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Metalbasher

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    Started out at Pope 86-90, then on to Yokota from 90-94, McGuire 94-97, Osan 97-98, then to Kadena (18 WG) 98-04, Edwards 04-06 then to Robins (06-present) in the AF Corrosion Prgm Office
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  1. Our newest C-130J Super Hercules received its official Savannah Tail Flash! ⚡️ Our aircraft structural maintenance shop put in the grind to get all the finishing touches on our new C-130J-30 Super Hercules — including the official Savannah Tail Flash, Georgia Air Guard stenciling, and the legendary Air National Guard minute men patch.
  2. 19 AW tests new C-130J communication capabilities February 7, 2024 (by 1st Lt. Cullen Drenkhahn) - The 19th Airlift Wing achieved a significant milestone in enhancing its aircraft's communication capabilities with the first successful testing of a cutting-edge satellite communication suite during a maximum endurance mission at Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas, Feb. 1, 2024. Airmen assigned to the 19th Maintenance Group hoisted a satellite communication suite onto a C-130J Super Hercules at Little Rock AFB on January 25, 2024. The new and innovative satellite communication suite included a hatch-mounted satellite antenna, antenna controller, router, and Executive Communications Kit, which allowed the aircraft to connect to non-secure and secret networks providing “en route satellite communications” during flight. [USAF photo by SrA Maria Umanzor Guzman] The coordination and installation of the new and innovative platform was led by Master Sgt. Josh Jorgensen and Staff Sgt. Liam Pousson-Moss from the 19th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. It includes a hatch-mounted satellite antenna, antenna controller, router, and Executive Communications Kit. Once the device was in place, Master Sgt. Nicholas Fitzgerald and Senior Airman Ira Kasofsky from the 19th Communications Squadron used their expertise to connect the system to non-secure and secret networks providing “en route satellite communications” during flight. "This platform enables global command and control, providing our crew with unparalleled situational awareness," remarked Col. Denny Davies, 19th Airlift Wing, and installation commander. "It makes the mighty Herk much more resilient and capable in the vastness of the Pacific, reinforcing the Air Force's core tenant of distributed control." The integration of this communication suite not only enhances the aircraft's operational effectiveness but aligns with the Air Force's commitment to agile operations. “The system performed flawlessly allowing us to receive real-time flight plans and mission changes in the air," noted Capt. Aaron Stolze, 41st Airlift Squadron pilot, who oversaw the testing process. “This technology has the potential to save lives when used for Aeromedical Evacuation, further underscoring its importance in supporting mission-critical tasks." The successful flight test conducted during Exercise Gnarly Explodeo validated the system's performance under rigorous conditions, affirming its reliability and effectiveness in enhancing the C-130J's communication capabilities and serves as a solution to meet the commander of Air Mobility Command, Gen. Mike Minihan’s, intent to have 25% of his fleet connected by 2025. "As we look to the future, this communication suite will play a vital role in bolstering our capabilities across a wide range of missions," emphasized Stolze. "Whether it's providing critical support during humanitarian operations or facilitating rapid response in contingency situations, this advancement represents a significant leap forward for our fleet." With its ability to maintain constant connectivity and provide real-time data transmission, the satellite communication suite reinforces the Air Force's commitment to staying ahead of emerging threats and adapting to evolving operational requirements. "As we navigate an increasingly complex and dynamic global security environment, investments in technologies like this communication suite are essential to ensuring our readiness and lethality," concluded Davies. "With the 19th Airlift Wing leading the charge, we are well-positioned to meet the challenges of tomorrow and continue delivering decisive airpower whenever and wherever it's needed most to win." Courtesy of 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
  3. Youngstown Air Reserve Station saying 'farewell' to the C-130-H Hercules The base is preparing for the arrival of the "Super Hercules" Wednesday, February 7th 2024, 6:15 AM EST By Mike Gauntner Those magnificent, giant flying machines we’re used to seeing soar over the Valley, many times in pairs, are slowly being replaced by larger, faster aircraft. Late last month, members of the 910th Airlift Wing Maintenance Group readied one of the C-130-H Hercules just before it took off for its final flight from the Youngstown Air Reserve Station. The flight marked the 910th’s start of divesting its legacy C-130H Hercules aircraft in preparation to receive new C-130J-30 Super Hercules aircraft. Aircraft manufacturer Lockheed Martin says the C-130J-30 is a proven, highly reliable, and affordable airlifter, with advanced avionics, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment. The C-130-H that departed last month will be reassigned to an Air National Guard unit, according to Senior Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr. All eight of the C-130H Hercules aircraft currently assigned to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station will eventually be replaced in a one-for-one swap with Super Hercules aircraft. “The arrival of the Super Hercules at YARS will help to ensure the viability of our airlift and aerial spray missions for years to come,” said Barko, who notes that the conversion process takes approximately three years. The 910th Airlift Wing anticipates the arrival of the first C-130J sometime later this year.
