Later than we – and some say even the Philippine Air Force expected – the first of two “new” Lockheed C-130T Hercules aircraft joined the Asian country’s military this week.
The aircraft landed at almost midnight on 5 April 2016 on Brig. Gen. Benito N. Ebuen Air Base in Lapu-Lapu City at Cebu. A full Philippine Air Force 12 persons strong crew manned the aircraft during the four day journey from Tuscon, Arizona (USA), where the plane left on 2 April. The airlifter was actually expected roughly a month earlier, but what caused the delay is not known.
Travelling along legs
Herc 5011 was travelling along legs typical for so many other flights that were flown without in-flight refuel in the past: first a short hop to one of the airbases in California (to test the systems), then to Hickam AFB/Honolulu IAP on Oahu (Hawaii), followed by Wake Island and Guam before entering Philippine airspace.
220th Airlift Wing
At BGNEAB – as the home of the 220th Airlift Wing is called in short – the Hercules gets additional interior fittings before becoming fully operational. The wing already flies older B and H models, as well as the Airbus C295 recently acquired by Manilla.
The offical public blessing of the former US Marine Corps KC-130 as C-130T is planned for 12 April at Colonel Jesus Villamor Air Base, Pasay City.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger, based largely on PAF press release
Featured image: The first of two C-130Ts arriving in the Philippines on 5 April 2016 (Image © Philippine Air Force)