Lockheed C-130

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Lockheed C-130 Hercules
Lockheed C-130 Hercules.jpg
A C-130E of the 43rd USAF Transport Wing
Type: Military transporter
Design country:

United StatesUnited States United States


Lockheed Corporation

First flight:

23rd August 1954


December 1956

Production time:

In series production since 1956

Number of pieces:

2,500 (as of August 2018)

Lockheed C-130 Hercules

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules from the US manufacturer Lockheed Corporation is a military transport aircraft with four turboprop engines. With its further developments, the shoulder -wing aircraft is one of the longest built aircraft in the world after more than 60 years in production. The civilian variant of the aircraft is called the Lockheed L-100 Hercules .


The YC-130A prototype with the "Roman nose", 1954
C-130 Hercules of the Japanese Air Force
C-130 Hercules drops parachutists
View into the cockpit of a C-130 Hercules

Development of the C-130 began at the time of the Korean War in February 1951 with a tender by the US Air Force for a new medium-heavy transport aircraft, in which Boeing , Douglas and Fairchild also participated. The aircraft should be able to carry either 11.5 tons of load, 92 infantrymen or 64 fully equipped paratroopers . The machine should be able to use unpaved slopes. The USAF envisioned a flying mixture of jeep and truck that would master logistics tasks anywhere in the world.

As early as July 11, 1951, Lockheed was awarded the contract for what was initially called the "L-206", later called "Model 82" and designed by Willis Hawkins and Art Flock . The development took place in Burbank, California and before the end of the Air Force placed the first series orders.

On August 23, 1954, the pilots Stan Beltz and Ray Wimmer started their maiden flight in Burbank with the first of the two prototypes YC-130 ( aircraft registration number 53-3396). At the same time, Lockheed was finalizing plans for high-volume production at Plant No. 6 in Marietta, Georgia.

The two prototypes confirmed and exceeded the required flight performance. The first production aircraft C-130A (registration number 53-3129) flew for the first time on April 7, 1955 and after solving problems with the three-bladed propeller, the first machines were delivered to the 463rd Troop Transport Squadron in Ardmore, Oklahoma in December 1956. The first delivery lot consisted of 219 machines of the type C-130A Hercules, which were divided into four units. Compared to the prototype, the tail and tail fin have been redesigned. The APS-42 radar was replaced by the APS-59. At the beginning, the Hercules also had problems with the engines and the pressurized cabin, but these had been eliminated in the B variants.

Since then, more than 40 versions have been developed that are in use in around 70 countries. With over 2500 machines, the C-130 is one of the most built transport aircraft in the world. The aircraft turned out to be a very suitable military transporter, as its design had a low-lying cargo area at ramp height, a soft-sprung landing gear for unpaved runways, pressure compensation for the entire interior, integral tanks over the entire wingspan for long-haul flights, and a very good overview from the cockpit out and turboprop engines were combined. Among the flight performance, the speed and maneuverability were particularly impressive. The aircraft has STOL properties and can therefore operate on short runways. Due to its characteristics, the aircraft survived a number of its planned successors (see Advanced Medium STOL Transport ). After more than 60 years, the Hercules continues to be produced, now in the modernized version C-130J, and a successor is not in sight. On December 11, 2015, the 2,500th aircraft was delivered to the 71st Air Force Rescue Squad.


The C-130 did not have any untried or radically changed assemblies, but combined all the innovations that had already been used. For loading, it was given a hydraulically lowerable ramp ramp with a pair of hatches at the stern, which can also be opened hydraulically during the flight up to a speed of 463 km / h. The lower hatch is used as a driveway. Behind the ramp, the 12.31 meter long loading space begins with a width of 3.12 meters and a height of 2.74 meters. The floor consists of large self-supporting sheet metal profiles made of an aluminum alloy, which has a high load-bearing capacity with a low mass. The A / B and D variants had a cargo hatch on the left side, which was left out in later models because it could only be opened at the bottom and was of no use.

The cargo hold and the cockpit are designed as a pressurized cabin so that it is possible to fly at great heights of an average of 9,000 m. Castors can be mounted on the floor so that standard freight containers can also be quickly loaded and unloaded. Furthermore, entire boats and vehicles with parachutes can be dropped from great heights using freight pallets. Light tanks like the M551 Sheridan can be thrown from low altitude with braking parachutes.