  4. Combat King II upgrades propel C2 to new heights February 2, 2024 (by SrA Deanna Muir ) - Command and control are vital for efficient decision-making, coordination, and communication within organizations, enabling adaptability to changing situations. A new combat systems officer station shell sits on a table at Moody AFB on January 25, 2024. Combat systems officers are typically responsible for the operation and coordination of weapons and sensor systems on aircraft, navigation, target identification and overall mission planning. The station and software upgrades will support Link 16, a tactical data network system that can establish communication between aircraft to create a full picture of a battlespace. [USAF photo by SrA Deanna Muir] To meet the needs of the future fight, Team Moody maintainers and Lockheed Martin technicians are working together to upgrade the Combat Systems Officer stations in the 71st Rescue Squadron’s HC-130J Combat King II fleet. "These upgrades will allow us to communicate with anyone in the battlespace in real time, enhancing our capabilities and allowing us to conduct our rescue mission," said Capt. Drew Houghton, 71st RQS combat systems officer. "As these systems continue to be modified and upgraded, they keep the same basic language, enabling backward compatibility and allowing our upgrade to function for the foreseeable future." One of the biggest upgrades to the system is the integration of Link 16 — a tactical datalink communication system used by the U.S., NATO, and coalition forces — to transmit and exchange real-time situational awareness data among all network participants. This will establish seamless integration with future allies and partners using the datalink system. "The upgrade will allow the HC-130J to integrate, coordinate and communicate, not just with other Air Force units, but will also allow our community to leverage support from networked Joint and Partner Nation forces to conduct rescue in contested environments," Houghton said. Since combat systems officers are the eyes and ears in the sky, having a full and connected sight picture is vital to gathering important data, making quick decisions, and executing the mission, even through degraded communications in an austere environment. Communication in the skies isn’t always straightforward, Houghton explained. If the distance was too great between aircraft, the previous CSO station’s voice communications weren’t always successful. These upgrades will modernize the technology to ensure the HC-130J rescue platform is at the forefront of the evolving demands of the battlefield, which for rescue, include a joint all-domain force. "Our primary mission is combat search and rescue," said Tech. Sgt. Thomas Tennimon, 71st Rescue Generation Squadron flight line expediter and coordinating maintenance support for Lockheed Martin. "Any technology that allows us to find people when they need us, is the biggest impact we have. "We’re upgrading our technology to stay in the forefront of the battle," he continued. "Day-to-day, we might not see the impact but as our enemies have changed, we have to keep ahead." Having the capability to seamlessly integrate with joint forces is paramount to operating effectively anytime, anywhere, as every second matters during rescue operations. This is the first of 10 station upgrades, which are expected to be completed near the end of the year. After the upgrades, all of Moody’s HC-130J fleet will have the capability to evolve as technology advances to prepare for the future fight.
