The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. The C-130 operates throughout the U.S. Air Force, serving with Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, U.S. Air Forces in Europe, Pacific Air Forces, Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Command, fulfilling a wide range of operational missions in both peace and war situations. Basic and specialized versions of the aircraft airframe perform a diverse number of roles, including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aero-medical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, firefighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service and natural disaster relief missions.
Using its aft loading ramp and door the C-130 can accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everything from utility helicopters and six-wheeled armored vehicles to standard palletized cargo and military personnel. In an aerial delivery role, it can airdrop loads up to 42,000 pounds or use its high-flotation landing gear to land and deliver cargo on rough, dirt strips.
The flexible design of the Hercules enables it to be configured for many different missions, allowing for one aircraft to perform the role of many. Much of the special mission equipment added to the Hercules is removable, allowing the aircraft to revert back to its cargo delivery role if desired. Additionally, the C-130 can be rapidly reconfigured for the various types of cargo such as palletized equipment, floor-loaded material, airdrop platforms, container delivery system bundles, vehicles and personnel or aero-medical evacuation.
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. The C-130B introduced Allison T56-A-7 turboprops and the first of 134 entered Air Force service in May 1959. Introduced in August of 1962, the 389 C-130E's that were ordered used the same Allison T56-A-7 engine, but added two 1,290 gallon external fuel tanks and an increased maximum takeoff weight capability. June 1974 introduced the first of 308 C-130H's with the more powerful Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engine. Nearly identical to the C-130E externally, the new engine brought major performance improvements to the aircraft.
The SCANG WC-130H
The 169th Fighter Wing's 169th Operations Support Flight (OSF) flies a WC-130H model of the C-130 Hercules. In 2007 the unit flew 180 sorties for 368 hours moving 317 tons of cargo and 1,359 passengers. The SCANG airlifter has a crew of five: pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster. The OSF has five pilots, a navigator, three flight engineers, three loadmasters and there are five maintainers from the 169th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The plane, Tail Number, 50985, was built in 1965 and first saw service as a rescue HC-130H Hercules when it came off the production line. The unusual nose is part of a modified Fulton Recovery System from a WC-130 model. The 43-year-old aircraft later served as a hurricane hunter flying through 37 hurricanes from 1978 to 2004. The SCANG took delivery of this aircraft on December 12, 2005 and it arrived at McEntire JNGB on January 21, 2006.
Primary Function: Global airlift
Contractor: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
Power Plant: C-130H: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops; 4,591prop shaft horsepower
Length: C-130H: 97 feet, 9 inches
Height: 38 feet, 10 inches
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches
Cargo Compartment: C-130H: length, 40 feet; width, 119 inches; height, 9 feet.
Rear ramp: C-130H: length, 123 inches; width, 119 inches
Speed: C-130H: 366 mph/318 KTAS (Mach 0.52) at 20,000 feet
Ceiling: C-130H: 23,000 feet with 42,000 pounds payload.
Maximum Takeoff Weight: C-130H: 155,000 pounds
Maximum Allowable Payload: C-130H, 42,000 pounds
Maximum Normal Payload: C-130H, 36,500 pounds
Range at Maximum Normal Payload: C-130H, 1,208 miles (1,050 nautical miles)
Range with 35,000 pounds of Payload: C-130H, 1,496 miles (1,300 nautical miles)
Maximum Load: C-130H: 6 pallets or 74 litters or 16 CDS bundles or 92 combat troops or 64 paratroopers, or a combination of any of these up to the cargo compartment capacity or maximum allowable weight.
Crew: C-130H: Five (two pilots, navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster)
Unit Cost: C-130H, $30.1 (FY 1998 constant dollars in millions)
Date Deployed: C-130A, Dec 1956; C-130B, May 1959; C-130E, Aug 1962; C-130H, Jun 1974; C-130J,
Inventory: Active force, 151; Air National Guard, 181; Air Force Reserve, 103
Note: This SCANG 169th FW/PA locally-produced factsheet uses information from the official U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet produced by Air Mobility Command, Public Affairs Office; Scott AFB, IL 62225-5335, DSN 779-7821 or 618-229-7821. Source: http://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/104517/c-130-hercules/
(Current as of January 2009)