Likewise, the payloads of the C are impressive. In addition to its crew of five, the Hercules can carry the number of passengers, troops, or paratroopers noted above. However, it can also be used to carry up to six load pallets, three Humvees, 2 M armored personnel carriers weighing In , a United States Navy C set a world record when it became the largest aircraft ever to successfully land on an aircraft carrier at sea. The Hercules, piloted by Lt.
James H. Flatley, successfully landed on the USS Forrestal.
WinAir Presents: The Lockheed C Hercules Infographic
Perhaps most interesting is the role the C plays in meteorology. As of , over two thousand Cs have been built, and they remain in active service in dozens of militaries around the world. Fitted with advanced avionics, more powerful engines, and a redesigned flight deck, the Super Hercules is the next iteration of what has become the longest production run of any military aircraft in history.
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Now see more incredible images of the C military aircraft. The 82nd ERQS conduct full spectrum personnel recovery, casualty evacuation, medical evacuation, and sensitive item recovery in support of DoD personnel within the Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa operations area. Six C Hercules cargo aircraft line up before flying Feb. The th Airlift Wing uses Cs to support combatant commanders in the Pacific region. Popular Posts. Lockheed says the C has flown at least different missions in its year-old life, including its most recent return to the military limelight.
The MC's crew released it from the rear cargo ramp using a drag chute, a procedure that dates back to before the Korean War. Indeed, that conflict is where the C was born. During that war, the Air Force recognized it had no airplane capable of airlifting combat troops over medium distances to short, austere airfields. Willis Hawkins, who would go on to design the Corona satellite, Polaris missile, and M1 Abrams tank, created the winning design and described the C in a mere page document.
About the Aircraft
Compared to Lockheed's 2,page F proposal, the C writeup is a breezy read. According to Lockheed Martin historian Jeff Rhodes, Hawkins' design team took the M Sheridan Tank , the largest piece of equipment the Army needed to airlift, and "drew a circle around it and that set the diameter of the fuselage.
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The YC made its first flight on Aug. With four Allison TA-lA turboprop engines, delivering 3, horsepower each and driving three-bladed Curtiss-Wright electric-reversible propellers, the YC took off in only feet.
Production of the CA began at Lockheed's plant in Marietta, Georgia, soon thereafter and the Herc has been rolling off the assembly line ever since. The Hercules has the longest continuous military aircraft production run in history, and one of the top three longest continuous aircraft production lines of any type. A remarkable 70 countries operate Cs, which have been produced in more than 70 different variants. You name it, the Hercules has done it at some point in its career.
Proven Multirole, Multimission Capabilities
The Herc has served with the U. It's been an aerial refueler, forward air controller, hurricane hunter, fire tanker, Antarctic resupply aircraft, search-and-rescue platform, and on and on and on. Cs went into harm's way almost immediately with its first deployment to Europe in , and the first combat loss came in , when a CA-II was shot down over Armenia during a reconnaissance mission.
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- The incident, which involved a contractor-owned Hercules, occurred at around 10:20 PM local time..
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While gaining notoriety for its performance ashore, the Hercules simultaneously made history as the largest, heaviest aircraft ever to land on and launch from an aircraft carrier, a distinction it earned in October as part of a test to assess its feasibility as a carrier onboard delivery aircraft. A year later, the CA began sorties for the U. Air Force in Vietnam. They hauled cargo, dropped leaflets, and delivered weapons on the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Foreshadowing President Trump's recent Afghanistan mission, CBs also dropped a pair of 10,pound bombs in Vietnam in October as a means of clearing landing zones for helicopters. But the C was more than an military brute, it was was one of three legendary Lockheed airplanes operated by the CIA in the s, joining the U-2 and A SR as an intelligence gathering tool. CB-II electronic reconnaissance aircraft operated in Europe and Japan and later CE models took on standoff jamming roles in the s. In fact, one single AC helped stop a southbound Iraqi armored column during the Battle of Khafji in But the Herc was also central to rescue missions, whether dramatic hostage situations like the successful Israeli Raid on Entebbe or the failed Iranian hostage mission, and has saved countless lives on land and at sea with the Coast Guard.
Breaking more records, the C is also the first fixed-wing aircraft to land at the site of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Haiti's earthquake, Fukushima, and the recent Peruvian floods. The Hercules even helps make other planes as it served as a testbed for what would eventually be the engines of the European Airbus AM airlifter.
Long story short, saying the C is a jack of all trades is selling it short. But one important question remains: What is it like to actually fly the thing? And "take a beating" is putting it mildly. In , for example, a ski-equipped Navy LC crashed on takeoff in Antarctica. It lay there buried in an icy crevasse for 17 years before the Navy decided to pull it out and repair the damage.
It took off and flew to New Zealand on January 11, , and with a little more work it served the Navy for several years thereafter.
The latest CJ model upholds the Hercules' reputation as a sweet-handling airplane. Roberts adds that the Herc is so flexible, it can fly at speeds as low as 80 knots with one engine out. New features from a sophisticated heads-up display to optional carbon brakes and upcoming next-gen radar make the C more effective than ever before. The "J model" Hercules is taking on nearly all the roles of its predecessors. The LMJ version will make its first flight in a few weeks, offering civilian operators the ability to haul heavy equipment—and even goats—to remote airports in places like central Africa.
Related Lockheed C-130 Hercules
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