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Lockheed L-100 / C-130 Hercules


Lockheed's C-130 Hercules was designed to meet a specification issued by the USAF Tactical Air Command in 1951.



The prototype C-130 flew on August 23, 1954. Production models were delivered from 1956 and remained in production in 1999 in latest C-130J form with fully integrated digital avionics, advanced engines and propellers, and other improvements.




The 1958 Ground Proximity System uses a cargo hook dangling from the open tail door which snares a ground cable, which pulls cargo out. Up to 13,000 lb can be pulled out.


In June 1965 it was reported that Malaysia protested to the US that C-130s operated by the Indonesia AF dropped para-troopers on Malaysian soil. The US had sold ten C-130s to Indonesia in 1960 for non-military use, but cut-off supplies of spare parts in 1964 when Indonesia had violated the agreement.

The four-turboprop Hercules tactical transport is available in advanced C-130H and stretched C-130H-30 versions. The latter is 4.5m (l5ft) longer than the C-130H, and has a 16.8m (56ft)-long cargo compartment, which can accommodate seven cargo pallets. The C-130H-30 can carry 128 troops or 92 paratroops, compared with 92 and 64 respectively in the standard C-130H. Similarly, the H-30 can lift 97 stretchers in the medevac role instead of the 74 of the C-130H. The RAF's 'stretched' C.Mk 3 carries up to 128 troops, 92 paratroops, or freight. The C-130J C.4 being longer than the C.5.
It was reported in 1964 that the RCAF had bought 16 C-130E, with deliveries to be spread over a year, at $55 million including spares. The RCAF were then operating four C-130B.

Electronic warfare versions of the Hercules include the EC-130H Compass Call of the USAF and the EC-130Q TACAMO of the USN.

The RAF operated the C-130K Hercules C Mk.1 and Hercules C Mk.1(P) (for probe).

Lockheed Martin delivered fully configured KC-130J tanker aircraft to the United States Marine Corps. Using wing and external tanks, the KC-130J has a 57,500-lb (8,455 US gal-lon) fuel off-load capability while perform-ing a 500-nm radius mission, compared with 38,000 lbs (5,588 US gallons) for the KC-130Fs. The aircraft is also configured to accept a fuselage tank if desired, adding another 24,392 lbs (3,600 US gallons) of fuel to a mission. The aircraft use the probe-and-drogue configuration.

The ‘air snatch’ HC-130H, was used by the USAFs Aerospace Rescue and Recovary Service. It has scissor like folding probes on the nose designed to make pick-ups from the ground or in mid-air, by using the probes to engage parachute lines or balloon cables attached to the man or equipment to be recovered. First flown on 8 December 1964.

The MC-130E Combat Talon I and MC-130H Combat Talon II provide infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory. Secondary missions include psychological operations and helicopter and vertical lift air refueling.
MC-130E/H Combat Talon I/II
Both aircraft feature terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radars capable of operations as low as 250 feet in adverse weather conditions. Structural changes to a basic C-130 include the addition of an in-flight refueling receptacle and strengthening of the tail to allow high speed/low-signature airdrop. Their navigation suites include dual ring-laser gyros, mission computers, and integrated global positioning system. An extensive electronic warfare suite enables the aircrew to detect and avoid potential threats. If engaged, the system will protect the aircraft from both radar and infrared-guided threats.

Both the MC-130E and MC-130H are equipped with aerial refueling pods to provide in-flight refueling of special operations forces and combat search and rescue helicopters and vertical lift assets.

The primary difference between the MC-130E and MC-130H involves the degree of integration of the mission computers and avionics suite. The Combat Talon I was conceived originally and developed during the 1960s, and although extensively upgraded in the 1980-90s it still features analog instrumentation and does not fully integrate the sensors and communications suites. The Combat Talon II, designed in the 1980s, features an integrated glass flight deck which improves crew coordination and reduces the crew complement by two.

The MC-130E Combat Talon first flew in 1966 and saw extensive service in Southeast Asia, including the attempted rescue of Americans held at the Son Tay prisoner-of-war camp in 1970. Also, the MC-130E landed in the Iranian desert in April 1980 in support of Operation Eagle Claw, the attempt to rescue American hostages held by Iran.

The MC-130E saw combat in Grenada in 1983, delivering U.S. Army Rangers to Point Salinas Airfield in the opening moments of Operation Urgent Fury, and subsequently performing psychological operations leaflet drops. In 1989 they led the joint task force for Operation Just Cause in Panama, helping to seize the airfield at Rio Hato.