  5. Brazilian Air Force launches paratroopers with its final C-130 Hercules Ricardo Meier January 31, 2024 FAB 2476 aircraft had not flown since December and was officially deactivated. Farewell to Lockheed turboprop could occur on February 18 After leaving it on the ground for 45 days, the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) returned to flying with its last C-130 Hercules on January 30th. The tactical transport aircraft took off from Galeão Air Base, where it is based, to Campo dos Afonsos, both in Rio de Janeiro, in order to launch paratroopers. The flight was recorded on video and shows the turboprop preparing to take off and dropping soldiers over the region. The C-130 Hercules FAB 2476 had flown for the last time on December 16, between the air bases of Santa Maria and Galeão, where the 1º/1º GT Squadron is located. In addition to it, the FAB also had the KC-130 FAB 2462 active until the middle of last month, capable of carrying out aerial refueling. Farewell ceremony As Air Data News previously published, FAB planning called for the deactivation of both on December 31, ending a decades-long career as the Brazilian Air Force’s main transport aircraft. The Hercules is being replaced by the Embraer KC-390 Millennium, of which the Brazilian Air Force has six aircraft in service and was scheduled to deliver a seventh jet, which did not occur. According to Defensa.com, the FAB may hold an official farewell ceremony for Hercules on February 18, when the Gordo Squadron will turn 71 years old.
  6. News Provided by PR Newswire2024-01-22 Lockheed Martin Delivers First C-130J-30 Super Hercules to the Georgia Air National Guard [22-January-2024] 165th Airlift Wing to receive a total of eight Super Hercules tactical airlifters MARIETTA, Ga., Jan. 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered the first of eight C-130J-30 Super Hercules tactical airlifters to the Georgia Air National Guard during a ceremony today, commemorating a new era in Hercules operations for this longtime C-130 Hercules operator. The 165th Airlift Wing ― the first C-130 operator in the state of Georgia — received its initial Hercules in 1975 and has operated several variants over the years. The Savannah-based unit will now operate the C-130J-30 Super Hercules, which offers unprecedented power, space, integration and versatility. "Today's delivery of this C-130J-30 Super Hercules is another symbol of Lockheed Martin's long-term commitment to the Hercules' home state. On behalf of our 6,000+ Georgia employees, it is an honor to deliver this Georgia-built, Georgia-flown aircraft to Savannah's 165th Airlift Wing," said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager for Lockheed Martin's Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business and its Marietta production site. "The addition of the C-130J Super Hercules, the most advanced Hercules ever produced, to the Georgia Air National Guard's fleet enables its crews deliver hope and help ― all over the world for many years to come." The 165th Airlift Wing has the distinction of operating the first all-C-130J-30 Super Hercules fleet in Georgia. Its crews will rely on the C-130J-30 — the stretch version of the C-130J that adds 15 feet of cargo space ― to support strategic and tactical airlift mission requirements. "Marty, the girls and I are grateful for the service and dedication of the men and women of the Georgia Air National Guard every day," Gov. Brian Kemp said. "Today's delivery of a C-130J-30 Super Hercules means our brave servicemembers will now fly the most advanced Hercules aircraft in history, proudly built right here in the State of Georgia at Lockheed Martin's historic Marietta manufacturing facility. I'm proud the longest continuously produced military aircraft in American history is now both Georgia-built and Georgia-flown, supporting our state's continued growth as a national leader in military, defense and aerospace." The C-130J Super Hercules is Georgia's aerospace ambassador to the world, with almost 2.7 million flight hours and a $2 billion annual investment into the Georgia economy, which includes 18 Georgia-based suppliers. "I join with Maj. Gen. Carden, Maj. Gen. Crumbly, the Lockheed Martin team, IAM Local 709 and the entire community in celebrating the delivery of this new C-130J for our Georgia Air National Guard. In 2022, Sen. Warnock and I added funding for 16 new C-130J aircraft and an additional 16 in 2023. I will continue to champion the C-130J program in Congress, and this new aircraft will help our National Guard defend the United States," U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff said. This delivery marks the first U.S. Air Force C-130J-30 aircraft to receive the Block 8.1 configuration during its initial production. The Block 8.1 configuration improves interoperability across the fleet with features such as a new flight management system, enhanced navigation and inter-communication systems and updated friend-or-foe identification. "Since I came to Congress, I have fiercely advocated for increased C-130 procurement, due to its importance in strengthening our national security. The C-130J Super Hercules is the most capable airlifter in the world. Every aircraft made represents the hard work of 5,500 Georgians at Lockheed Martin's Marietta facility located right here in the 11th Congressional District," U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (GA-11) said. "This new aircraft also represents a major increase in capability for the men and women of Georgia's Air National Guard, who will now count the most advanced C-130 ever built as part of its newest fleet. I want to thank Georgia Adjutant General Thomas Carden for his partnership in securing this major victory for Georgia and our nation." The U.S. Air National Guard, which has one of the most visible and active C-130 fleets in the world, continues to operate a mixed C-130J and C-130H fleet. The addition of the C-130J-30 Super Hercules to the Air National Guard fleet ensures these crews will continue to support the Guard's motto of "Always Ready, Always There" for decades to come. "The future is now, and the Georgia National Guard is more prepared than ever to answer the call with the cutting-edge, C-130J Super Hercules-enabled airlift. I'm so proud of the Airmen at 165th Airlift Wing and thankful to all those our who have worked tirelessly to make this happen," said Maj. Gen. Tom Carden, adjutant general of the Georgia Department of Defense. The C-130J Super Hercules is the proven standard in tactical airlift, providing a unique mix of versatility and performance to complete any mission, anytime, anywhere. To date, 26 operators in 22 nations are part of the C-130J global fleet. Lockheed Martin has delivered more than 530 C-130J Super Hercules in 18 mission variants.