Thanks to its robust chassis, the C-130 is designed to land on unprepared surfaces such as sandy beaches or grass slopes. The dimensions of the cargo hold, 2.74 m high, 3.12 m wide and 12.31 m long, allow the C-130 to transport light armored personnel carriers, trucks, guns, boats, off-road vehicles, etc. in one piece. The Hercules is designed for troop transports for 92 soldiers.

The engines were another special feature. Allison  - a subsidiary of General Motors  - had completed the single-shaft T56 turboprop engine with 2798 kW (3750 hp ) just in time . Compared to the previous engines, it was tiny and only filled a small part of the motor nacelle. Most of the nacelle was taken up by the gearbox and drive shaft. Initially, the engine transmitted its power to three-bladed Turboelectric propellers from Curtiss-Wright . A little later, Aeroproducts propellers with four blades each were used. The integral tanks between the wing ribs held a total of 19,876 liters of fuel. In addition, two external tanks with a capacity of approx. 5000 liters each could be mounted on pylons under the wings. Eight rockets, each with around 4.5 kN of thrust, could be mounted on the fuselage as a starting aid .

The spacious cockpit was characterized by excellent all-round visibility. Compared to transport aircraft with piston engines, the lower noise level and the vibration damping in the cockpit were positive. In the cargo hold designed as a pressurized cabin, however, hearing protection must be worn due to the high noise level. A crew of six is ​​required for variants A to H, and three for the J variant. So that the large transatlantic range can be used, there are two resting berths, a galley and a urinal for the crew members in the cockpit . There are two more urinals, a toilet and folding chairs in the hold. To increase the range, some variants were equipped with air refueling devices.


Trials with a C-130 on the flight deck of the USS Forrestal (1963)

When transporting people, either 92 infantrymen or 64 fully equipped paratroopers can be carried. For MedEvac tasks, up to 74 patients are provided on stretchers and two medical attendants. With the C-130H-30, up to 128 infantrymen, 92 paratroopers or 97 patients with four paramedics are possible. During the Vietnam War on April 29, 1975, when Saigon was evacuated, 452 people were on board a C-130A, which with an overload of 9,100 kg made it to Utapao , Thailand, three and a half hours away . There was space for 32 people in the cockpit, and the copilot was dispensed with.

In addition to the original military transport aircraft version, the C-130, there is the KC-130 for aerial refueling , the HC-130 for search and rescue missions and for helicopter aerial refueling, and the EC-130, a conversion for electronic reconnaissance . The AC-130 variants are equipped with side-firing guns to seal off the battlefield . The DC-130A are used to transport and launch four Ryan BQM-34A “Firebee” targeting drones . For use in the Arctic, LC-130A / D / F / T / J were each equipped with an oversized ski on the chassis. For photo reconnaissance and mapping, the RC-130A were equipped with photo cameras. The RC-130S is equipped with an additional container for battlefield lighting at night, which holds a searchlight with 28 lamps. Several versions of the freighter were fitted with additional windows in the side of the parachutist door so that the machines could be used as a maritime patrol. The MC-130E / N / P / J were retrofitted with ground follower radar in a modified nose, infrared vision device and Fulton recovery system for the recovery of satellites in the sea, the lowering of rescue parachutists and for the recovery of shot down aircraft crews . The MC-130 is also equipped with air refueling canisters for helicopter air refueling. With the L-100, a civil cargo version was derived from the Hercules. With modular spray kits, it serves, among other things, as a fire fighting aircraft and as a flying ambulance. These aircraft are also used to supply the research stations in the Antarctic .

On October 30, 1963, a KC-130 made history. It was the heaviest aircraft that ever landed on an aircraft carrier . The tests on the USS Forrestal were intended to clarify whether the C-130 was suitable as a transport aircraft with high cargo capacity and range for supplying aircraft carriers. Although the tests on the Forrestal were successful, the US Navy later decided to commission the smaller Grumman C-2 Greyhound transport aircraft for the carrier mission, as operations with the C-130 were deemed too risky.

