At the Paris Air Show in 2017, Lockheed Martin first unveiled its new LM-100J Super Hercules cargo plane, which made its first flight less than a month before the exhibition opened, May 25, 2017, and is a civilian version of the C-130J military transport. The new LM-100J cargo aircraft will inherit many of the qualities of the C-130J military transport aircraft. In particular, it will not be demanding on the quality of airfields and will be able to land both on asphalt and concrete, and on unpaved strips. The aircraft can be operated in desert conditions. The LM-100J will be able to take off from short runways.
Rump “trucks” occupy a rather narrow niche in the global market for civil aircraft. Nevertheless, Lockheed Martin decided to return to it, where the only competitors in the middle class with a carrying capacity of 15-25 tons today are only the Chinese turboprops Y-8 and Y-9 (created as a development of the Soviet An-12), as well as those The Brazilian jet Embraer KC-390 and Ukrainian An-178 are in the testing phase. In addition to the transportation of oversized cargo, Lockheed Martin sees the potential of the LM-100J in performing some other tasks – such as extinguishing forest fires, search and rescue, and humanitarian operations, controlling pollution at sea, supplying remote areas with a parachute landing method, etc. P.
The first civilian version of the Hercules, Lockheed L-100, was created back in 1964 based on the military transport C-130E. In 1965-1992 114 such machines were delivered to customers. Today, 47 L-100 aircraft remain in operation, which is used mainly in developing countries, and in some places are part of the air force.
The LM-100J program (brand name is Model L-382J) was announced by the developer in February 2014. Then Lockheed Martin’s military transport program vice president Ray Fudge said that the company expects to supply 75-100 of these aircraft in the next 20 years, and the total market size is estimated at 300 cars. The launch of the civilian version of the C-130J took place against the backdrop of a decrease in orders for military transport variants of the aircraft and should contribute to supporting the pace of production at the Lockheed Martin plant in Marietta, Georgia. The base catalog price of the LM-100J is $ 65 million.
In technical terms, the LM-100J differs slightly from the C-130J. If the C-130J is offered to customers in two main versions – with both a conventional and an elongated fuselage (C-130J-30), then the civilian modification will be available in only one “long” version (aircraft length – 34.37 m). The LM-100J is capable of transporting 18.2 tons of cargo over a distance of 4000 km, which is 50% further than the previous L-100.
Thanks to the Rolls-Royce AE2100D turboprop engines with a power of 4,637 hp, which is 30% more than the Allison T-56 on the L-100, the maximum speed increased by 10% to 660 km / h, also, a new power installation is 15% more economical.
The visual differences of the commercial version include the absence of additional glazing of the cockpit, as well as the presence of internal non-combustible lining of the cargo compartment, which is one of the requirements for certification of the aircraft in the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In terms of the composition of its onboard equipment, the aircraft practically differs from its military prototype: for example, it has indicators on the windshield, the ability to use night vision goggles by the crew, and the airborne cargo landing function remains.
The basic type certificate for the C-130J was obtained back in 1998, but over the years the aircraft electronic equipment has been significantly updated, so additional tests are required to certify the LM-100J.
Lockheed Martin says it currently has a firm order for five LM-100Js from an unnamed customer, as well as preliminary arrangements for the supply of 10 aircraft to the Irish company ASL Aviation Group and another 10 to the Brazilian Bravo Industries. The start of mass deliveries of the LM-100J began in the fourth quarter of 2018.
- Modification: LM-100J
- Wingspan, m: 40.38
- Aircraft Length, m: 34.37
- The height of the aircraft, m: 11.81
- Wing Area, m2: 162.20
- Weight kg: empty aircraft 36650; maximum take-off 74389
- Engine type: 4 theater engine Rolls-Royce AE2100D3
- Power, e.s.: 4 x 4591
- Maximum speed, km / h: 720
- Cruising speed, km / h: 660
- Practical range, km: 4540
- Practical ceiling, m: 9300
- Crew: 2
- Payload: Maximum – 21863 kg, usually – 18200 kg of cargo.