  7. 2024 DoD spray course lands in Florida Published Jan. 18, 2024 By Capt. Donnie J. Hatheway 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs TAMPA BAY, Florida -- Twenty-four Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 910th Airlift Wing helped facilitate the Department of Defense’s annual Aerial Spray Course in conjunction with the Florida Mosquito Control Association’s fly-in between Jan. 7-12, 2024. Participants of the course, both military and civilian, gathered from across the country to take on this four-day course that began with instruction by five highly trained and certified medical entomologists who walked through the entirety of aerial spray application. “The ultimate goal of pest management is that we want to control every pest the best we can, most effectively and efficiently,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Remmers, 757th Airlift Squadron medical entomologist. “We want to keep people healthy enough to keep doing their jobs.” Once the formal instruction portion of the course was complete, the participants took part in an aerial spray demonstration, which was conducted at the Manatee County Airport, Florida. Here, water-sensitive paper was placed across the flightline to test the effectiveness of an aerial spray water application. On the final day of the course, and prior to departing Florida, all participants were required to take and pass a final exam, which awards them their Category 11 Applicator certification. This certification is required for pest management specialists to carry out their duties. “As medical entomologists, we hold a pesticide applicator license, which is very unique to the military,” stated 1st Lt. Bethany Eutsey, 757th medical entomologist. “We are very fortunate to have a team of mentors and facilitators for this program.” This course would not be possible without the expertise and support of the 757th pilots, navigators, flight engineers, spray operators/loadmasters and the medical entomologists that conducted the course, the 910th public affairs office and wing leadership and the Manatee County Mosquito Control Association team. Additionally, without the support of the 910th spray maintainers, the modular aerial spray systems (MASS) would not be functional for the demonstration portion of the course. “Spray maintainers are the only Airmen qualified to upload the product into the MASS,” explained Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy Rogers, aerial spray flight chief with the 910th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “The spray mission could not happen without the aerial spray maintenance team.” The 910th is home to the DoD’s only large-area, fixed-wing aerial spray capability to control disease-carrying insects, pest insects and undesirable vegetation and to disperse oil spills in large bodies of water. Collaboratively, the 910th carries out this mission across DoD installations or in response to disasters/emergencies as declared by the President of the United States.
  8. 130 AW Reaches IOC with C-130J The West Virginia National Guard is proud to announce that the 130th Airlift Wing has met the requirements to be declared a C-130J-30 unit with Initial Operational Capability as of January 1, 2024. The 130th has been in the process of transitioning airframes from the C-130 H3 Hercules model to the advanced C-130J-30 Super Hercules model since 2021. The unit currently operates eight C-130J-30 aircraft, each valued at approximately $90 million. “Attaining the IOC certification represents a significant milestone for the unit and is validation of the dedication and tremendous effort put forth by the aircrews, maintainers and support staff of the 130th,” stated Major General Bill Crane, Adjutant General of the West Virginia National Guard. “Our entire One Guard family is extremely proud of this step in keeping the 130th and our entire Guard at the forefront of technological innovation and the future war fight.” To learn more, go to: https://www.wv.ng.mil/News/News-Article-View/Article/3644599/wva-guard-130th-airlift-wing-meets-important-ioc-milestone/
  9. PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS🛫✨ The first GA C-130J Super Hercules, set to arrive in Savannah on January 24, met its final #milestone…𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭! Currently being built in central Georgia by Lockheed Martin, Georgia’s newest fleet of C-130Js will feature cutting-edge capabilities allowing it to fly faster, higher, and farther than legacy C-130H aircraft.
