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Posts posted by Metalbasher

  1. Lockheed Martin Delivers First HC-130J Combat King II to New York Air National Guard

    106th Rescue Wing Recapitalizing Legacy HC-130 Fleet With Four HC-130Js


    The first HC-130J Commando II assigned to the N.Y. Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing departs Lockheed Martin’s facility in Marietta, Georgia, where all C-130s are built. (Lockheed Martin photo by Todd R. McQueen)

    "The HC-130 Hercules aircraft has been an essential part of the 106th’s Rescue Wing’s fleet for many decades, supporting these brave Airmen in meeting their mission requirements time and time again.” -Ray Burick

    MARIETTA, Ga., March 21, 2019  – Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered the first of four HC-130J Combat King II aircraft today to representatives from the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing (RQW).

    This HC-130J will be operated by the 102nd Rescue Squadron (RQS) at Francis S. Grabreski Air National Guard Base, New York. The 102nd RQS, which is part of the 106th Rescue Wing (RQW), currently operates a legacy fleet of HC-130P/N variant Combat King I aircraft, which will be replaced by four new HC-130Js. The squadron will use its HC-130Js to refuel the New York Air National Guard’s 101st RQS HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters, which were manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky business in Stratford, Connecticut.  

    Like others in the U.S. Air Force Rescue community, the 106th RQW lives by the motto, "That Others May Live," which reflects its mission of supporting combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. Crews from the 106th RQW rely on HC-130s to extend the range of combat search and rescue helicopters by providing air refueling in hostile or contested airspace. Other mission capabilities include performing tactical delivery of pararescue teams, small bundles, zodiac watercraft or four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicles; and providing direct assistance to survivors in advance of a recovery vehicle. 

    "The HC-130 Hercules aircraft has been an essential part of the 106th’s Rescue Wing’s fleet for many decades, supporting these brave Airmen in meeting their mission requirements time and time again,” said Ray Burick, vice president of Domestic Programs for Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business. “The Lockheed Martin team is proud to provide the N.Y. Air National Guard with new HC-130Js that deliver increased power, capability and performance to support their crews in doing what they do best: saving lives and protecting the people they serve.”

    The HC-130J is the only dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform in the Air Force and Air National Guard. The HC-130J supports missions in adverse weather and geographic environments, including reaching austere locations. The HC-130J is also tasked for airdrop, airland, and helicopter air-to-air refueling and forward-area ground refueling missions. It also supports humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation/aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and noncombatant evacuation operations.

    The HC-130J is one of eight production variants of the C-130J Super Hercules, the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. With 400+ aircraft delivered, the C-130J is the airlifter of choice for 20 nations. The global Super Hercules fleet has more than 1.9 million flight hours of experience supporting almost any mission requirement — any time, any place.

    The U.S. government operates the largest C-130J Super Hercules fleet in the world. This delivery continues the U.S. government's transition to the C-130J as the common platform across Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, Air Combat Command, U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Marine Corps. The Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command currently operate a mixed fleet of C-130J and older Hercules aircraft.

    Source: https://news.lockheedmartin.com/2019-03-21-Lockheed-Martin-Delivers-First-HC-130J-Combat-King-II-to-New-York-Air-National-Guard

    • Like 1

  2. 347075982_2019_03_04CenterWIng.jpg.561f079cec6b9d7f491fa8a3e2adff31.jpg

    USAF to undertake centre-wing replacement of Hercules airlifters

    Gareth Jennings, London - Jane's Defence Weekly

    04 March 2019

    The USAF is to award Lockheed Martin a contract to replace the centre-wing section on an undisclosed number of C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft. Source: IHS Markit/Patrick Allen

    The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Lockheed Martin a sole-source contract to replace the centre-wing section on an undisclosed number of C-130J/C-130J-30 Hercules transport aircraft, the service disclosed on 3 March.

    A notification for the award covers supply of all new fabricated components, wire harnesses, and miscellaneous parts required to install the C-130J Center Wing Replacement (CWR) kits for installation on C-130J aircraft. "This requirement includes the production of two configurations of the C-130J CWR kit to accommodate both the short [C-130J] and stretch [C-130J-30] versions of the aircraft," the USAF said.

    The Air Force Materiel Command that posted the pre-solicitation notice did not disclose a contract value or a timeline for the work.

