Tag Archives: HC-130

Feature: C-130 Hercules beats 2,500

The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules has reached a new milestone. On 11 December 2015 the 2,500th aircraft of the type was delivered: a HC-130J Combat King II to the US Air Force’s 71st Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.

With reaching the number the US aircraft manufacturer illustrates once again the important role of the most popular military transport aircraft of modern times. The C-130 easily beats the Antonov AN-26 (1,400 produced), the AN-24 (1,300 – 1,400) and the AN-12 (1,200+ produced), of which only the AN-12 is somewhat similar as a four-engine turboprop tactical airlifter. The Hercules has been flying into many battles, providing troops with necessary provisions and ammunition. But it also brought thousands of tons of food and medical supplies to people in need and rescuing many from disaster zones.

Loadmaster Senior Airman Kevin O’Neil, 71st Rescue Squadron, waits for engine start-up of Herc 13-782 on 11 December 2015 at the Lockheed Martin C-130 Ramp in Marietta, Georgia (Image © Senior Airman Ryan Callaghan / US Air Force)
Loadmaster Senior Airman Kevin O’Neil, 71st Rescue Squadron, waits for engine start-up of Herc 13-782 on 11 December 2015 at the Lockheed Martin C-130 Ramp in Marietta, Georgia (Image © Senior Airman Ryan Callaghan / US Air Force)
Captain Andrew Kim, 71st Rescue Squadron pilot, flies the 2,500 Hercules, a HC-130J Combat King II on 11 December 2015 in the skies over southern Georgia. (Image © Senior Airman Ryan Callaghan / US Air Force)
Captain Andrew Kim, 71st Rescue Squadron pilot, flies the 2,500 Hercules, a HC-130J Combat King II on 11 December 2015 in the skies over southern Georgia. (Image © Senior Airman Ryan Callaghan / US Air Force)
The 2,500th Hercules, the seventh HC-130J Combat King II of the USAF's 71st Rescue Squadron conducts a low pass before landing on 11 December 2015 at Moody AFB (Image © Senior Airman Ceaira Tinsley / US Air Force)
The 2,500th Hercules, the seventh HC-130J Combat King II of the USAF’s 71st Rescue Squadron conducts a low pass before landing on 11 December 2015 at Moody AFB (Image © Senior Airman Ceaira Tinsley / US Air Force)
The 2,500 Hercules delivered taxis to the parking area of Moody AFB after landing on 11 December 2015 (Image © Senior Airman Ceaira Tinsley / US Air Force)
The 2,500 Hercules delivered taxis to the parking area of Moody AFB after landing on 11 December 2015 (Image © Senior Airman Ceaira Tinsley / US Air Force)

Today at least 68 countries operate the C-130 in its military role, logging more than 22 million flight hours, according to statistics from Lockheed Martin. There are even a few civilian operators like Lynden Air Cargo from the United States and Safair from South Africa. Sixteen nations choose to newest model, the C-130J Super Hercules, for their nation’s air arms. More than 100 different variants of the C-130 have been made.

C-130 First Flight

The characteristic sound of the Herc’s four Allison T56 engines have been with us ever since 23 August 1954, when prototype YC-130 took off from the Lockheed plant in Burbank, California, to land at Edwards Air Force Base roughly an hour later. Since then the C-130 has been developed into not only a tactical airlifter, but flying weather stations, air tanker, airborne gunship, reconnaissance aircraft and (combat) rescue machine.

Adore the Hercules

Let’s give a big applause to the men and women who designed, made, fly, service or just adore the Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules … wherever they are with some historic Hercules images (below).

