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Lockheed C-130 Hercules Tactical Transport (1956)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 7/20/2012

The C-130 Hercules is a multi-faceted transport aircraft.

The arrival of the Lockheed-produced C-130 Hercules series of transport lay down the foundation of transport design for decades since its inception. The series ushered in standards such as the high-mounted monoplane wing design, and integral rear-mounted folding ramp and an extra-large holding area in the fuselage. The system was built with speedy loading/unloading in mind and thusly was designed with low ramp access in mind - with the ramp at rear being about level to a typical truck bed. The system maintains STOL capabilities which make it ideal in the forward operating environment where transportation of supplies, personnel and vehicles is essential.

The C-130 series began as a 1951 requirement for a military transport with Short Take-Off and Landing capabilities. The series was born as the YC-130 and performed well in the latter part of 1954 with its Allison three-bladed turboprop engines. With successes encountered throughout the war in Vietnam and furthermore in peacetime, the C-130 Hercules spawned a plethora of variants that would include special forces insertion, arctic patrol, meteorological research, communications, close-support and modernized variants of the base transport.

The C-130 Hercules makes use of four powerful turboprop engines from a series of Allison-branded powerplants. The Engines are mounted on the high-monoplane design that features straightened wings. A large single rudder is mounted aft. The cockpit area is mounted high atop the highly identifiable nose cone. Entry to the fuselage is accomplished through a large door at rear bottom, just under the tail section assembly.

The most intriguing use of the Hercules airframe lies in the AC-130 Spectre gunship, mounting an array of cannon, howitzer and miniguns in support of ground troops. The concentrated firepower has made it a favorite among troops, airmen and military planners to have at disposal when needed in support of infantry and otherwise.

The C-130 as a whole, in one form or another, is fielded by a myriad of countries all subscribing to the effectiveness of the design. Modernization programs and advances in its turboprop design have kept the C-130 at the forefront of most armed forces, providing a capable and proven system for any mobile force.

The L-100 is a civil variant of the military C-130 Hercules with the L-100J being one of the latest in the long line of Hercules entries. The system is quite capable of mounting over 40,000lbs of payload with a range of over 2,000 miles.

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Specifications for the
Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Tactical Transport

Focus Model: Lockheed C-130H Hercules
Country of Origin: United States
Manufacturer: Lockheed Martin Corporation - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1956
Production: 2,500

Crew: 4 + 92

Length: 97.77ft (29.8m)
Width: 132.55ft (40.40m)
Height: 37.40ft (11.40m)
Weight (Empty): 76,505lbs (34,702kg)
Weight (MTOW): 175,003lbs (79,380kg)

Powerplant: 4 x Allison T56-A-15LFE turboprop engines generating 4,508hp each.

Maximum Speed: 386mph (621kmh; 335kts)
Maximum Range: 2,237miles (3,600km)
Service Ceiling: 33,005ft (10,060m; 6.3miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 0 feet per minute (0m/min)

Hardpoints: 0
Armament Suite:
None. Internal payload of up to 42,637lbs of supplies, personnel and vehicles.

YC-130 - Prototype Model Designation; fitted with Allison T56-A-1A (3,750shp); three-blade propellers.

C-130A - Initial Production Model designation.

C-130B - Allison T56-A-7 turboprops introduced; increased fuel capacity; increase maximum weight.

C-130E - Addition of two external fuel tanks; increased internal fuel capacity; 4,050shp turboprops of T56-A7a design; four-blade propellers.

C-130H - More powerful Allison T56-A-15 engines; airframe and internal subsystem improvements.

C-130H-30 - Lengthened fuselage.

C-130J - Modernized variant; introduction of Allison AE 2100D3 turboprop engines; six-blade composite propellers; 2-pilot flight deck; multi-function displays; digital avionics.

C-130J-30 - Special 'stretched' version

L-100 - Civilian Format

L-100J - Civilian Format based on the C-130J-30 militarized variant.

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