    The USAF fields about 430 C-130 Hercules aircraft, of which 214 are C-130J-variants. Of these, 10 are C-130J and 113 are C-130J-30 transport platforms most likely to be subject to the CWR effort due to the stresses that the airlift mission imposes on the airframe in terms of carrying heavy cargo loads, flying in and out of austere operating environments and performing tactical flight profiles

    Source: https://www.janes.com/article/86983/usaf-to-undertake-centre-wing-replacement-of-hercules-airlifters

  3. Came across this good article...


    Feb 4, 2019


    Photo provided The Hercules C-130 begins to emerge from the snow and ice of Antarctica.

    U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Kent White's team found the wrecked Hercules C-130 Transport Airplane by using radar.

    Its tail fin, with the numbers “321,” was barely visible, sticking up through the snow and ice on the Polar Plateau of Antarctica. It was -40° F in early December, 1987. Seventeen years earlier, the C-130 Transport had crashed during take off from a French Scientific Camp. The U.S. Navy abandoned it, classifying the 321 as a “Strike” aircraft.

    The French were now asking permission to recover and restore the buried C-130. Not wanting another country to reclaim its downed aircraft, the U.S. State Department, like a dog guarding a food bowl, said no to the French. The Navy then ordered Lt. Cm. Kent White to find, restore, and fly the downed aircraft out of Antarctica.

    A daunting task? Yes! But Kent White was used to extraordinary accomplishments. You see, when he was in high school in Mt. Pleasant, he was a member of the famed football team of 1963 that went undefeated, un-tied, and un-scored upon.

    White's Navy team went to work with bulldozers and construction equipment (that they never shut off due to the cold) to dig out the downed aircraft. They had it mostly uncovered when “summer” was over in Antarctica, and they had to leave. They came back the next year to find the aircraft buried once again, but not as packed in as before.

    This time they replaced props, engines and whatever it took to get the crippled aircraft ready to fly. The landing gear, which was on skis, would not retract, but they could fly it that way. The cabin would also not pressurize—but White and his crew, using oxygen, could manage. White took note that the rear fuselage seemed to be bent from being buried in the snow and ice. However, the engineers deemed her airworthy, or at least enough to fly it to McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

    On January 10, 1988, they prayed, lifted off the ice, and made it to McMurdo. The real danger was still ahead of them. They were to fly the C-130 to Christchurch, New Zealand, which was an eight-hour flight over water. Still with a landing gear that would not retract, a cabin that would not pressurize, and following a “pathfinder” airplane because they had no navigation equipment (not an easy task), they made it safely to Christchurch.

    There on the ground, White walked away from the C-130 and said, looking back at her, “There you SOB, I'm done with you!” Almost.

    The C-130 was totally rebuilt and White flew her with a five-man crew to Navy Point Mugu in Southern California. That was the end of it for White. From there, the 321 went to Pensacola, Florida where she was on static display at the Naval Aviation Museum. The 321 is now laid to rest at a boneyard in Arizona.

    White retired from the Navy two years later after serving 20 years. If he had stayed, he would have become a desk jockey, something he did not want to do, since he loved flying so much.

    As a side note, earlier in his career, White accidentally met the commander of the 321 that crashed in Antarctica. After recovering the 321, White tracked the fellow down and told him, “We got your airplane back for you!”

    After the Navy, White became a pilot for Evergreen International Airlines, flying 747s. He is now 71, retired and living in Mt. Pleasant with his wife, Pat. He has been on the Henry County Board of Supervisors and is currently on the Mt. Pleasant City Council. Because of his Master's Degree in Human Relations, he is also a mediator working with truant kids.

    Like the pilot of the 321, he leads the city and kids through troubled waters and icy conditions. He feels fortunate to have had a career where he was able to do every day what he loved to do —fly.

    Frozen C-130.jpg

    • Like 1

  4. by FOX26 News

    Wednesday, December 12th 2018

    Historic plane heading to Castle Air Museum

    ATWATER, Calif. (FOX26) — A plane (66-0212) that carried American POW's held by the Viet Cong is now getting a new home in the Central Valley.

    The 52-year-old airplane is headed to the Castle Air Museum in Atwater.

    The Lockheed MC-130 P Hercules search and rescue aircraft played a significant role in the liberation of the Son Tay POW camp in North Vietnam on November 20, 1970.