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image (top): Airman 1st Class Jonathan Marquez, 71st Rescue Squadron crew chief, marshals in the HC-130J Combat King II on 11 December 2015 at Moody AFB (Image © Senior Airman Ceaira Tinsley / US Air Force)

Belgian Air Component Lockheed C-130H Hercules of the 20 Smaldeel performing a fly-by of Kleine Brogel Airbase during the 2001 Tiger Meet. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Belgian Air Component Lockheed C-130H Hercules of the 20 Smaldeel performing a fly-by of Kleine Brogel Airbase during the 2001 Tiger Meet. (Image © Marcel Burger)
A pair of American C-130Hs and crew on Eindhoven Airbase, the Netherlands in September 2014 (Image © Dennis Spronk)
A pair of American C-130Hs and crew on Eindhoven Airbase, the Netherlands in September 2014 (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The humidity of the air is clearly visible in this picture, nice special effect on this French Air Force C-130. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
The humidity of the air is clearly visible in this picture, nice special effect on this French Air Force C-130. (Image © Dennis Spronk)
A view from the top of a Austrian C-130 Hercules.(Image © Elmer van Hest)
A view from the top of a Austrian C-130 Hercules.(Image © Elmer van Hest)
A Bangladesh Air Force C-130E landing at Zia International Airport near Dhaka (Image (CC) Faisal Akra)
A Bangladesh Air Force C-130E landing at Zia International Airport near Dhaka (Image (CC) Faisal Akra)
A Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules in mid-air (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
A Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules in mid-air (Image © Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence)
Lockheed C-130H-30 Hercules tactical transport aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force at the Royal Netherlands Air Force Airshow in 2004, Volkel AB. Aircraft G-275 seen here in the original camouflage livery of the early years of its service life with the RNLAF (Image © Marcel Burger)
Lockheed C-130H-30 Hercules tactical transport aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Air Force at the Royal Netherlands Air Force Airshow in 2004, Volkel AB. Aircraft G-275 seen here in the original camouflage livery of the early years of its service life with the RNLAF (Image © Marcel Burger)
Lockheed Tp 84 Herkules (C-130H Hercules) of the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) taxiing to the runway while the Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) PC-7 Team breaks above Linköping-Malmen in 2012. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Lockheed Tp 84 Herkules (C-130H Hercules) of the Swedish Air Force (Flygvapnet) taxiing to the runway while the Swiss Air Force (Schweizer Luftwaffe) PC-7 Team breaks above Linköping-Malmen in 2012. (Image © Marcel Burger)
Lynden Air Cargo Lockheed L100-30 landing at Ramstein Airbase, Germany in 2004 (Image © Marcel Burger)
Lynden Air Cargo Lockheed L100-30 landing at Ramstein Airbase, Germany in 2004 (Image © Marcel Burger)
British paratroopers leaving a RAF Lockheed Hercules above Ginkel Heath, the Netherlands, during the World War 2 Operation Market Garden Commemorative flight in 2003 (Image © Marcel Burger)
British paratroopers leaving a RAF Lockheed Hercules above Ginkel Heath, the Netherlands, during the World War 2 Operation Market Garden Commemorative flight in 2003 (Image © Marcel Burger)
Lockheed C-130 of the Brazilian Air Force at the 2007 RIAT airshow at RAF Fairford (Image © Marcel Burger)
Lockheed C-130 of the Brazilian Air Force at the 2007 RIAT airshow at RAF Fairford (Image © Marcel Burger)
Two CC-130 Hercules aircraft refuel in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, during Operation Nunalivut 2013 (Image © Corporal Pierre Letourneau / DND-MDN Canada)
Two CC-130 Hercules aircraft refuel in Resolute Bay, Nunavut, during Operation Nunalivut 2013 (Image © Corporal Pierre Letourneau / DND-MDN Canada)
The first ever landing of an Argentine Hercules, a C-130E, on Marambio Base permafrost in the Antarctics on 11 April 1970. Earlier attempts on four other days in that month were aborted due to bad weather. The aircraft with registration TC-61 was from 1 Air Brigade, flying in from Río Gallegos, transporting military personnel and 3,500 kilograms of food plus mail. (Image © Fuerza Aérea Argentina)
The first ever landing of an Argentine Hercules, a C-130E, on Marambio Base permafrost in the Antarctics on 11 April 1970. Earlier attempts on four other days in that month were aborted due to bad weather. The aircraft with registration TC-61 was from 1 Air Brigade, flying in from Río Gallegos, transporting military personnel and 3,500 kilograms of food plus mail. (Image © Fuerza Aérea Argentina)
An Afghan Air Force pilot flies a AAF C-130 Hercules during an "advisory mission" with US Air Force airmen from 438th Air Expeditionary Wing/NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan 10 March 2014, over Kabul (Image © Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson / US Air Force)
An Afghan Air Force pilot flies a AAF C-130 Hercules during an “advisory mission” with US Air Force airmen from 438th Air Expeditionary Wing/NATO Air Training Command-Afghanistan 10 March 2014, over Kabul (Image © Tech. Sgt. Jason Robertson / US Air Force)
Flightdeck of the Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules. Here a combined US/Canadian crew at work on the runway of Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan (Image © Staff Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/USAF)
Flightdeck of the Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules. Here a combined US/Canadian crew at work on the runway of Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan (Image © Staff Sgt. Manuel J. Martinez/USAF)
4x6 size An Austrian Air Force Lockheed C-130K Hercules in flight (Image © Österreichische Luftstreitkräfte)
4×6 size An Austrian Air Force Lockheed C-130K Hercules in flight (Image © Österreichische Luftstreitkräfte)
A RoCAF (Taiwanese) C-130H Hercules landing at Chih Hang AFB in 2013 (Image (CC) Xuán Shǐshēng)
A RoCAF (Taiwanese) C-130H Hercules landing at Chih Hang AFB in 2013 (Image (CC) Xuán Shǐshēng)
A CC-130 Hercules takes off into the sunset during Operation Impact on 21 February 2015. (Image © OP Impact, DND)
A CC-130 Hercules takes off into the sunset during Operation Impact on 21 February 2015. (Image © OP Impact, DND)