The Hercules (WC-130B / E / H / J series) is also used by the Hurricane Hunters' squadron due to its extremely stable flight characteristics . They fly straight into the eye of the hurricanes and take measurements there. This should help science to understand the origin and course of such weather phenomena and to optimize early warning systems.


Two US Marine Corps KC-130s

On the premises of the Lockheed Georgia Company in Marietta , series production began with two machines a week. The Australian Air Force received twelve machines, which were only replaced by a new model of the C-130 in the late 1970s. A large number of the C-130A were either rebuilt or specially made for new tasks. One of the first variants was the RC-130A for the US Air Force aerial mapping service. Of the 16 machines of this type, some were given the designation RC-130S after a further modification, which included searchlights . The GC-130A received four underwing pylons from which missiles or drones could be fired. The monitoring and control systems were on board the machine. The US Navy received two aircraft of this type. There they got the designation DC-130A . Eleven machines were given the designation JC-130A . These were used as radio control centers for guided missiles and space flights. In 1957 a C-130A with retractable runners was successfully tested. This was followed by the production of twelve C-130D Arctic to supply and support the radar stations of the early warning system in the arctic zones. The last conversion of the A series was the AC-130A , a fighter aircraft with four 20 mm M61 Gatling guns and four 7.62 mm GAU-2 / A miniguns , night vision equipment and navigation aids. After a test phase, they were used in Vietnam in 1968.

Some of the HC-130H had an in-flight load bearing device. Loads and people up to 227 kg could be picked up. For this purpose, a 7.32 m × 1.83 m large helium balloon was attached to the payload and allowed to rise to a height of 152 m. The aircraft took the load at a flight speed of 220 to 260 km / h. The balloon was caught on the nose with a safety gear. The load was picked up via the stern ramp, see Fulton system . This load of (people) recording technology can be seen in the James Bond film Fireball and the Batman film adaptation The Dark Knight .

In the 1960s and 70s, project studies were carried out on an amphibian variant. It was planned to add only four assemblies to a standard cell in order to make the Hercules suitable for water operation. This included a GRP boat hull connected to the normal pressure hull, an extendable hydro-ski and support floats on the outer wings.

Purposes of the type variants

mission template
Tactical air transport C-130A, C-130B, C-130E, C-130H, C-130J / C-130J-30
In-flight refueling KC-130B, KC-130F, KC-130H, HC-130H (N), HC-130N, HC-130P, KC-130R, KC-130T, KC-130J, Hercules C1K
Command center EC-130E (ABCCC) Commando Solo , EC-130G, EC-130Q
Maritime patrol C-130H-NP, PC-130H
Special missions MC-130E Combat Talon I , MC-130H Combat Talon II , MC-130P Combat Shadow , MC-130W Combat Spear , MC-130J Combat Shadow II
Search and Rescue (SAR) SC-130B, HC-130B, HC-130E, HA-130H, HC-130H (N), HC-130N, HC-130P, HC-130J
VIP transport VC-130B, VC-130H
spotter RC-130A, RC-130B
Flying hospital C-130E (AEH)
Arctic / Antarctic supply C-130BL, C-130D, LC-130F, C-130D, LC-130H, LC-130R, LC-130J
Battlefield lockdown / attack aircraft AC-130A, AC-130E, AC-130H, AC-130U, AC-130W, AC-130J
Drone control GC-130A, DC-130A, DC-130E, DC-130H
Electronic warfare EC-130E (CL), EC-130 (RR), EC-130H Compass Call , EC-130J
Space / missile support mission laser weapon JC-130A, JC-130B, NC-130H
test NC-130A, NC-130B, JC-130E, NC-130E, JC-130H, RC-130S
Weather research WC-130B, WC-130E, WC-130H, WC-130J, Hercules W2

Basic variants

YC-130 (Model L-082)

The two prototypes were the only ones built in Burbank. They had no external additional tanks and were propelled by Allison T56-A-1 engines with three-bladed propellers.

C-130A / D (Model L-182)

The basic version of the C-130A was equipped with T56-A-1A or T56-A-9 engines. The first 27 machines had a smaller radome with a flatter cladding known as the roman nose . The larger radome was retrofitted later. From 1978 four-blade propellers were used.