    The plane has been assigned to the California Air National Guard 129th Air Rescue Wing based at Moffett Federal Airfield near Sunnyvale, Calif. since 2012.

    The aircraft was employed on many air and sea rescue missions during the past six years as far away as Alaska and the Galapagos Islands.

    The plane is currently parked at the Castle Airport in Atwater and will be moved to its permanent home at the museum sometime in January.

    • Like 1

  5. On this day in 1954, marked the first flight of the C-130 Hercules!


    On this day, 23 August 1954, Lockheed pilots Stanley Beltz and Roy Wimmer flew the Hercules YC-130 transport on its first flight.

    Background and requirements


    The Korean War showed that World War II-era piston-engine transports—Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcars, Douglas C-47 Skytrains and Curtiss C-46 Commandos—were no longer adequate. Thus, on 2 February 1951, the United States Air Force issued a General Operating Requirement (GOR) for a new transport to Boeing, Douglas, Fairchild, Lockheed, Martin, Chase Aircraft, North American, Northrop, and Airlifts Inc. The new transport would have a capacity of 92 passengers, 72 combat troops or 64 paratroopers in a cargo compartment that was approximately 41 feet (12 m) long, 9 feet (2.7 m) high, and 10 feet (3.0 m) wide. Unlike transports derived from passenger airliners, it was to be designed specifically as a combat transport with loading from a hinged loading ramp at the rear of the fuselage.

    A key feature was the introduction of the Allison T56 turboprop powerplant, which was developed for the C-130. At the time, the turboprop was a new application of gas turbines, which offered greater range at propeller-driven speeds compared to pure turbojets, which were faster but consumed more fuel. They also produced much more power for their weight than piston engines.

    Design phase


    The Hercules resembled a larger four-engine brother to the C-123 Provider with a similar wing and cargo ramp layout that evolved from the Chase XCG-20 Avitruc, which in turn, was first designed and flown as a cargo glider in 1947.[5] The Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter also had a rear ramp, which made it possible to drive vehicles onto the plane (also possible with forward ramp on a C-124). The ramp on the Hercules was also used to airdrop cargo, which included low-altitude extraction for Sheridan tanks and even dropping large improvised "daisy cutter" bombs.

    The new Lockheed cargo plane design possessed a range of 1,100 nmi (1,270 mi; 2,040 km), takeoff capability from short and unprepared strips, and the ability to fly with one engine shut down. Fairchild, North American, Martin, and Northrop declined to participate. The remaining five companies tendered a total of ten designs: Lockheed two, Boeing one, Chase three, Douglas three, and Airlifts Inc. one. The contest was a close affair between the lighter of the two Lockheed (preliminary project designation L-206) proposals and a four-turboprop Douglas design.

    The Lockheed design team was led by Willis Hawkins, starting with a 130-page proposal for the Lockheed L-206.[6]Hall Hibbard, Lockheed vice president and chief engineer, saw the proposal and directed it to Kelly Johnson, who did not care for the low-speed, unarmed aircraft, and remarked, "If you sign that letter, you will destroy the Lockheed Company."[6] Both Hibbard and Johnson signed the proposal and the company won the contract for the now-designated Model 82 on 2 July 1951.[7]

    The first flight of the YC-130 prototype was made on 23 August 1954 from the Lockheed plant in Burbank, California. The aircraft, serial number 53-3397, was the second prototype, but the first of the two to fly. The YC-130 was piloted by Stanley Beltz and Roy Wimmer on its 61-minute flight to Edwards Air Force Base; Jack Real and Dick Stanton served as flight engineers. Kelly Johnson flew chase in a Lockheed P2V Neptune.[8]

    After the two prototypes were completed, production began in Marietta, Georgia, where over 2,300 C-130s have been built through 2009.[9]

    The initial production model, the C-130A, was powered by Allison T56-A-9 turboprops with three-blade propellers and originally equipped with the blunt nose of the prototypes. Deliveries began in December 1956, continuing until the introduction of the C-130B model in 1959. Some A-models were equipped with skis and re-designated C-130D. As the C-130A became operational with Tactical Air Command (TAC), the C-130's lack of range became apparent and additional fuel capacity was added with wing pylon-mounted tanks outboard of the engines; this added 6,000 lb of fuel capacity for a total capacity of 40,000 lb.