In 1990, MC-130Es were employed in Operation Desert Storm, where they dropped 11 BLU-82 15,000-pound bombs and more than 23 million leaflets in a highly effective effort to encourage Iraqi soldiers to surrender. They also conducted numerous aerial refuelings of special operations helicopters with combat search and rescue operations.

The MC-130H Combat Talon II first arrived at Hurlburt Field, Fla., June 29, 1992, and after acceptance testing, began official flying operations Oct. 17, 1992. Since then, the MC-130H has played a role in AFSOC operations including the evacuations of non-combatant Americans and other civilians from conflicts in Liberia in 1996. Also, in 1998, a Combat Talon II aircrew was awarded the Mackay Trophy for the involvement in the evacuation of civilians from the Republic of the Congo (1997); and they participated in combat operations in the Balkans during Operation Allied Force.

In 2001, MC-130Hs were employed to seize an airfield in southern Afghanistan delivering U.S. Army Rangers to commence ground operations in Operation Enduring Freedom and later in 2003, the MC-130H was the first US aircraft to land at Bagdad International to initiate missions supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since Oct 2001, both aircraft have been used extensively in Operations Enduring, Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines, and Iraqi Freedom in a variety of roles.

In 2001 10 MC-130E were operational with the Reserves, and 20 MC-130H with the Active force.


One of the measures considered for a second hostage rescue attempt in Iran was a project to develop a "Super STOL" aircraft, to be flown by Combat Talon crews, that would use a soccer stadium near the US Embassy as an improvised landing field. Called Credible Sport, the project acquired three C-130H transports from an airlift unit in late August 1980, one as a test bed and two for the mission, and modified them on an accelerated basis.
Designated as the XFC-130H, the aircraft were modified by the installation of 30 rockets in five sets: eight firing forward to stop the aircraft, eight downward to brake its descent rate, eight rearward for takeoff assist, four mounted on the wings to stabilize them during takeoff transition, and two at the rear of the tail to prevent it from striking the ground because of over-rotation. Other STOL features included a dorsal and two ventral fins on the rear fuselage, double-slotted flaps and extended ailerons, a new radome, a tailhook for landing aboard an aircraft carrier, and Combat Talon avionics, including a TF/TA radar, a defensive countermeasures suite, and a Doppler radar/GPS tie-in to the aircrafts inertial navigation system.
Of the three aircraft, only one received full modification. The program abruptly ended when it crashed during testing on October 29, 1980, and international events soon after rendered another rescue attempt moot.


The C-130J-30 is a stretched variant and is 15 ft longer and can carry two extra cargo pallets compared to C-130H (30% more). A key to the C-130J-30’s increased performance is a mission computer linked to the four new, electronically controlled (by Lucas Aerospace’s FADEC (full author-ity digital electronic control) system) Allison AE-2100D3 turboprops. Flat rated to 4,691 shp (down from 6,148 shp), the engines still generate 29 percent more thrust and they are 15 percent more fuel-efficient than the E model’s. An all-composite six-blade Dowty Aerospace R391 propeller is lighter and has fewer moving parts than previous Hercules C-130 propellers. Lockheed-Martin were to develop and produce six WC-130J weather reconnaissance aircraft.

The AC-130 is the gunship variant of the C-130 Hercules. The first flight of the AC-130A was in 1967. The missions of the AC-130 are: close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance, perimeter and point defense, escort, drop and extraction zone support, forward air control, limited command and control (c2), and combat search and rescue (CSAR).

The AC-130A Spectre is similar to the C-130 in terms of external dimensions. It is 97 feet, 9 inches long, 38 feet, 3 inches tall, and has a wingspan of 132 feet, 7 inches. Originally, the AC-130A did not have the capability to refuel in flight. With a full load, these AC-130As had a range of 2450 miles. However, once modified with aerial refueling capabilities, the range was limited only by crew endurance. The AC-130A was sent to Vietnam on September 20, 1967, and flew its first mission one week later. The AC-130A destroyed over 10,000 enemy vehicles during the course of the Vietnam War. The last AC-130A was retired on September 10, 1995. 


Between November 1968 and November 1989, only four, and later six, AC130 gunships were operating over the Trail, pending delivery of more advanced 'Spectres'.


The first AC-130 gunship had arrived in Vietnam for field trials in September 1967, and its success led to the decision to modify more of the type. However, the Air Force could not spare any of its C-130 fleet, they were all needed for airlift duties throughout South-East Asia. Seven early-model C-130s were available though, and the first of these was converted to gunship configuration by June 1968; combat operations began with four aircraft in October 1968.


