C-130 Hercules Tactical Transport Review of Technical Specifications – The multi-tiered Lockheed C-130 Hercules has been a proven and highly versatile tactical transport aircraft.
C-130 Hercules Tactical Transport Review of Technical Specifications
|Type||Lockheed C-130 Hercules|
|Year of development||1956|
|Development Status||Active, In-Service|
|Manufacturer||Lockheed Martin (USA)|
|Engine||Four Allison T56-A-15LFE turboprop engines (4,508 hp each).|
|Max Speed||335 Knot (386 mph)|
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – One of the most successful military aircraft of the post-World War 2 era, the Lockheed C-130 “Hercules” continues to operate today, some sixty years after its first flight.
The versatility of this transport became such that a large number of special mission variants appeared during its long stable career.
Manufacturing and Construction of the C-130
Production has reached more than 2,300 units with operators ranging from Afghanistan and Algeria to Yemen and Zambia while the United States remains its largest global operator through use by special operations forces, airlift squadrons, electronic warfare groups, transport departments, and more – all included. in the various categories of service banners including those of the Air National Guard and Coast Guard.
Hercules’ story begins with the requirements of the United States Air Force (USAF) 1951 when America was already committed to a new war in Korea.
USAF requirements call for a new tactical level of transport with a short take-off and landing capability on rough and unprepared runways.
Accordingly, the four-engine high-wing design was adopted from Lockheed which exhibited the lift and control required as well as low-altitude and low-speed flight. Its design includes an elevated flight deck and an elevated tail unit.
The Cockpit of The C-130
The elevated cockpit placement offers a good view of the terrain ahead as well as engine installations along the front edge of each wing while the elevated tail section clears the rear base of the aircraft for access to the hatch – a classic transport arrangement now imitated by other manufacturers around the world.
The aircraft will serve as a direct replacement for the old, restricted types of transport which were then in service and pressed to their limits over the Korean Peninsula.
Development Starts from a prototype
The USAF commissioned a pair of prototypes under the designation “YC-130” during July 1951 after which development and construction resulted in a fightable form, the first to air for the first time on 23 August 1954.
Satisfied with the product, the USAF ordered the type into serial production, this comes from the Lockheed Marietta, Georgia facility – Hercules’ transport legacy is officially born.
The original operational model was the C-130A, which first flew as a mass-production model in 1955. This aircraft was not equipped with the nose radar seen in later models, but instead had the “blunt nose” seen in the Yak-130 prototype.
Engine performance of the C-130
The power source was an Allison T56-A-9 turboprop engine, which drove a three-bladed propeller unit.
The C-130B, developed in 1959, had an improved engine that drove a more efficient four-bladed propeller, resulting in increased efficiency. The operating range was extended.
The C-130B-II was modified for electronic reconnaissance and was equipped with a fuel tank under the wing dummy, which contained the antenna equipment.
The C-130D (there is no “C-130C” model) was a special winter version of the C-130 equipped with Arctic-type landing skids. This variant was adopted by the US Air Force and the Air National Guard.
The next major recipe was the C-130E, which was introduced in 1962. This brand introduced the more powerful Allison T56-A-7A turboprop engine, which offered improved “heat” and “performance”.
Its range was further extended by larger external fuel tanks and a strengthened airframe, allowing it to operate in aggressive battlefield conditions. The new fuel tanks were removed from the outboard motors mounted between each unit.
Maximum Takeoff and Landing Weight (MTOW) of the C-130
The maximum take-off and landing weight (MTOW) has been increased to provide increased tactical theater transport capability. The avionics suite was designed to increase. It was recognized by the Royal Canadian Air Force as the CC-130E.
When the C-130H with the more powerful Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engine was introduced in 1965, the line was upgraded, and eventually, the avionics suite was improved and the design enhanced to extend its service life.
The C-130J “Super Hercules” was introduced as a completely modernized version of the basic C-130 design (which has remained largely unchanged over the years).
Introduced in 1999, it includes new cockpit avionics, new engines, and other modernized components that will keep the platform alive for the foreseeable future. To date, more than 300 units have been produced and are used by the US Air Force, US Marines, RAF, Italian Air Force, and many other operators around the world.
Special Missions and Tasks of the C-130
The DC-130 served as an unmanned aircraft control platform based on the A, E, and H models.
The electronic warfare version is called the “EC-130” and comes in several named variants, including “Commando Maverick,” “Riveting Knight,” and “Compass Call.
The HC-130 was used to refer to a search and rescue (SAR) aircraft developed based on several Hercules aircraft with names such as “Combat King” and “Combat King II”.
Refueling aircraft continue to be provided to the US Marine Corps under the KC-130 designation (F-, R-, T-, and J-models).
U.S. Special Forces include the MC-130E / H “Combat Talon” designations (I and II), MC-130W “Combat Lance” / “Dragon Spear”, MC-130P “Combat Shadow”, and MC-130J “Combat Shadow II” / “Commando II”.
The YMC-130H was a specially modified C-130 used by the Special Forces in the hostage rescue drama in Iran on April 24, 1980.
Some C-130s were used as raiding platforms for surveillance by the U.S. Weather Service; the VC-130H was a V.I.P. passenger transport aircraft.
One of the best-known and most recognizable variants of the C-130 is the AC-130 “gunship,” with a combat turret mounted on the left side of the fuselage.
Several names have been given to this brand.” Spectre”, “Spooky”, “Ghost Rider”, “Stinger II”, and between the Hercules A, E, H, U, and W models, 47 were produced.
Types of weapons used by the C-130
Weapons included the 7.62mm minigun, 20mm Gatling gun, 40mm cannon, 105mm field howitzer, 30mm autocannon, AGM-114 Hellfire anti-tank missile, conventional dropped bombs, and general air-to-ground guided missiles, and precision bombs.
The effect of the shells fired from the sides of the AC-130 Vortex was devastating to the invading enemy.
Lockheed also manufactured the L-100 Hercules, a civilian version of the C-130.
The C-130 has been in military service since its introduction during the Vietnam War (1955-1975), during which time about 70 of them were lost in combat. Israeli commanders used them in 1976 to chase aircraft under the control of terrorists.
The Argentine military deployed the aircraft in the 1982 Falklands War with Britain. Hercules saw action again in the 1991 Gulf War and was used by key countries in the US-led coalition.
More recently, C-130s have been used on the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 and 2003. Several other global operators have found the variety useful in eliminating fanatical Islamist strongholds across tight borders.
The final year of C-130 production
Surprisingly, C-130 production continued in 2014, with major non-US operators lining up in the UK and Australia.
The type has proven to be a reliable transport and close air support platform, capable of carrying everything from ammunition and supplies to casualties and specialists (including paratroopers).
Its flexibility allows it to perform functions such as firefighting and humanitarian assistance.
Today, few aircraft can match Lockheed’s product history, and the Hercules story continues with no eventual successor in sight.