Iron Horse, an HC-130P Combat King, before take-off at Moody Air Force Base on 3 March 2015. The aircraft made its retirement flight to Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona (Image © Airman 1st Class Dillian Bamman / USAF)

Oldest American Herc to the boneyard

The oldest Lockheed C-130 Hercules in the US Air Force inventory arrived at its final resting spot on 3 March 2015. HC-130P Combat King “Iron Horse” (aircraft 62-1863) landed at David-Monthan AFB in Arizona, home of the “boneyard”, after a service life of 52 years.

Iron Horse began its Air Force career as a C-130E Hercules assigned to the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing during the Vietnam War and ended with a final deployment in 2009 with the 71st Rescue Squadron. Iron Horse first got its nickname when it was stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1994 as an EC-130C Airborne Command and Control Center.

After nine years at its future retirement home in Arizona, the historic aircraft was selected by Air Combat Command for its final modification into the HC-130P Combat King in 2003. It was the only aircraft that was converted. The Air Force Special Operations Command made the decision to cancel the program and buy new HC-130J aircraft instead.

Moody and its 71st RQS welcomed Iron Horse into its fleet in 2007, and it has served here until the HC-130J Combat King II was introduced.

Source: US Air Force
Featured image: Iron Horse, an HC-130P Combat King, before take-off at Moody Air Force Base on 3 March 2015. The aircraft made its retirement flight to Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona (Image © Airman 1st Class Dillian Bamman / USAF)