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Skip Davenport

LOCKHEED YMC-130H "HERCULES" "CREDIBLE SPORT"

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That bird is in a sad state right now. She's been out in the weather for years, they've been canning parts for years, she's dirty and starting to show neglect.

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The condition in that particular photo makes the acft look very good...it looks horrible now and is a disgrace to the museum in it's current condition, especially since it is located at WR-ALC, the home to c-130 Depot. Not sure what the future holds for it but maybe an onrush of complaints to the museum from the webpage might encourage them to expedite the refurbishment of this historic aircraft. Can also contact Col (ret) Ken Emery, the curator.

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She's been sitting in the hot humid GA sunshine with little or no TLC for roughly 30 years. She can't be in much better condition that the embargo'd Iranian birds up the road at Lockheed are.

I saw her 20 years ago, and she was getting "tough" back then.

A sad sight..

Frank C.

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I would imagine its condition is due to financial constraints. I wonder how much money they need to restore her. We have over 3,000 members. Ya'll think we could help? If someone has a good contact; I'll make the call.

--Casey

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I've talked to several people at the museum in hopes of getting her back in good condition, but keep getting told that it's not a priority. I even volunteered to work on her at least get a little TLC done, but was told you had to have a A&P to work on museum aircraft (Which is funny, you don't need one here to work on the ones flying) I live about ten minutes away if you need me to go talk to someone, I'd love to get in on fixing her up. Can't do much financially, but I have tools and some leave I can take.

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I've talked to several people at the museum in hopes of getting her back in good condition, but keep getting told that it's not a priority. I even volunteered to work on her at least get a little TLC done, but was told you had to have a A&P to work on museum aircraft (Which is funny, you don't need one here to work on the ones flying) I live about ten minutes away if you need me to go talk to someone, I'd love to get in on fixing her up. Can't do much financially, but I have tools and some leave I can take.

I was told at the AMC Museum at Dover AFB that nothing was required to work on the airframes there since they are static and would never fly again.

I volunteered to work on 69-6580 after it was retired there. I was it's Crew Chief when the interior/exterior paint schemes were changing and had to follow it thru refurb. I think it was the second one at Pope to have both inside and outside done at the same time.

--Jerry Fenwick

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Received this message through the "Contact Us" link.

Your posts must have really shamed Ken Emory . He has asked to have the aircraft cut-up and to replace it with a retiring C-130E. There must be someone out there willing to find it a new home?

I for one think that it would be a shame to cut up such a historicaly signifigant acft. I would still like to rally the troops and attempt to save her.

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I guess it would depend on how much American history means to All Americans (both Young & Old...)...Specifically, Credible Sport is a part of our history that very few Americans have a clue about: Operation Eagleclaw...If Credible Sport had been viable there would not have been a Desert One and the loss of 8 Americans while trying to save the 60 or so American Hostages may not have happened...I believe Credible Sport was to land at the Soccer Field much closer to where the American Hostages where being held, at least at one point...I think that it's a sad state of affairs that Credible Sport is sitting rusting in a field someplace... Just ask most anyone what Desert One was...Most people think that it's something that happened during the first Iraq war...Sad isn't it...

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There have been attempts to get the bird restored. Hurlburt Field wanted the aircraft but there is no way to transport it. From what I remember, the configuration and some of the material used on the aircraft prevent it from being dissasembled and transported. That was the 2002 -2004 timeframe. I hope they do decide to restore her. It will take some work since a lot of equipment is missing.

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I sent a message on the museums facebook, here's what I got back.

"Great question Paul! The concept behind the YMC-130--strap rockets to a C-130 so it could land and take off in a soccer stadium--was gutsy and innovative. However, the project never moved beyond testing. The museum's aircraft, tail #74-1686, never used the rocket system in flight (see Jerry L. Thigpen, The Praetorian Starship, p. 246, available online). Instead of restoring the YMC-130, we're focusing our very limited resources on preserving aircraft that actually flew the missions they were designed to do."

I don't think I'll be visiting the museum much anymore if they spend all their time and money restoring aircraft that are all over the place, but ignore a one of a kind. Whether it flew it's intended mission or not. To me that's like letting the shuttle Enterprise rust out back because it never really flew in space.