    1st YC-130.jpg


    • Like 1

  6. Lockheed Martin introduces LM-100J 'FireHerc' at Farnborough International Airshow

    July 16, 2018 (by Stephane Stinn) - Lockheed Martin today at Farnborough International Airshow (FIAS) introduced the LM-100J "FireHerc," a civil-certified firefighting airtanker variant of the proven C-130J Super Hercules that is the airlifter of choice for 18 nations around the world.

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    Artist mockup of the Lockheed LM-100J 'FireHerc' a civil-certified firefighting airtanker variant of the proven C-130J Super Hercules. [Lockheed Martin photo]
    The LM-100J is the commercial freighter production model of the C-130J Super Hercules and an updated version of the legacy L-100 commercial Hercules freighter. The LM-100J is flying at and on static display at this year's FIAS.

    C-130s — legacy Hercules, Super Hercules and L-100s — have flown millions of hours in support of missions for military and civilian operators around the world for more than 60 years, which includes supporting firefighting missions for more than 40 years. The LM-100J FireHerc builds on this proven experience and offers advanced capabilities to support aerial firefighting requirements for decades to come.

    "With the presence of wildfires increasing on a global scale, there is a real-time need to provide more advanced assets to protect our people, communities and environment," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. "As a variant of the C-130J Super Hercules, the FireHerc delivers a powerful combination of established performance advantages and innovative technology that will truly change the way we fight and defeat wildfires."

    The Hercules plays a vital role in firefighting by dispersing retardant to contain and control fires in locations with complex terrain and compromised operating conditions. The FireHerc's straight-wing design and turboprop power plant allows it to excel in supporting this challenging low-level, low-speed firefighting mission profile like no other large airtanker in operation.

    Additional FireHerc advantages include:
    • Advanced flight deck avionics that provide outstanding situational awareness and modern safety features to protect and guide flight crews through challenging conditions.
    • The ability to support two different retardant dispersion solutions: the gravity-drop based Coulson Aviation RADS Product Line or the pressure-type dispersal Modular Aerial Firefighting System II (MAFFS II). Both have been certified by the U.S. Forest Service on the Hercules platform to meet strict ground coverage standards.
    • A path to support night firefighting with advanced integrated technology, allowing responders to combat fires on an unprecedented 24/7 cycle — providing an unmatched advantage against nature.


    Courtesy of © 2018 Lockheed Martin Corporation

  7. Fuselage of historic rocket plane arrives in Glenville

    6 July 2018

    The fuselage of a rocket-boosted plane that was designed to rescue Americans during the Iran Hostage Crisis arrived just in the nick of time Friday evening at the Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Glenville, part of a piece-by-piece transfer of the historically significant craft from Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.

    The truck carrying the fuselage experienced difficulties on its journey. After getting hung up by a traffic light on Route 155 in Guilderland at about 1 p.m., it had to park on the roadside for hours because its permit did not allow for transport during rush hour between 4 and 6 p.m. The truck then moved swiftly to make it to the museum before sundown, as the same permit did not allow travel after dark.

    The truck and its State Police escorts arrived at the Schenectady County Airport moments after the sun set Friday evening.

    The Lockheed YMC130H, which took part in the secret operation code-named Credible Sport, “was made to land in a soccer field – to land in 600 feet and take off in 600 feet, with a full load. And it was built to rescue the hostages in Iran in 1980,” said Dan Wilson, acquisitions officer at the museum and project director of the plane’s transfer.

    The military-transport aircraft was one of three C-130’s retrofitted — with rocket engines and aerodynamic modifications allowing abrupt arrivals and departures — to aid the American hostages, who were held for 444 days after students supporting the Iranian Revolution seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

    The remaining two were no longer needed when the hostages were released moments after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in January of 1981, and one was stripped of its retrofitting and returned to regular service. The other, which arrived Friday in Glenville, has spent the ensuing years at Robins Air Force Base, which has donated it to the Glenville museum.

    “This is the most historic aircraft we ever got, and we’re honored to get it,” Wilson said.

    The plane will be reassembled this September by a team from Robins Air Force Base, he said, adding that the museum hopes to obtain assistance in its subsequent renovation from the 109th Airlift Wing of the New York Air National Guard, stationed at the Stratton base in Schenectady.

    Three tractor-trailers delivered the airplane’s wings and tail last week, Wilson said. The 97-foot-long fuselage arrived on a fourth Friday, with two more trucks coming in future weeks: one carrying four engines, the other carrying propellers.

