Final sorties for RAF Hercs

This RAF C-130K is seen here at Brussels' Melsbroek airport, only a month ago. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
This RAF C-130K is seen here at Brussels’ Melsbroek airport, only a month ago. (Image © Dennis Spronk)

Two Royal Air Force C-130K Hercules aircraft flew the last ever sorties by the type on Friday, ending over 45 years of service with the RAF. The two Hercules departed Brize Norton airbase and arrived back there after their final flight.

The RAF ordered 66 C-130K aircraft in the sixties, naming them Hercules C1 and Hercules C3 for the lengthened version. The aircraft operated from Lyneham airfield near Oxford for many years, untill recently the remaining aircraft were transferred to Brize Norton. The aircraft is being replaced with newer turboprop Hercules C4 and C5 aircraft, plus eventually the Airbus A400M transporter.

The retired C-130Ks have been scrapped, preserved or sold to new owners. Austria has been flying three ex-RAF C-130s for years now. Colombia is named as a customer for the last remaining RAF Hercs, but not officialy.

The final sortie apparently offered a nice photo opportunity, as seen here. Below is a short clip of a Hercules C3 arriving back at Brize Norton in September, on the same day two VC-10s flew their last sortie.

A nice film about the C-130K in RAF-service is here:

© 2013 AIRheads’ editor Elmer van Hest