Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules Tactical transport aircraft of United States
Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules Tactical transport aircraft of United States. Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft.
The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules was first flown in 1954. Currently is the West’s most popular and widely used military transport aircraft. It is in service with more than 60 operators worldwide. In many cases the C-130 is the largest cargo aircraft in their inventory. Deliveries began in 1956. As of 2015 type has been in production for a whooping 61 years. By 2015 a total of 2 500 of these airlifters have been built. So the Hercules is one of the toughest, most adaptable and significant military transport aircraft in the world.
This aircraft was originally intended for troop/cargo transportation and medical evacuation. The C130 Hercules can carry 92 passengers, 72 fully equipped troops or 64 paratroopers.
This airlifter made its name for reliability. The C130 Hercules is capable of short takeoffs and landings from unprepared runways.
Throughout most of its career the basic airframe of the C130 has changed very little. A versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of roles. A number of specialized variants emerged. Over 40 models of the C-130 were built. These include search and rescue, reconnaissance, electronic intelligence, gunship, refueller, maritime patrol and firefighting. A stretched-fuselage option is available. The most important variants are mentioned below.
Variants of C-130
C130A initial production model. These airlifters served through the Vietnam War.
C130B improved model, introduced in 1959. It had uprated engines, new propellers and increased fuel capacity.
C130D aircraft equipped or retrofitted with giant skis. These were essentially the C130A models.
C130E extended range model, fitted with external fuel tanks. It also had more powerful engines and upgraded avionics. This model entered service in 1962 (491 built).
C130F, C130G and KC-130F aerial refueling tankers, fitted with removable fuel tanks inside the cargo compartment.