    He estimates “six to eight months” of painting and renovation – to give it “a totally authentic” look adhering to the original specifications -- before the plane is put on display at the Aerosciences Museum.

    Its rockets will not be demonstrated live for visitors.

    “Uh, no,” Wilson said.

    • Like 1

  8. June 30, 2018

    The Marines Are Transforming Their KC-130J Tankers into Missile Gunships

    by Sebastien Roblin

    Dropping bombs out of cargo planes has been a common measure of desperation for under-equipped air forces and opportunistic mercenaries throughout the history of aviation. However, in 2009 the U.S. Marine Corps found a way to make a virtue out of flexibility by developing Harvest Hawk, a kit which allowed their new KC-130J refueling tankers to double as missile-toting gunships and creepy aerial spying platforms that would put the Eye of Mordor to shame.

    Heavily armed Hercules transports have existed since the feared AC-130 Specter gunship debuted during the Vietnam War, and the Air Force currently operates several different types. In 2009, the Marines joined in by developing the Hercules Airborne Weapons Kit, which can be bolted on to the service’s KC-130J refueling tankers.

    While the Air Force and navy operate KC-135 and KC-10 tankers based on jetliners, the Marines instead adapted C-130 Hercules transport planes to serve as slower, more versatile platform that can refuel helicopters and Osprey tilt-rotors as well as fixed-wing jets. Even better, a KC-130 can top up two helicopters at a time via drogue-hoses which can pump 300 gallons a minute. A KC-130J can carry 60,000 pounds of fuel and cargo—or 84,000 pounds without cargo.

     Six $22 million HAWK kits were assembled, and ten KC-130Js modified to accept them. The kits added an AAQ-30 Targeting Sighting System sensor pod under the KC-130J’s left wingtip fuel tank which can spot individuals up to ten miles away; an M299 quad-launcher capable of carrying four AGM-114P2 Hellfire II anti-tank missiles (or P2A anti-personnel models) under the right wing; and a box-launcher loaded with ten smaller AGM-176 Griffon GPS-guided missile on the cargo ramp. That’s right, the beast had to lower the cargo-bay door midflight to fire the Griffons.

    The Hawk’s crew of seven included a pilot and co-pilot, two fire control officers operating a fire control system fixed on a cargo palette, a crewmaster and two cargomasters that double as Griffon missile operators.

    Harvest Hawks provide ‘overwatch’ for friendly ground troops by spending hours slowly orbiting overhead, using their sensor balls to scan huge swathes of terrain and spy on what the locals below are up to. As Hawk crewmember Major Mark Blankenbricker told defense media, “We use our cameras to look at villages, watch pattern of life and assess what is going on in the [area of operation] at that time.” No less than seven onboard radios allow close coordination with ground forces and friendly aircraft. If the grunts on the ground run into trouble, the Hawks sling guided missiles fairly precisely on top of the hostiles.

    A Harvest Hawk was deployed by Marine Air Refueling Squadron 352 to Afghanistan in October 2010, and first saw action at Sangin on November 4 while supporting 5th Regiment Marines, killing five Taliban insurgents with a Hellfire missile. The lone Hawk soon proved to be under constant demand by ground troops.

    Improved with Experience

    By 2012, Harvest Hawks were a reliable fixture of Marine air support over Helmand Province, Afghanistan as detailed profile by Code One Magazine in which Marine Major John Bulter of VMGR 252 shared a starting figure: “Our launch total was considerably more than Marine Harriers, Navy Hornets, and even Air Force A-10s . With only one aircraft, we shot close to half of all the kinetic weapons launched in theater in the nine months we were there.” The armed tankers averaged four flight hours a day, though could remain aloft as many as ten hours if necessary.

    The aircraft’s sensors reportedly could distinguish humans from animals, and even adults from children. In one incident, a HAWK crew spotted a group of Taliban firing on U.S. troops while using children “as a buffer” and to resupply ammunition. Unwilling to launch missiles, the pilots instead buzzed low overhead while spraying out a rain of defensive flares. The insurgents and their captives dispersed.