C-130B / F (Model L-282)

The C-130B was equipped with additional fuel tanks in the wing box for greater range, which is why it did without the additional tanks. The more powerful T56-A-7 with the Hamilton standard four-blade propeller was used as the turboprop engine.

C-130E (Model L-282-4B)

The C-130E, which had already been delivered in 1961, had been structurally reinforced to be able to transport 8 tons more fuel and 10 tons more cargo across the ocean. The more powerful T56-A-7A engines were also used for this purpose. The external fuel tanks were also re-installed.

C-130H (Model L-382C / T)

The C-130H was a further development of the C-130E and is partly still used today in the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve . Its first flight took place on November 19, 1964. This version of the C-130, which was first delivered to New Zealand, was a great export success. The machine shown in the dark gray paint scheme that has been in use since the mid-1990s was in service with the 180th Airlift Squadron (139th Airlift Wing) in 1996 and was stationed in St. Joseph / Missouri.

As part of the Avionics Modernization Program (AMP), the obsolete avionics in around 220 C-130Hs are to be replaced and brought up to a level roughly equivalent to that of the C-130J. Boeing is supplying appropriate conversion kits for this, including a glass cockpit with six 15 × 20 cm screens and two head-up displays from Rockwell-Collins, an ACR-210 radio and a satellite communication system SAT-2000, new mission computers and several other modernized systems include. The first flight of an appropriately upgraded aircraft started on September 19, 2006, and the conversion had taken 20 months. The controversial issue with the program is the cost of around 1.5 billion US dollars, so that the start of the modernization program will be delayed until 2012.


The export versions of the H-series for the Royal Air Force were designated as C-130K . The basic series was the Hercules C.1 , from which the British models were converted variously. The version Hercules W.2 comprised a single aircraft for weather observation by the British Meteorological Service and the Hercules C.3 had the fuselage extended. Sub-series were the Hercules C.1K tanker version , the Hercules C.1P with a positioning system and the Hercules C.3A for special operations. In addition, most specimens received an air refueling nozzle during or after the Falklands War . The type is scheduled to be decommissioned in December 2012.

C-130J (Model L-382U / V)

An Air National Guard C-130J over Santa Cruz Island
Cockpit of a USAF C-130J Super Hercules

The C-130J is the latest development of the C-130 and the only version currently being built. Despite the minor external differences to the previous models, it is the result of extensive modernization, which mainly included the cockpit and the engines. The variant of the C-130, which was initially modernized on the initiative of Lockheed Martin, differs through digital avionics with a glass cockpit (four screens + head-up display ), FADEC for the Allison AE2100 D3 engines with 3425 kW power and six-blade R391 propellers made of composite materials from the initial pattern. In addition, the cargo hold was equipped with an enhanced cargo handling system , which enables the crew to operate the underfloor winches via remote control and to convert the variable cargo floor from pallet rollers to flat floors. The top speed increases to around 650 km / h and the range to 3300 km (6435 km for WC-130J). The improvement in climbing performance at 5500 m from 29 minutes for the 130H to 17 minutes for the 130J is also essential. As a result of these improvements, the performance of the C-130J has increased its range by 40% and its top speed by 21% compared to its predecessors.

The first flight took place on April 5, 1996 and the certification was granted in 1998. In addition, the C-130J-30 is a five-meter-longer version with the factory-internal designation Model 382V. It has a cargo hold length of 17 m instead of 12.5 m. On April 7, 2009, the first C-130J in Germany was stationed at Ramstein Air Base . Analogous to the C-130H and K, the RAF ordered specimens with an extended fuselage ( Hercules C.4 , 15 pieces) and those with a standard fuselage ( Hercules C.5 , 10 pieces).

On December 5, 2013, the 300th copy of the J version, an MC-130J "Kommando II", was delivered to the American Air Force. The C-130J is repeatedly produced in blocks with improved blocks. Currently this is the variant designated as C.130J Block 9.0, which has interference-resistant GPS , autopilot for landings, modern IFF , Link 16, Joint Tactical Radio System and Advanced Situation Awareness and Countermeasure System Phase II with AN / ALR-56M radar warning device , AN / AAR-47 missile warning sensor, AN / ALE-47 decoy launcher, and an AN / AAQ-22 Star Safire FLIR thermal imaging tower. The III. and the last multi-year contract to date for 50 copies plus six options in various special versions was concluded at the end of 2019.