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I used to work for Ken Emory and I contacted him about this acft about 3 months ago. He told me that since it was only modified for the mission but never actually flew or did the training with the rockets etc, that it had no historical significance. Due to the size and resource constraints at the MOA, he had contacted the AF Museum and told them it was up for grabs...any other museum that wanted it could have it as the MOA at Robins did not want it. What a shame, the best place in the world to accomplish a first class restoration to such an aircraft and they can't do it!

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Museum's answer to the YMC-130 question:

Our museum collections team debated for many months about bringing in C-130E 63-7868. We looked hard at what it would take to move and preserve the aircraft and balanced that against the fact that the E-models are retiring and 63-7868 has a terrific history. It has been well maintained, giving us much needed time before a new coat of paint will be required. Every museum has to make tough choices about what to preserve and that is why we have chosen to "turn-in" the Credible Sport aircraft to the National Museum of the USAF. Our resources are very limited, and we welcome volunteer and financial support to help preserve the museum's aircraft. As far as the Credible Sport program goes, the museum's C-130H, 74-1686, did little, really. It was modified to test a daring concept, but it never actually used the rocket system in flight (see Jerry L. Thigpen, The Praetorian Starship, pp. 245-246, available online). After Credible Sport was cancelled, 1686 was the testbed for the Talon II program but it never flew again as an airlifter. When it arrived at the museum in 1988, it was a stripped-out hulk, inside and out. C-130E 63-7868, on the other hand, is complete aircraft. It also flew tactical airlift in combat in Africa, all over Southeast Asia, and finally in Southwest Asia during a remarkable 47-year career.

Their answer with regard to the AC-130:

The museum is repainting the outside aircraft on a 5-year cycle. The AC-130 is scheduled for 2013. In the last few years, we have focused on painting smaller aircraft and moving them into our three hangars where they will be preserved out of the weather. Our restoration folks have done a great job with this work. This effort has meant holding off on painting many of our outside aircraft. We must do better, and we're working hard to catch up. We can always use help and we welcome volunteers from the base and the community who would like to work with our restoration crew. A representative from the Museum of Aviation Foundation will also happily talk to anyone who would like to make a financial donation to help preserve the aircraft. I don't buy this as I've been here 5 years and this acft hasn't been touched.

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Visited the Marietta Avation Museum today and spoke with the curator and he showed me a metal model about 1 foot long of the YMC-130. The detail was fantastic. It had all the rockets and included the belly hook for catching the wire like on a carrier or the over run wire. It was complete with the DC-130 radome. He had gotten it from somewhere in Lockheed. It appears to have been built by the mockup shop at Lockheed. It was hand made but looked as good as any plastic model. I will take pics of it next time I go there to post here. He also mentioned the YMC-130 at Robins had been offered to them but their museum didn't have the bucks to move it the 80 some odd miles to Marietta. Too bad. Bill :(

[ATTACH=CONFIG]2466[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]2469[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]2465[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]2467[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]2468[/ATTACH]

Edited by Casey
Add Images for Bill

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I believe the Herk down at WRAFB is an "H" model taken from the 463d TAW before Desert One. I hesitate to search my Form-1, but am pretty sure I have some time in the tail number prior to that (Dyess AFB, 774th, '76-'81). Sad to see the plane going to rack-and-ruin in the Georgia sunshine and rain! Best to all!

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Received this message through the "Contact Us" link.

Your posts must have really shamed Ken Emory . He has asked to have the aircraft cut-up and to replace it with a retiring C-130E. There must be someone out there willing to find it a new home?

I for one think that it would be a shame to cut up such a historicaly signifigant acft. I would still like to rally the troops and attempt to save her.

I'm up for donating some of my crumbs and also my personal time.

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I sent a message on the museums facebook, here's what I got back.

"Great question Paul! The concept behind the YMC-130--strap rockets to a C-130 so it could land and take off in a soccer stadium--was gutsy and innovative. However, the project never moved beyond testing. The museum's aircraft, tail #74-1686, never used the rocket system in flight (see Jerry L. Thigpen, The Praetorian Starship, p. 246, available online). Instead of restoring the YMC-130, we're focusing our very limited resources on preserving aircraft that actually flew the missions they were designed to do."