  10. To my knowledge the field can't change them. Robins Engineering (for USAF and some FMS countries would dispatch a depot field team (military working at the depot or civilians specializing in such depot tasks) to the unit to perform the task. I'm sure there are some MROs that have teams available for dispatch similar to that of Robins depot.
  11. Cal Fire will finally get its C-130s Author Kelly AnderssonPosted on December 16, 2023Categories Fixed wing, UncategorizedTags C-130, California Cal Fire is now one big step closer to getting seven military transport planes from the Coast Guard to fight fire after Congress passed legislation this week to speed up the transfer. According to a Politico report, the National Defense Reauthorization Act contains language to expedite the legal transfer of seven C-130 aircraft from the Coast Guard to Cal Fire. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) said Minnesota’s 133rd Airlift Wing was selected to receive 8 new C-130J aircraft; the new aircraft will replace decades-old C-130H aircraft, which were supposed to have been transferred over to California years ago. In a move by Senator Alex Padilla (D-CA), Senator John Boozman (R-AR), and Congressman Ken Calvert (CA-41), the final version of the 2024 National Defense Authorization Act includes an effort that recognizes the work of Governor Newsom and Cal Fire Chief Joe Tyler, who pushed the effort over the finish line. Aerial Fire Magazine reported back in October that it was nearly five years ago that Congress told the U.S. Air Force to convert the seven surplus USCG C-130s aircraft into firefighting tankers for California. It never finished the job, and now California just wants the planes. Period. “We were fortunate this year to have a fire season that wasn’t like we’ve had in previous years,” said Ken Pimlott, now-retired chief of Cal Fire. “But it’s coming back — this is only one year. We can’t afford to lose any more time getting these aircraft retrofitted.” So California Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Ken Calvert added a provision in the 2024 defense spending bill to hand over the C-130s to Cal Fire immediately — whether they were finished or not. In service for more than 60 years, the C-130 is a workhorse of military aircraft, used for decades for troop transport, medical evacuations, search and rescue, and weather reconnaissance. As airtankers they have a drop capacity of 3000 gallons. “This transfer will save lives, improve air quality, protect forestlands, and reduce carbon emissions,” said Matt Dias with Calforests, the California Forestry Association. “Adding seven C-130s to California’s aerial firefighting force is a truly remarkable advancement.” Cal Fire Director Joe Tyler said the C-130s will help reduce loss of life and property to California wildfires. “I look forward to these aircraft joining our world-renowned aerial firefighting force,” he said. “Between earthquakes, wildfires and other natural disasters, California is one of the most costly and challenging states for property insurers and owners.” He said California can’t prevent earthquakes, but it can fight fire. When Biden signs the defense bill into law, the planes will be transferred, and California will enter into a contract for the work. The first of the seven planes will likely be ready in time for the 2024 fire year, adding immediate value to the state’s fleet. KRCR-TV reported on the transfer back in August. KRCR-TV video Matt Dias, president and CEO of the California Forestry Association, said the new aircraft will have the capacity to drop 3,000 gallons of retardant in less than five seconds, which is more than twice the load dropped by Cal Fire’s current S-2Ts. “To be able to use aerial deployment of retardant for initial attack and suppression is really critical,” Dias said. Retired Chief Ken Pimlott said the planes should give firefighters a big boost in future fire seasons, noting the engines on the C-130s. “In general they’re a bigger aircraft, they’re a four-engine aircraft where the S-2 is a two-engine,” he said. “Since it flies faster, it can return to the base and reload more quickly as well.” The transfer has been delayed for years and became a priority for California’s firefighting agency. Coulson Aviation’s Retardant Aerial Delivery System (RADS) can be installed on virtually any C-130. The Coulson RADS-XXL is half the cost of competing systems — and one-sixth the weight — and it requires no additional crew or equipment. The RADS-XXL systems were selected for the Hercules C-130 aircraft fleet operated by Cal Fire. Coulson RADS Tanker System video: https://youtu.be/WkL6YDafmIk