L-100 (model 382B)

The Lockheed L-100 Hercules is the civil version of Lockheed's successful C-130E military transport aircraft. Compared to the military variant C-130E, it does without any military navigation and communication equipment. The first flight took place in 1964. Of the L-100, which was also manufactured with an extended fuselage in the versions L-100-20 (model 382C) and L-100-30 (model 382G), a total of 115 machines were delivered by 1992, some of them including in the air force.

On its own initiative, the manufacturer proposed a civilian version, the LM-100J (Model 382J), since civilian approval criteria were already included in the approval by the Air Force. The rollout of the first LM-100J took place on February 9, 2017, the maiden flight followed on May 27, 2017 from Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta .

Special variants


AC-130A / H Specter
The AC-130 is a so-called “ Gunship ” of the US Air Force, which was developed and used in the course of the Vietnam War . The first versions were converted C-130 transporters that were equipped with M134 miniguns and M61 -Gatling guns.
AC-130U Spooky II
The AC-130Us produced in the 1990s, on the other hand, are completely rebuilt and also equipped with heavy 105 mm M102 howitzers (which were subsequently installed in the older machines). They were taken out of service until 2020.
AC-130J Ghostrider
In the meantime the newest variant AC-130J is in the supply, it is based on the "Super Hercules"; 37 pieces planned


EC-130H / J “Compass Call” machines were used for electronic warfare . In addition to reconnaissance variants, there is a modification that is specially equipped for ECM or disruptive tasks. In this version, directional antennas are integrated into the wings, which can transmit and receive across the flight direction. The operational scenario was, for example, to disrupt enemy radio traffic while flying behind the front.


HC-130H / N / P Combat King
The HC-130 was specially developed for missions to rescue crashed pilots. For this purpose, it was equipped with a special bow and fuselage radar as well as four additional underwing tanks for a greater range. One of the main tasks also includes the refueling of rescue helicopters on board. The machine shown is painted in the "European-I" privacy screen and was stationed with the 304th Rescue Squadron (939th Rescue Wing) in Portland ( Oregon ).
HC-130J Combat King II
The first flight of the USCG's HC-130J took place in 2003, while that of the USAF took place on July 29, 2010 at Lockheed Martin in Marietta (Georgia). The HC-130J is based on the HC-130H in combination with the fuselage of the C-130J Super Hercules. In the bow there is an EL / M-2022 (V) 3 multi-purpose radar and below it a gyro-stabilized sensor rotating tower with thermal imaging and daylight digital film camera ( FLIR ) of the Star SAFIRE III type. Two aerodynamically concealed double decoy launcher bar AN / ALE-47 are also mounted in the bow hull. The USAF variant has an additional decoy launcher installed in each of the underwing stations closer to the fuselage. Radar and missile approach warning sensors are installed on the stern and fuselage. In addition to the two standard additional tanks, basket air refueling containers Sargant-Fletcher for air refueling of helicopters can be carried at two additional underwing stations. This extends the maximum flight time to 21 hours. During such search and rescue flights, rescue packages, life rafts or inflatables with parachutes that have been carried along can be dropped via the ramp. The USAF received the first aircraft on September 24, 2011 at the USAF Davis-Monthan AFB .; Procurement of 37 pieces planned for the USAF, the USCG received six from 2003.


The KC-130 is the tanker version of the Hercules. This version is used primarily by the US Marine Corps (USMC) , as they have unique capabilities for refueling helicopters - larger tanker aircraft such as the KC-10 Extender can deliver the large amounts of fuel required for jets, but they are for refueling helicopters but too fast.

LC-130 / C-130D

LC-130 during rocket-assisted launch at 3000 m altitude (Camp Summit, Greenland)

The USAF's C-130A has been modified to the C-130D especially for take-offs and landings in arctic zones. It therefore had, among other things, runners firmly connected to the chassis. The USN had KC-130F and KC-130R modified for the same purpose.