I don't think I'll be visiting the museum much anymore if they spend all their time and money restoring aircraft that are all over the place, but ignore a one of a kind. Whether it flew it's intended mission or not. To me that's like letting the shuttle Enterprise rust out back because it never really flew in space.

I used to work for Ken Emory and I contacted him about this acft about 3 months ago. He told me that since it was only modified for the mission but never actually flew or did the training with the rockets etc, that it had no historical significance. Due to the size and resource constraints at the MOA, he had contacted the AF Museum and told them it was up for grabs...any other museum that wanted it could have it as the MOA at Robins did not want it. What a shame, the best place in the world to accomplish a first class restoration to such an aircraft and they can't do it!

Museum's answer to the YMC-130 question:

Our museum collections team debated for many months about bringing in C-130E 63-7868. We looked hard at what it would take to move and preserve the aircraft and balanced that against the fact that the E-models are retiring and 63-7868 has a terrific history. It has been well maintained, giving us much needed time before a new coat of paint will be required. Every museum has to make tough choices about what to preserve and that is why we have chosen to "turn-in" the Credible Sport aircraft to the National Museum of the USAF. Our resources are very limited, and we welcome volunteer and financial support to help preserve the museum's aircraft. As far as the Credible Sport program goes, the museum's C-130H, 74-1686, did little, really. It was modified to test a daring concept, but it never actually used the rocket system in flight (see Jerry L. Thigpen, The Praetorian Starship, pp. 245-246, available online). After Credible Sport was cancelled, 1686 was the testbed for the Talon II program but it never flew again as an airlifter. When it arrived at the museum in 1988, it was a stripped-out hulk, inside and out. C-130E 63-7868, on the other hand, is complete aircraft. It also flew tactical airlift in combat in Africa, all over Southeast Asia, and finally in Southwest Asia during a remarkable 47-year career.

Their answer with regard to the AC-130:

The museum is repainting the outside aircraft on a 5-year cycle. The AC-130 is scheduled for 2013. In the last few years, we have focused on painting smaller aircraft and moving them into our three hangars where they will be preserved out of the weather. Our restoration folks have done a great job with this work. This effort has meant holding off on painting many of our outside aircraft. We must do better, and we're working hard to catch up. We can always use help and we welcome volunteers from the base and the community who would like to work with our restoration crew. A representative from the Museum of Aviation Foundation will also happily talk to anyone who would like to make a financial donation to help preserve the aircraft. I don't buy this as I've been here 5 years and this acft hasn't been touched.

I'm up for donating some of my crumbs and also my personal time.

The Credible Sport aircraft is historically significant regardless of whether or not that aircraft ever actually flew, or if any of them ever actually accomplished their intended goal. Why do they keep all sorts of one-off aircraft like the XB-70 Valkyrie or some of those goofy helicopter experiments? Because they furthered the USAF mission one way or another. Credible Sport was a daring answer to an incredible challenge, one we didn't have the political backbone for. The crash was tragic, but from the ashes of Eagle Claw/Desert One, and everything that went into it, to include the Credible Sport program, rose the phoenix of SOCOM and AFSOC. Had that not happened, where would we be today in The War Against Terror? How could we quickly respond? Where would we have been in Haiti when STS controllers worked more aircraft into Port Au Prince than Miami International all on a card table and walkie talkie? Where would we have been in any of our recent conflicts? Who would have led the Apaches in on night one of Desert Storm? Who would've taken out Bin Laden?

No, Credible Sport is more historically significant for what it did not accomplish than a "dime a dozen" aircraft any day...

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Well said US HERK! I went inside this acft a couple of times when it was still on the Lockheed flightline back in the mid 80's, it was like seeing a piece of AF history, which it is! It most certainly should be preserved. Bill

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Tell y'all what, give it to me and I will promise to preseve its history, I'm pretty sure I can fit it and a few others on my acre here in town.

It would be really nice too, I could do engine runs with the tail of the bird pointing at the little turnip heads house behind me LOL

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