fuel efficiency by 15 percent. The propellers are six-blade and all-composite. The C-130J-30 is a stretched version.
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Lockheed C-130 Hercules

A Lockheed C-130A of Hemet Valley Flying Service. The picture is taken at Hemet-Ryan Field in California. The aircraft was used as fire fighter, but crashed in August 1994 while on
its way to a forest fire.



Lockheed C-130 Hercules USAF ANG

A Lockheed C-130 of the California Air National Guard is about to land.



Lockheed C-130 Hercules Venezuela

A Lockheed C-130 Hercules of the air force of Venezuela departs from Miami International Airport.



Lockheed C-130 Hercules

This was the first Hercules to be converted to gunship as AC-130A Spectre. Flight testing began on 6 June 1967 with four 7.62mm mini-guns and four 20mm cannons. The aircraft was retired in 1976 and is now in the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, where this picture is taken.



Lockheed C-130 RAF

A C-130K Hercules C1 of the Royal Air Force with refueling boom above the cockpit, departs Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.



Lockheed Hercules RAF

The RAF initially bought the C-130K, designated Hercules C1 in RAF service. Later
some aircraft were lengthened and named Hercules C3. The photo shows a C3.




Lockheed C-130A

A title-less ex-military C-130A at Fort Lauderdale.


Civil variants of the Hercules are described on page 5.



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