The LC-130R was in service with the US Navy's Antarctic Development Squadron Six in 1990 and was stationed in Point Mugu ( California ). It supplied the American Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station .

Today she serves the American stations on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Eight solid fuel rockets can be mounted at the stern for take-off support ( JATO ).


MC-130E / H Combat Talon / Combat Talon II
Original versions for the airborne transport of special task forces and their means of transport into the combat area.
MC-130P Combat Shadow
Modernized design for special operations
MC-130W Combat Shadow / DragonSpear
The MC-130W is a C-130H that has been upgraded as an interim solution for special missions since 2006. Like all C-130s of the MC series, they are not yet armed, but have special avionics and also have air refueling capabilities. Two MC-130Ws were used to support humanitarian aid after the earthquake disaster in Haiti for unspecified tasks. The United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM) is working on a program that aims to equip the MC-130W Combat Spear with largely the same modifications as in the Harvest Hawk program (see: Lockheed KC-130 ). SOCOM decided on the 30 mm M44 Bushmaster II weapon (see also AC-130W).
MC-130J Commando II
The first flight of the KC-130J-based MC-130J (initially referred to as Combat Shadow II) for special operations took place in April 2011. It has a reinforced wing root for grueling low-level flights, a Universal Serial Refueling Receptacle Slipway Installation (UARRSI; a bay above the cockpit for air refueling). In the bow there is a multi-purpose radar and underneath a gyro-stabilized sensor turret with infrared (Forward Looking Infrared; FLIR) and daylight digital film cameras of the type Raytheon AN / AAS-52. Digitized satellite radios with additional antennas for the transmission of voice and data messages are used for communication. Radar and missile approach warning sensors are installed on the stern and fuselage. The tailgate was equipped with stronger hydraulic systems and wind barriers so that the ramp can still be opened at 463 km / h (250 kt). In addition to the two standard additional tanks, basket air refueling containers Sargant-Fletcher for air refueling of helicopters can be carried at two additional underwing stations. This extends the maximum flight time to 21 hours. During such search and rescue flights, off-road vehicles or inflatable boats with parachutes can also be dropped via the ramp. For self-defense, an additional chaff thrower was installed on each side in the bow. A fourth intercom radio device is installed for communication with the load master. To supply special units on the ground, 60 Hz sockets are installed in the front next to the decoy launchers. To minimize visibility, the cabling of a less visible formation flight collision warning light (beacon) was set up in the vertical stabilizer. In the fuselage there is an additional shelf with life support devices such as AED in the front fuselage. For the installation of modern DIRCM everything is pre-wired on both sides of the ramp and in the tail boom. The loadmaster and one other person can watch the area around the rear doors on seats attached to the doors.
It should replace the MC-130E and MC-130P .; 57 copies planned.
WC-130H of 54th Weather Sqn (Air Weather Service)

WC-130 Weatherbird

WC-130B, WC-130E, WC-130H, WC-130J
Special version of the US Air Weather Service for weather reconnaissance

Number of machines produced

It does not include versions that were created by converting aircraft that had already been delivered (total: 2468 aircraft).

YC-130 : 2; C-130A : 204; RC-130A : 15; C-130B : 156; HC-130B : 12; WC-130 : 5; C-130D : 12; C-130E : 486; EC-130E : 1; C-130F : 7; KC-130F : 46; LC-130F : 4; C-130G : 4; C-130H : 690; C-130H-30 :56; HC-130H : 87; HC-130H-7 :11; HC-130H (N) : 6; C-130HMP : 4; KC-130H : 22; LC-130H : 7; MC-130E : 18; MC-130H : 24; MC-130P : 28; MC-130W : 12; C-130J : approx. 120; C-130K : 66; HC-130N : 15; KC-130R : 14; LC-130R : 6; EC-130Q : 18; C-130T : 20; KC-130T : 26; KC-130T-30 : 2; AC-130U : 13; L-100 : 118.

1442 of them are still in active service, the rest is stored, scrapped or is used for training purposes (as of 2015).