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)

Ssshhh … there was a Red Flag 14-02

A USAF F-15E Strike Eagle pilot from the 336th Fighter Squadron from Seymour Johnson AFB goes through post-flight checks during Red Flag 14-2 3 March 2014 (Image © Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler / USAF)
A USAF F-15E Strike Eagle pilot from the 336th Fighter Squadron from Seymour Johnson AFB goes through post-flight checks during Red Flag 14-2 3 March 2014 (Image © Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler / USAF)

With the international community focusing on both the Russian-Ukrainian stand-off and the missing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, one almost forgets loads of other things happen in the world of aviation. Take the famous Red Flag exercises in the Nevada dessert. At AIRheads↑Fly we published a much viewed feature on edition 14-01, but the second Red Flag of the year went by largely unnoticed. Until now 🙂

Even the media units of the Belgian and Danish ministries of Defence hardly paid any attention to their men and women being deployed to literately the Vegas of aerial combat. Maybe they took the nickname of the host city a bit to seriously: What happens there, stays there. Only when Belgian Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Aviator Gerard Van Caelenberge visited the operations at Nellis AFB, a little bit of news coverage followed but without any Belgian F-16s to show. From the Danish side, it was as quiet as it normally is from the Saudis who were also there this time.

Good that the US Air Force press service and their photographers did notice they had Europeans flying combat sorties in American designed aircraft over the Nevada ranges. We selected the highlights – including footage released by the Belgian Defence of the their C-JCS visit. The Belgian Air Component F-16s and stunningly painted C-130H were caught by Dave Budd from from fellow online aviation magazine Photorecon.net. Steve Lewis followed with an astonishing photo series as well!