    Over time, the Harvest Hawks were improved. The cheaper Griffon missiles were rarely used at first because depressurizing the cargo bay to fire them was such a pain—so a new ‘wine rack’ launcher was developed poking out the side of the paratrooper jump door. The new “Derringer Door” could also launch GBU-44/B Viper Strike glide bombs—designed to deliver very precise strikes with minimal collateral damage due to their 2-pound warheads and sub-one meter accuracy. You can see the newly configured Harvest Hawk fire Griffon and Maverick missiles in this video .

    Additionally, new Intrepid Tiger electronic warfare pods gave Hawks the ability to jam hostile radio signals—particularly those that might trigger an IED from under the feet of troops on the ground. Marines in the field even scrounged a ground-based ROVER video receiver and installed it in the cargo bay of KC-130s, using it to collect video feed from all kinds of drones and aircraft.

    In 2016, the Marines formulated a major upgrade called Harvest Hawk+, and announced plans to introduce HAWK-compatibility on the sixty-nine remaining un-upgraded KC-130Js. The new format swaps out the AAQ-30 bolted on the left wing for a higher-quality L3 Wescam MX-20 sensor turret permanently installed under the nose. Additionally, an ALQ-23 Intrepid Triger II electronic warfare pod allows selective jamming or spying on different radio frequencies, and may be eventually upgraded for area radar jamming capability. Finally, compatibility was added for the AGM-114P4 Hellfire, which has improved maneuverability for hitting moving vehicles. In June 2018, the Harvest+ successfully completed a five-week live-fire training at the Naval Weapons Station at China Lake. Compatibility with additional weapons such as Small Diameter Bombs, 70-millimter guided rockets, a more prodigious Hellfire missile rack, or a long-promised but long delayed 30-millimter side-firing cannon, could eventually follow.

    An Osprey Hawk?

    Intriguingly, the Marine Corps also declared in 2016 its interest in upgrading its fleet of MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft with many of the Hawk+ systems. The very flexible, but expensive and accident-prone Osprey was criticized for its lack of effective armament when delivering troops to hot drop zones in Iraq.

    The laundry list of proposed upgrades would turn the Osprey into a true multi-role platform: aerial refueling capability with other Ospreys, a self-defense jamming pod, a Forward Looking Infrared Sensor for both scanning for hostiles and assisting in landing, a laser designator for targeting precision-guided munitions, an MX-20 sensor ball under the chin, and even capability to guide Switchblade kamikaze drones that can be literally chucked by hand out the side door. Of course, whether funding will materialize for such an ambitious and expensive upgrade is to be determined.

    The Harvest Hawk has worked so efficiently because it operates in “permissive” environments where adversaries lack the anti-aircraft weapons to effectively shoot back. In these situations, the speed and defense capabilities of expensive, fuel-gulping jet fighters is superfluous, and a lumbering cargo plane can virtually hover in place in relative safety while benefiting from greater endurance and payload. On the other hand, the Hawk mission may reduce KC-130 availability for the aerial refueling missions, which has already suffered due to the grounding of the majority of the Marine’s older KC-130T tankers after a deadly crash in July 2017 .

    The Hawk thus is an investment not in conventional warfighting capability, but in providing both ISR and close air support capabilities for counter-insurgency missions—a need which unlikely to go away soon as Washington doubles down on military commitments in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan.


  9. SAS unit in Hercules crash during daring secret mission against ISIS



    SAS soldiers on a secret mission against Islamic State in Syria had a lucky escape when their plane crashed on landing.




    By Joe Hinton / Published 1st July 2018


    The £65million Hercules C-130J was badly damaged

    The RAF special forces plane ran off the runway in darkness at more than 100mph.

    The £65million Hercules C-130J was badly damaged and has now been written off as an operational loss.

    Its crew have been hailed heroes after they managed to control the plane and bring it to a halt.

    The incident happened at their base in northern Iraq, the Daily Star Sunday can reveal.


    “It was so badly damaged the MoD have written it off.”

    Operating with the call sign “Jezebel” the plane from 47 (Special Forces) Squadron is understood to have been carrying an SAS assault force.

    RAF crews assigned to special forces have regularly landed at remote airstrips in Syria to airlift SAS troops back to base.

    Details of the sensitive operations have been kept under wraps but a report highlighted the crash in a routine summary of incidents.

    According to a senior source, the Hercules had landed at a remote desert airstrip in Syria last August to pick up UK and US troops after a major attack on Islamic State forces near the town of Raqqa.