C-130K, Austrian Air Force, Linz
C-130E, US Air Force, Ramstein
other European C-130s

Except for the US armed forces, the C-130 Hercules was or is in service in around 81 states. Here civil operators of the L-100 and buyers of used machines were also taken into account:

Deployment locations in Europe

In the German-speaking area there were / are a total of three airfields that accommodate C-130 squadrons:

AustriaAustria Austria , Air Force
Vogler Air Base (Hörsching), since March 2003, C-130K ( air transport squadron )
United StatesUnited States United States , United States Air Forces in Europe
Rhein-Main Air Base , June 1958 to June 1973, C-130A / B-II, change to B-series 1971/1972 ( 7406th Operations Squadron ), October 1977 to September 1994, C-130E ( 37th Airlift Squadron )
Ramstein Air Base , since October 1994, C130E / J, change to J-series 2009/2010 ( 37th Airlift Squadron )

In the decades before its closure, the former RAF station Gütersloh was not a station, but it was approached almost daily by the British Royal Air Force .

In addition to these bases, C-130s were or are stationed at the following bases in Europe: Melsbroek (Belgium), Aalborg and Værløse (Denmark), in France Orléans-Bricy (Armée de l'air) and (planned) Évreux-Fauville ( Armée de l'air / Luftwaffe), Elefsína (Greece), Pisa (Italy), Eindhoven (Netherlands), Gardermoen (Norway), Powidz (Poland), Montijo (Portugal), Otopeni (Romania), Såtenäs (Sweden), in Spain Morón (USMC) and Saragossa (Ejército del Aire) and in the United Kingdom Brize Norton , Fairford , Lyneham and Thorney Island (all RAF) and Mildenhall (USAF).


In the decades of operational history of the Hercules there have been hundreds of total casualties of various kinds. There were, including the civilian variants, at least 375 aircraft casualties with over 3700 deaths. The exported list is still under construction.

Technical specifications

Parameter C-130A C-130H C-130J-30 L-100-20
crew 4th 5 3
length 29.79 m 34.36 m 32.33 m
span 40.41 m
height 11.66 m 11.68 m 11.84 m 11.66 m
Cargo space dimensions
  • Length: 12.31 m
  • Width: 3.12 m
  • Height: 2.74 m
  • Area: 38.4 m²
  • Length: 16.90 m
  • Width: 3.12 m
  • Height: 2.74 m
  • Area: 52.7 m²
Wing area 162.12 m²
Wing extension 10.07
Wing loading
  • minimum (empty weight): 211 kg / m²
  • nominal (normal take-off mass): k. A.
  • maximum (max. takeoff weight): 434 kg / m²
  • minimum (empty weight): 222 kg / m²
  • nominal (normal take-off weight): 434 kg / m²
  • maximum (max. takeoff weight): 490 kg / m²
Empty mass 28,575 kg 34,274 kg 35,965 kg 34,300 kg
normal takeoff mass k. A. 70,305 kg
Max. Takeoff mass 56,335 kg 70,308 kg 79,378 kg 70,308 kg (L-100-30)
Max. Payload 16,600 kg 20,412 kg 21,625 kg 20,940 kg
drive 4 × Allison - T56-A-1A - propeller turbines 4 × Allison-T56-A-15 propeller turbines 4 × Rolls-Royce-Allison-AE-2100-D3 propeller turbines, FADEC 4 × Allison-T56-A-15 propeller turbines
power 4 × 2793 kW 4 × 3160 kW / 4240 WPS 4 × 3458 kW / 4640 WPS 4 × 3160 kW
propeller initially: Curtiss-Wright Turboelectric, 3-blade Aeroproducts, 4 sheets Dowty Aerospace R391, 6-bladed, 4.11 m diameter
Top speed 592 km / h 671 km / h
Marching speed 573 km / h 540 km / h 643 km / h 571 km / h
Service ceiling 10,365 m 8,077 m 9,315 m
Max. Rate of climb 8.6 m / s 9.3 m / s 10.7 m / s 9.3 m / s
  • 2945 km (with max.load)
  • 3943 km (with maximum payload)
  • 7675 km (transfer range)
  • approx. 2600 km (with max.load)
  • 5240 km (with 18,144 kg payload)
  • approx. 3570 km (with max.load)
Take-off run 1093 m (at max. Takeoff weight) 953 m (with normal takeoff mass)
On-board armament - - -

External loads

The C-130 is designed as a tactical transporter for the transport of around 20 tons in the hold. Depending on the mission, however, it can also carry various containers and additional tanks at external load stations.