© 2014 AIRheads’ editor Marcel Burger

Royal Danish Air Force Lance Cpl. Robert Nielsen, crew chief of RDAF's Esk 730 marshals in a Skrydstrup F-16 Fighting Falcon upon arrival on Nellis AFB, 26 February 2014 (Image © Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster / USAF)
Royal Danish Air Force Lance Cpl. Robert Nielsen, crew chief of RDAF’s Esk 730 marshals in a Skrydstrup F-16 Fighting Falcon upon arrival on Nellis AFB, 26 February 2014 (Image © Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster / USAF)
RDAF Esk 727 and Esk 730 F-16s on the flightline of Nellis AFB on 26 February 2014 ahead of Red Flag 14-2 (Image © Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster / USAF)
RDAF Esk 727 and Esk 730 F-16s on the flight line of Nellis AFB on 26 February 2014 ahead of Red Flag 14-2
(Image © Senior Airman Matthew Lancaster / USAF)
A NATO E-3A Sentry AWACS takes off at Nellis AFB during Red Flag 14-2 (Image © Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler / USAF)
A NATO E-3A Sentry AWACS takes off at Nellis AFB during Red Flag 14-2
(Image © Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler / USAF)
A B-52 from the 96th Bomb Squadron takes off during Red Flag 14-2 on 4 March 2014  at Nellis AFB (Image © Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler / USAF)
A B-52 from the 96th Bomb Squadron takes off during Red Flag 14-2 on 4 March 2014 at Nellis AFB
(Image © Airman 1st Class Thomas Spangler / USAF)

Participants of Red Flag 14-02 (Source: USAF)
Combat & Strike

  • USAF F-15C Eagles from the 123rd Fighter Squadron, Portland ANG Base, Oregon
  • USAF F-15C Eagles from the 40th Flight Test Squadron, Eglin AFB, Florida
  • Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) F-15S Strike Eagles, from either Dhahran or/and Khamis Mushayt (King Khalid Air Base) Airbases
  • USAF F-15E Strike Eagles from the 336th Fighter Squadron, Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina
  • USAF F-16CM Fighting Falcons from the 4th Fighter Squadron, Hill AFB, Utah
  • USAF F-16CJ Fighting Falcons (SEAD variant), 77th Fighter Squadron, Shaw AFB, South Carolina
  • Belgian Air Component F-16AM Fighting Falcons, 2 Tactical Wing, Florennes Airbase, Belgium
  • Belgian Air Component F-16AM Fighting Falcons, 10 Tactical Wing, Kleine Brogel Airbase, Belgium
  • Royal Danish Air Force F-16AM Fighting Falcons, Esk 727/Esk 730, Skrydstrup Airbase, Denmark
  • USAF B-52H Stratofortresses from the 96th Bomb Squadron, Barksdale AFB, Louisiana

Electronic Warfare & Control

  • USAF E-3C Sentry, 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma
  • USN EA-18G Growlers, Electronic Attack Squadron 141 (CAW 5), Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan
  • NATO E-3A Sentries, NATO AWACS Unit, Geilenkirchen Airbase, Germany

(Combat) Search-and-Rescue

  • HH-60 Pave Hawks, 66th Rescue Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada
  • HC-130J Combat King IIs, 79th Rescue Squadron, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona

Opposing Forces (OPFOR)

  • USAF F-16C Fighting Falcons, 64th Agressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada
  • USAF F-16C Fighting Falcons, 65th Agressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada
  • USAF F-15C Eagle, 65th Agressor Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nevada

Tactical airlift

  • Belgian Air Component C-130H Hercules, 15 Wing Air Transport, Brussels/Melsbroek Airbase, Belgium
Belgian C-JCS Gen. Aviator Gerard Van Caelenberge arriving on 10 March 2014 on the Belgian Air Component (BAC) Dassault Falcon 900B. Notice the BAC Airbus A330-300 in the background. (Image © Defensie / Belgian Ministry of Defence)
Belgian C-JCS Gen. Aviator Gerard Van Caelenberge arriving on 10 March 2014 on the Belgian Air Component (BAC) Dassault Falcon 900B. Notice the BAC Airbus A330-300 in the background.
(Image © Defensie / Belgian Ministry of Defence)
Belgian C-JCS Gen. Aviator Gerard Van Caelenberge went for a ride in the backseat of this USAF 65th Agressor Squadron F-15C Eagle. Taken on 10 or 11 March 2014. (Image © Defensie / Belgian Ministry of Defence)
Belgian C-JCS Gen. Aviator Gerard Van Caelenberge went for a ride in the backseat of this USAF 65th Agressor Squadron F-15D Eagle. Taken on 10 or 11 March 2014.
(Image © Defensie / Belgian Ministry of Defence)