Thursday, June 25, 2015

C-130 Hercules Aircraft

C-130 Hercules Aircraft

C-130 Aircraft - It’s common practice for engineers that when they are designing an airplane, they commonly have a single purpose for it in mind. This however, was not the case for the masterpiece that is the C-130 Hercules. Ranging from scientific research to cargo transport, the C-130 can get most jobs done with ease and was the first of its kind back in the mid 1950’s.

The C-130 Hercules was produced after a request from the United States Air Force for a
replacement transport aircraft vehicle for the C-47 Skytrain, C-46 Commando and C-119 Flying
Boxcar, which were noted as inadequate for modern warfare, especially after the Korean War.

The United States Air Force desired a plane that could have a capacity of up to 72 combat
troops, 92 passengers or 64 paratroopers. Not only that, but a fly range of around 1,100
nautical miles, plus it had to be able to demonstrate the ability to fly with one engine entirely
disabled, and be able to take off from unprepared runways. That’s when Lockheed fired up the
engines and ultimately won the contract with the The United States Air Force with their YC-130
prototype. The C-130 first took off into the skies on August 23 1954 and flew from Burbank in
California to Edwards Air Force Base. Shortly after that famous flight, 2,000 C-130 Hercules’
were placed into production. (C-130 Parts)

Since the C-130 Hercules was built for a military request, the plane essentially served within
a military role. However over 40 different variations of the C-130 were made, making it one
of the most adaptable transport planes in history. Notably the C-130 is often used for search
and rescue, troop & cargo transport, weather reconnaissance, gunship roles, and delivering
humanitarian aid. During its incredible service of over 50 years the C-130 has performed in
countless and various missions, both humanitarian and military.

While many people know of the C-130 as a cargo plane, it seems many do not know that it
also played a strong role in many offensive military operations. The gunship version, known
as the AC-130 has been used in every U.S. combat operation since the Vietnam war. With the
exception of a raid on Libya. The AC-130 also holds the record for the longest ever sustained
flight by a C-130, flying an incredible 36 hours nonstop from Florida across to South Korea.
The MC-130 Combat Talon is primarily known for its ability to carry and deploy a number of the
world’s largest conventional bombs, the MOAB and “Daisy Cutter”. Due to the weight and sheer
size of these bombs, they are impossible to fit on most current bombers, thus making the MC-
130 a perfect choice. Evidently, the C-130 has been used as a cargo & troop transport in all of
the major military operations and tasks since its creation, but it has also been taken advantage
of by 11 other countries and seen action ranging from the invasions in Iraq to the Falklands

The C-130 unfortunately hasn’t seen much action in the civilian sector besides a respected
cargo transport vehicle. Several were sadly removed from storage in the late 1980’s and
handed to the U.S Forest Service as air tankers to fight and prevent against wildfires. However,
when one crashed due to unforeseen stress, the entire fleet was permanently grounded in 2004.
It’s safe to say throughout the over countless variants and more than 2,000 aircraft, the
Hercules has certainly proven its worth. Undoubtedly there is literally a Hercules airborne in
some part of the world every minute of every day. So if you ever have a job in need of a large
aircraft, chances are the C-130 Hercules is guaranteed to get the job done easily.

Copyright @ AeroBase Group, Inc. 2015

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