Resource up to 12,000 kg at two to four external load stations under the two wings


  • 4 × target display drones BQM-34S "Firebee"

Additional container

  • 2 × underwing additional tanks for 5150 liters of kerosene each
  • 2 × under-wing basket air refueling containers Cobham / Sargant-Fletcher 48-000-4862

Self-protection systems

The Therma ALQ-213 self-defense system controls the following sensors and effectors:

  • 6 × BAe AN / ALE-47 decoys (Electro Chaff-Flare Dispenser System) with 30 decoys each (36 mm or 147 mm width, for example RR-129 chaff cartridges or MJU-8 / B heat flares). In the bow behind the nose landing gear, two decoys are installed on each side and two decoys are installed in the stern under the tail fin.
  • 2 × Northrop-Grumman AN / ALQ-162 electronics jammers
  • 1 × AN / ALQ-157 Infrared Noise Tray

See also


Web links

Commons : C-130 Hercules  - album with pictures, videos and audio files


Individual evidence

  1. Lockheed Martin Brochure C-130J Super Hercules, p. 31, as of October 2018 (English), accessed on February 19, 2020.
  2. a b c C-130 Hercules - Airplanes down to the smallest detail . In: FlugRevue . March 2010, p. 47-52 .
  3. Lockheed Martin (Ed.): Historic Herc: Lockheed Martin Delivers 2,500th C-130. In: Proven Newsletter, December 2015.
  4. http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Display/tabid/224/Article/104517/c-130-hercules.aspx US Air Force Fact Sheets> C-130 Hercules. September 1, 2003. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  5. Lockheed's Amphibious Project. Flug-Revue, January 1975, pp. 48-50.
  6. ^ Peter C. Smith: Lockheed C-130 Hercules , Airlife Publishing Ltd 2001.
  7. ^ René J. Francillon: Lockheed Aircraft since 1913. Putnam Aeronautical Books, London 1987, ISBN 0-85177-805-4 , pp. 355-368.
  8. FlugRevue October 2010, pp. 55–56, New cockpit for old Hercules
  9. US forces receive 300. C-130J. In: Flugrevue. December 6, 2013, accessed on December 6, 2013 : "The 300th Super Hercules for the US armed forces took off from Lockheed Martin in Marietta on Thursday for their transfer flight to Kirtland AFB in New Mexico."
  10. ^ Pentagon awards Lockheed Martin C-130J multiyear contract. Janes, January 13, 2020
  11. Roll-out of the LM-100J Super Hercules. FlugRevue.de, February 9, 2017, accessed on February 21, 2017 .
  12. First flight of the LM-100J in Marietta. aero.de, May 27, 2017, accessed on May 28, 2017 .
  13. AFSOC receives first Ghostrider gunship, Janes, July 30, 2015 ( Memento of August 3, 2015 in the Internet Archive )
  14. Flight Review October 2010, p. 14, HC-130J takes off for the first flight
  15. FliegerRevue May 2011, p. 8, rollout of the first MC-130J
  16. www.c-130.net
  17. First C-130J for an extraordinary association. Retrieved July 24, 2020 .
  18. Peter C. Smith: The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules - A Complete History , Manchester 2010, ISBN 978-0-85979-153-3 , p. 385.
  19. Lockheed Hercules Statistics , Aviation Safety Network , accessed February 17, 2020.
  20. http://www.bredow-web.de/ILA_2008/Passagierflugzeug/Hercules_C_130/hercules_c_130.html data for C-130J, ILA 2008, Lexicon of Airplanes and Helicopters, Wolfgang Bredow, Berlin. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  21. http://www.flugrevue.de/militaerluftfahrt/kampfflugzeuge-helikopter/lockheed-c-130-hercules/470437 Lockheed C-130 Hercules, data for C-130J, Flugrevue.de, April 18, 2013. Accessed 30. June 2015.