posted by Jiri Wagner
The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the intratheater portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for paradropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. 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. Two DC-130A's (originally GC-130A's) were built as drone launchers/directors, carrying up to four drones on underwing pylons. All special equipment was removable, permitting the aircraft to be used as freighters, assault transports, or ambulances.
The C-130B introduced Allison T56-A-7 turboprops and the first of 134 entered Air Force service in April 1959. C-130B's are used in aerial fire fighting missions by Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units. Six C-130B's were modified in 1961 for snatch recovery of classified U.S. Air Force satellites by the 6593rd Test Squadron at Hickam AFB, Hawaii. In its personnel carrier role, the C-130 can accommodate 92 combat troops or 64 fully equipped paratroops on side-facing seats.
For medical evacuations, it carries 74 litter patients and two medical attendants. Paratroopers exit the aircraft through two doors on either side of the aircraft behind the landing-gear fairings. Another exit is off the rear ramp for airdrops. The C-130 Hercules joins on mercy flights throughout the world, bringing in food, clothing, shelter, doctors, nurses and medical supplies and moving victims to safety. C-130 Hercules have served other nations, airlifting heavy equipment into remote areas to build airports and roads, search for oil ,and transport local goods.
As a partial response to the overwhelming role played by the tactical airlift fleet in Operation Just Cause and in the Persian Gulf War, Congress has approved the procurement of more C-130H's to replace the aging E models. Currently are in using models C-130J, by USMC the KC-130F/Rs tankers. In the middle of 2000 Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has carried out the first flight of a new KC-130J for USMC.
General characteristics C-130H
|Primary function||Intratheater airlift|
|Contractor||Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company|
|Power plant||Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops|
|Thrust||4x 7,412 lb||4x 32,97 kN|
|Length||97 ft 9 in||29.79 m|
|Height||38 ft 3 in||11.66 m|
|Wingspan||132 ft 7 in||40.41 m|
|Wingarea||1,745 ft sq||162.11 m sq|
|Max. speed||384 mph||618 km/h|
|Ceiling||42,900 ft||13,075 m|
|Weight||empty||76,780 lb||34,827 kg|
|max. takeoff||175,000 lb||79,379 kg|
|Loading capacity||92 combat troops or 64 fully equipped paratroops or 74 litter patients and two medical attendants. For defence infrared countermeasure flares (2.7MB).|
|Range||empty||5,200 miles||8,370 km|
|max. load||2,356 miles||3,792 km|
|Crew||Five (two pilots, a navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster)|
|Date deployed||April 1955|
|Unit cost||$22.9 million (1992 dollars)|
|Inventory||Active force, 98; ANG, 20 Bs, 60 E's and 93 H's; Reserve, 606.|