Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a medium military transport aircraft developed by Lockheed. The main military transport aircraft of the United States and NATO countries.
C-130 – the most common medium-duty transport aircraft operating in 65 countries – have been built by Lockheed for over 50 years. During this time, more than 2,300 military transport S-130s and civilian L-100s of various modifications were produced, including about 1,170 for the United States. Unlike its closest analogs – An-12 and Transal, Hercules continues to be built in series and is in steady demand in the world market.
The design of the aircraft began at the request of the US Air Force, which was looking for a replacement for the obsolete transporters C-119 Flying Boxcar, C-47 Skytrain, and C-46 Commando. According to the command of the US Air Force, formulated on the experience of the Korean War, the new machine had to meet the changing conditions of warfare.
The first flight of the C-130 made in 1954. Shortly afterwards, Lockheed received an order for mass production of the aircraft. Various modifications of the C-130 were used in all wars and military conflicts involving the United States, starting with the Vietnam War.
In 1963, the C-130 proved the possibility of its use in the Navy, taking off and landing 21 times on the deck of the USS Forrestal aircraft carrier (CV-59). Pilot James Flatley, who controlled the test landing on the deck, was awarded the Flight Cross for Distinction and subsequently rose to the rank of admiral.
During the Vietnam War, the C-130 was used as transport, reconnaissance and gunner for attack aircraft, refueling aircraft and air command posts for heavy strategic bombers during the bombing of North Vietnam, as well as direct fire support aircraft for ground forces (AC-130 Specter version) .
During the Vietnam War, the US side lost 55 C-130s, 6 AC-130s, and 4 KC-130s (most of the combat losses).
In the Falkland War in 1982, the Argentine C-130s performed night flights, supplying garrisons on the islands, and also worked as refuelers for the Argentinean Skyhawks and Super Ethandars attacking English ships.
In the late 1980s, several C-130s were transferred to the US Forest Service as flying water tankers to deal with forest fires.
Iran used the Hercules in the Iran-Iraq war. In 1984, an Iranian C-130 was shot down by an Iraqi Mirage F1 fighter. In 1986, the Iraqi interceptor MiG-25 shot down an Iranian EC-130E Khoofash radio-electronic warfare aircraft.
During Kuwait’s failed defense against the Iraqi army in 1990, one L-100 was captured by Iraq as a trophy.
On April 24, 1992, the Peruvian Su-22 intercepted an American C-130, violating airspace. The Peruvian pilot fired a cannon, as a result of which a heavily damaged American plane was forced to land.
On January 30, 2005, the British C-130 was shot down by Iraqi partisans with ZU-23 fire.
C-130 – four-engine turboprop high-wing aircraft. The wing is a two-spar wing. The wing mechanization consists of Fowler flaps.
Semi-monocoque fuselage made of aluminum and magnesium alloys. To obtain the maximum volume of the cargo compartment, the fuselage, round cross-section, was expanded from the bottom. In the cockpit are the commander, second pilot, navigator and flight engineer. Space is provided for the operator of the handling equipment. There are places for a shift crew and a kitchen.
The cargo compartment can accommodate various heavy equipment, in particular, a tank trailer or a 155 mm howitzer with a tractor, or up to five cargo platforms. At the rear of the cab is the main cargo hatch with dimensions of 2.77 × 3.05 m and a loading and unloading ramp with hydraulic drive. Parachutists are ejected through the side door on the port side behind the fairing of the chassis. Two emergency exits installed. Cabin crew and cargo – airtight with air conditioning. The fuselage length of the C-130N-30, L-100-30, and KS-130T-30 aircraft was increased by 4.57 m. The landing gear is a tricycle. The main racks are retracted into the fairings on the sides of the fuselage. The front strut with twin wheels has a swing mechanism.
Over the entire period of operation, Lockheed has released more than 60 modifications of the C-130 to perform a huge range of tasks. In total, more than 2,200 units were produced.
- Type: military transport aircraft
- Powerplant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engines rated at 4,508 hp each
- Payload: 92 soldiers, 64 paratroopers or 19.3 tons of cargo
- Practical ceiling: 10,060 m
- Range: 7876 km
- Maximum take-off weight: 79.38 t
- Cruising speed: 602 km / h
- Wingspan: 40.41 m
- Wing Area: 152.12 square meters m
- Length: 29.79 m
- Height: 11.56 m