Global Aircraft -- C-130 Hercules
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C-130 Hercules Specifications
Primary Function: Tactical and intratheater airlift
Contractor: Lockheed
Crew: Five (two pilots, a navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster)
Unit Cost: C-130J, $48.5 million (FY98 constant dollars)
  Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops; 4,300 horsepower, each engine
Length: 97 feet, 9 inches (29.3 meters)
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (39.7 meters)
Height: 38 feet, 3 inches (11.4 meters)
Empty: 69,300 lb (31434 kg) -- equipped C-130F
Maximum Takeoff: 155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms)
Speed: 374 mph (Mach 0.57) at 20,000 feet (6,060 meters)
Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters) with 100,000 pounds (45,000 kilograms) payload
Range: N/A

C-130 Hercules Achievements
  • The C-130 Hercules is the West's most widely used and versatile military transport.

C-130 Hercules Features

  Using its aft loading ramp and door the C-130 can accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everything from utility helicopters and six wheeled armored vehicles to standard palletized cargo and military personnel. In an aerial delivery role, it can air drop loads up to 42,000 pounds or use its high-floatation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on rough, dirt strips.

  The flexible design of the Hercules enables it to be configured for many different missions, allowing for one aircraft to perform the role of many. Much of the special mission equipment added to the Hercules is removable allowing the aircraft to revert back to its cargo delivery role if desired. Additionally, the C-130 can be rapidly reconfigured for the various types of cargo such as palletized equipment, floor loaded material, air drop platforms, container delivery system bundles, vehicles and personnel or aeromedical evacuation.

  The C-130J is the latest addition to the C-130 fleet and will replace aging C-130E's. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology to reduce manpower requirements, lower operating and support costs, and provide life cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment.

  C-130J/J-30 major system improvements include: advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics; color multifunctional liquid crystal displays and head-up displays; state-of-the-art navigation systems with dual inertial navigation system and global positioning system; fully integrated defensive systems; low-power color radar; digital moving map display; new turboprop engines with six bladed, all composite propellers; digital auto pilot; improved fuel, environmental and ice protection systems; and an enhanced cargo handling system.

C-130 Hercules Background

  Four decades have elapsed since the Air Force issued its original design specification, yet the remarkable C-130 remains in production. The initial production model was the C-130A, with four Allison T56-A-11 or -9 turboprops. A total of 219 were ordered and deliveries began in December 1956. The C-130B introduced Allison T56-A-7 turboprops and the first of 134 entered Air Force service in May 1959.

  Introduced in August of 1962, the 389 C-130E's that were ordered used the same Allison T56-A-7 engine, but added two 1,290 gallon external fuel tanks and an increased maximum takeoff weight capability. June 1974 introduced the first of 308 C-130H's with the more powerful Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engine. Nearly identical to the C-130E externally, the new engine brought major performance improvements to the aircraft.

  The latest C-130 to be produced, the C-130J entered the inventory in February 1999. With the noticeable difference of a six bladed composite propeller coupled to a Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 turboprop engine, the C-130J brings substantial performance improvements over all previous models, and has allowed the introduction of the C-130J-30, a stretch version with a 15-foot fuselage extension. Air Force has selected the C-130J-30 to replace retiring C-130E's. Approximately 168 C-130J/J-30s are planned for the inventory. To date, the Air Force has purchased 29 C-130J aircraft from Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company.

C-130 Hercules Photos
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C-130 Hercules
Photo courtesy Bud Norris
C-130 Hercules
C-130 Hercules

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