    He said: “A force of more than 100 had been on the ground for some days and been engaged in a fight with the remnants of IS as Kurdish-backed coalition forces moved into Raqqa.

    “They were loaded into the Herc along with two four-wheel drive vehicles, but the plane is only designed to carry 88 personnel and a pallet of ammunition and water.

    “It may be that the aircraft burst or damaged a tyre or tyres as it lifted out of the Syrian desert, but whatever happened they were all lucky to get out with their lives.

    “Be in no doubt that the pilots and aircrew did a fantastic job.

    “The aircraft screamed off the end of the runway on landing and made what can only be described as a heavy stop.

    “It was so badly damaged the MoD have written it off.”

    The aircraft has been stripped of its engines but the remains of the aircraft were still at Erbil airport in May.

    A Board of Inquiry into the crash is due to report next month.

    While the Erbil crash is the first to involve the new variant of the C-130, the RAF have lost six Hercules since 1999 when one crashed in Albania.

    In January 2005, a Hercules was shot down by insurgents in northern Iraq with the loss of 10 personnel.

    In May 2006 a C130 loaded with SAS soldiers hit a mine when it landed at a remote airstrip in Afghanistan.

    The aircraft caught fire and burned out. And in 2007 a Hercules was damaged when it hit a mine in Iraq’s Maysan Province and a couple of months later another was damaged beyond repair when it made a heavy landing at a remote airstrip in Afghanistan.

    The most recent crash involved a Hercules at Brize Norton in 2010. The aircraft made a belly landing and was regarded as being beyond repair.



  10. Acft has left Robins and headed for a New York Museum.  Was told it left 25 June.


    Historic plane passes through Yadkinville



    Yadkinville Police Department captured these images on Tuesday of a plane being hauled through town. Though still attempting to confirm all the details, the hauler told police officials that the plane was one of two MC-130E’s used to rescue hostages in Iran, outfitted with additional JATO rockets to be capable of taking off in 300 feet. The plane is on its way to New York to be restored for a museum. YPD said they believe the plane was part of President Jimmy Carter’s Operation Eagle Claw, an MC-130E, USAF 8th Special Operations Squadron. Due to its size, the hauler must follow a specific route to New York, avoiding certain bridges and overpasses. A secondary road was missing a road sign and they missed a turn, winding up in Yadkinville, authorities said.

  11. Heard the other day that YMC-130H # 74-1686 (c/n 4669) located at Robins has had a museum express interest in acquiring the aircraft for a museum display.  No word on the specific museum; just  good to see something happen to it besides sitting in the elements and being used for battle damage repair practice.    

    • Like 1

  12. C-130 crashes near Libyan oilfield

    April 29, 2018 (by Asif Shamim) - A Libyan C-130 Hercules crashed shortly after takeoff on Sunday April 29th after departing an airfield near El Sharara oilfield, killing three people, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) announced.

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    Civilian L100-30 #5A-DOM Chartered by Akakus Oil crashed during take-off, 2km from the Sharara oilfield, after delivering 18 tonnes of catering and maintenance supplies. on April 29th, 2018. [Unknown photographer]

    The C-130 (believed to be #5A-DOM) aircraft had been chartered by Akakus Oil, which operates Sharara, and had just delivered 18 tonnes of catering and maintenance supplies to the southwestern field.

    The two pilots and a flight assistant were killed in the crash, the NOC said. A fourth crew member was flown to the capital, Tripoli, for medical treatment.

    The plane crashed and exploded in the desert about 2 km away from the oilfield’s facilities. NOC said the circumstances of the crash were being investigated.

    The Chairman of the National Oil Corporation Mustafa Sanallah expressed his deepest sorrow and solidarity with the families of the victims and to the Air Force Chief of Staff, offering sincere condolences on behalf of the NOC for this great tragedy.


    According to the last list I have from Bob Daley, #5A-DOM (prod # 4992) was registered to the Libyan AF.


    Sorry to hear this news.  I too as so many others have related knew Bob from email correspondence and this forum only, never met face to face but I'm sure we could meet one day and sit down and have cold beverages like we were long lost friends reuniting.  Rest easy Bob, rest assured you truly touched many and made a difference.  Thank you for your service!


    Here is the last list I got from Bob back in Sept 2017. 

    All Herks Status -Unoffical as of 1 Aug 2017.xlsx

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