The AC-130 was armed with four 7.62mm minigun modules and four 20mm gatting cannon. Two of each were mounted forward of the main landing gear on the port (left) side of the aircraft and two each aft of the gear. In addition, a Night Observation Device (NOD) or Starlite Scope was carried - a sophisticated piece of equipment which enables the user to see targets on the ground by utilizing the available star or moonlight. The NOD and a primitive infra-red sensor were fitted to the port side of the aircraft and a bread-board computer was also carried to co-ordinate all the variables involved in a side-firing weapons system. These early AC-130s were operated by the newly formed 16th Special Operations Squadron at Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, and the Commander of Spectre Crew Number One was Lieutenant Colonel William Schwehm.


The AC-130H (also Spectre), which initially worked with the AC-130A, replaced it in 1995. The H-model has computers which can tell whether a target is friendly or not, thus, reducing the amount of casualties due to friendly fire. In the Persian Gulf War, one AC-130H was lost, along with all 14 crew.

The AC-130U Spooky is an advanced gunship. It can support special operations forces, in addition to its primary mission (gunship). It has a fire control system, which is capable of attacking two targets at once. With advanced computers, all guns can be slaved to computers if the need should arise.

The first RAAF C-130J-30 Hercules II, A97-464, was officially handed over at RAAF Richmond on 7 September, 1999. The first of 12 to replace the 37 Sqn C-130Es.

During 1964 a C-130E Hercules flew 25 hr 1 min 8 sec without landing as a prelude to FAA certification for civilian cargo use. The red, white, and blue aircraft was built as a cooperative venture by Lockheed and 57 suppliers of engines, parts, and systems for C-130’s. Once airborne it flew the endurance run at 140 kt on two engines.

Hercules commercial transports have an L 100 series designation. Largest of these, the L.100‑30 entered service in 1970, can lift a maximum payload of more than 23 tons.

1,814 aircraft of all versions had been delivered by June 1987. Total Hercules sales had reached 1,845 by June 1987.

In July 1997, the company set-up then included Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems tasked with production and support of the C-130.

By 1999 well over 2,200 Hercules, still in production, had been built.


Hawkins & Powers developed civil conversins of of C-130 and P2V-7 under TC A19NM, A30NM, and A34NM in the Restriced category as borate bombers for forest fire control.



C 130 Hercules
Length : 97.736 ft / 29.79 m
Height : 38.255 ft / 11.66 m
Wing span : 132.612 ft / 40.42 m
Max take off weight : 175032.9 lb / 79380.0 kg
Max. speed : 330 kts / 611 kph
Service ceiling : 22638 ft / 6900 m
Range : 4083 nm / 7562 km
Engine : 4 x Allison T56-A7A, 3995 shp
Crew : 4+92
Armament : 8862kg Freight


Engines: 4 x Allison YT56-A-1 turboprop, 3,750 e.h.p.
Wingspan: 132 ft
Length: 95 ft.
Loaded weight: approx. 130,000 lb.
Max. speed: approx. 400 m.p.h.
Typical range: About 3,000 miles at 350 m.p.h. at altitude, with 40,0001b. payload
Armament: None.

Wing span: 132 ft 7 in (40.41 m)
Length: 97 ft 9 in (29.78 m)
Height: 38 ft 3 in (11.66 m)
Engines: 4 x Allison, 4050shp
Max TO wt: 175,000 lb (79,380 kg)
Max level speed: 384 mph ( 618 kph).  

C-130H Hercules
Engine: 4 x Allison T56-A-15, 4,190 shp
Installed thrust: 13,440 kW
Propellers: 4-blade
Span: 40.4 m
Length: 29.8 m
Wing area: 162 sq.m
Height:  11.7m
Empty wt: 34,686 kg
Max AUW: 70,450kg
Maximum Alternate AUW: 79,380 kg
Payload: 19,365 kg
Cruise speed: 595 kph
Initial ROC: 415 m / min
Ceiling: 10,060 m / 40,000 ft
T/O run: 1091 m
Ldg run: 518 m
Fuel internal: 36,636 lt
Range 14,000kg payload: 5,100km
Range with 19,765 kg: 3790 km
Ferry range: 7400km
Capacity: 92 pax or 64 paratroopers
Medivac config: 74 stretchers
Freight config: 6 cargo pallets
Air refuel: Yes
Crew: 2 pilots, 1 navigator, 1 flight engineer, 1 loadmaster.

Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules
Engine: 4 x Allison AE2100D3 turboprops, 4,590 shp
Propellers: 6-blade variable-pitch
Length: 34.37m
Height: 10.1m
Wingspan: 132.579 ft / 40.4m
Wing area: 1745.06 sq.ft / 162.12 sq.m
Maximum weight: 79,380kg
Maximum payload: 19,500kg
Max. speed: 348 kts / 645 kph
Normal operations cruise: 625km/h
Initial climb rate: 2106.30 ft/min / 10.70 m/s
Range 18,155kg payload: 5,100km
Ceiling: 35,000 ft
Crew: Two pilots, loadmaster
Accommodation: 128 troops / 74 paratroops / 74 stretcher, two attendants

Engines: 4 x Rolls-Royce Allison AE 2100D3, 4591 shp.
Props: Dowty R391 6 blade composite.
Cruise: 348 kts.
Range: 3262 sm (with 40,000 lb payload).
Max payload: 41,790 lbs.
MTOW: 155,000 lbs.
Ceiling: 29,000 ft.

Engines: 4 x Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4508 ehp (3362 kW).

Engines: 4 x Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4508 ehp (3362 kW).

Engines: 4 x Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4,500 esh.
Prop: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m) dia 4-blade.
Wing span: 132 ft 7 in (40.41 m).
Length: 98 ft 9 in (30.10 m).
Wing area: 1,745 sq ft (162,12 sq.m).
Gross weight: 155,000 lb (70,310 kg).
Max speed: 384 mph (618 km/h).
Typical range: 2,450 miles (3,945 km).
Crew: 10.

Engines: 4 x Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4508 ehp (3362 kW).
Fuel cap: 64,654 lbs.
MTOW peacetime: 155,000 lb
MTOW wartime: 175,000 lbs.
Cargo bay: 12x3x3m.
Payload: 12,270 kg.


Primary Function:Infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces
Engines: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4,910 shaft horsepower
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (40.4 meters)
Length: 100 feet, 10 inches (30.7 meters)
Height: 38 feet, 6 inches (11.7 meters)
Speed:300 mph
Load: 53 troops, 26 paratroopers
Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms)
Range: 2,700 nautical miles (4,344 kilometers)
Crew: Two pilots, two navigators and an electronic warfare officer (officers); flight engineer, radio operator and two loadmasters (enlisted)
Date Deployed:1966
Unit Cost: US $75 million

Primary Function: Infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces
Contractor: Lockheed
Engines: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4,910 shaft horsepower
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (40.4 meters)
Length: 99 feet, 9 inches (30.4 meters)
Height: 38 feet, 6 inches (11.7 meters)
Speed: 300 mph
Load: 77 troops, 52 paratroopers or 57 litter patients
Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters)
Maximum Takeoff Weight:155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms)
Range: 2,700 nautical miles (4,344 kilometers)
Crew: Two pilots, a navigator and electronic warfare officer (officers); flight engineer and two loadmasters (enlisted)
Date Deployed: June 1991
Unit Cost: US$155 million


Engines: 4 x Allison, 4050shp
Wing span: 132 ft 7 in (40.41 m)
Length: 112 ft 8.5 in (34.35 m)
Height: 38 ft 3 in (11.66 m)
Max TO wt: 155,000 lb (70,308 kg)
Max level speed: 377 mph ( 607 kph).  

Hercules C.Mk.1

Wing span: 132 ft 7 in (40.41m)
Max cruise: 386 mph (621 kph).

Engines: 4 x Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4,910 shp
Length: 97 ft, 9 in / 29.8 m
Height: 38 ft, 6 in / 11.7 m
Wing span: 132 ft 7 in / 40.4 m
Max Take-Off Weight 155,000 lb / 69,750 kg
Max level speed SL: Mach 0.4 / 300 mph (482 km/h)
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft / 7,576 m
Armament: two 20mm guns, one 40mm cannon and one 105mm cannon;
Crew: Five officers (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, fire control officer, electronic warfare officer) and eight enlisted (flight engineer, TV operator, infrared detection set operator, loadmaster, four aerial gunners)

Engines: 4 x Allison T56-A-15 turboprop, 4,910 shp
Length: 97 ft, 9 in / 29.8 m
Height: 38 ft, 6 in / 11.7 m
Wing span: 132 ft 7 in / 40.4 m
Max Take-Off Weight 155,000 lb / 69,750 kg
Max level speed SL: Mach 0.4 / 300 mph (482 km/h)
Service ceiling: 25,000 ft / 7,576 m
Armament: one 25mm gun, one 40mm cannon and one 105mm cannon;
Crew: Five officers (pilot, co-pilot, navigator, fire control officer, electronic warfare officer) and eight enlisted (flight engineer, TV operator, infrared detection set operator, loadmaster, four aerial gunners)



Lockheed C-130 Hercules




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