  12. ☲✪☲ 𝗖-𝟭𝟯𝟬𝗔 𝗼𝗻 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗻𝘁 𝗴𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗶𝘁𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗼𝗰𝗸 𝗔𝗙𝗕, 𝗔𝗥 This C-130A Hercules was the 126th built by Lockheed Aircraft corp. of Marietta, Georgia. It was accepted into the Air Force inventory on 23 August 1957. On 2 November 1972, it was given to the South Vietnamese Air Force as part of the Military Assistance Program. A few years later, the aircraft would be involved in a historic flight. On 29 April 1975, this Herk was the last out of Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. With over 100 aircraft destroyed on the flight line at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, some of them still burning, it was the last flyable C-130 remaining. In a very panicked state, hundreds of people were rushing to get aboard, as the aircraft represented a final ticket to freedom. People hurriedly crowded into the Herk, packing in tighter and tighter. Eventually, the loadmaster informed the pilot, Major Phuong, a South Vietnamese instructor pilot, that he could not get the rear ramp closed due to the number of people standing on it. In a moment of inspiration, Major Phuong slowly taxied forward, then hit the brakes. The loadmaster called forward again stating he had successfully got the doors closed. In all, 452 people were on board, including a staggering 32 in the cockpit alone. Using a conservative estimate of 100 pounds per person, it translated into an overload of at least 10,000 pounds. Consequently, the Herk used every bit of the runway and overrun before it was able to get airborne. The target was Thailand, which should have been 1:20 in flight time, but after an hour and a half, the aircraft was over the Gulf of Slam, and they were clearly lost. Finally, a map was located, they identified some terrain features, and they were able to navigate. They landed at Utapao, Thailand after a three-and-a-half-hour flight. Ground personnel were shocked at what "fell out" as they opened the doors. It was clear that a longer flight would almost certainly have resulted in a loss of life. In the end, however, all 452 people made it to freedom aboard this historic C-130. Upon landing, the aircraft was reclaimed by the United States Air Force and assigned to two different Air National Guard units for the next 14 years. On 28 June 1989, it made its final flight to Little Rock Air Force Base and placed on permanent display.
  13. First New Zealand C-130J Hercules painted New Zealand's first C-130J Hercules aircraft has been painted, marking a significant milestone in the project to replace the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s (RNZAF) Hercules fleet. 08 December, 2023 Five new aircraft are on track for delivery from next year to replace the C-130H (NZ) Hercules, which were purchased in 1965. “It took 14 painters two days to apply 238 litres of paint on the 11.85 metre high aircraft, using ladders and scaffolding. RNZAF markings will be applied in the coming months, including the RNZAF Kiwi roundel and No. 40 Squadron’s mariner’s compass,” says Andrew Rooney, Project Team Lead at the Ministry of Defence. The second C-130J aircraft is currently having its engines fitted and will shortly head to the paint shop at Lockheed Martin’s factory in Georgia, US. The new aircraft will be able carry more cargo, due to their additional 4.5 metre length and payload capacity of 21 tonnes. With a 15 tonne payload, they will also be able to travel 2400 nautical miles, compared to the current 1800 nautical miles. The fleet will be used by New Zealand Defence Force as a first response option, for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations, and deployment of personnel and equipment both within New Zealand and overseas. The first three crews of No. 40 Squadron are now fully-trained and certified to fly the C-130J aircraft. A number of the aviators and maintenance personnel have just completed an exercise in Hawaii, where they were embedded with the US Air Force 19th Airlift Wing. The construction of the full motion flight simulator continues in the United States, with testing now underway. Back home in New Zealand at RNZAF Base Auckland, work on the building that will house the simulator is well underway, with the roof to be added early next year. Read more about the C-130J project here. C-130J Specifications Wing span: 40.41m Height: 11.85m Length: 34.4m Speed: 330kts Payload: 21 tonnes Passengers: 128 Time Lapse video of the paint process: https://youtu.be/MCDkLzjTwEI
  14. C-130 Pilots Test Out ‘Entirely New’ Cockpit For Aging ‘H’ Models Oct. 17, 2023 | By David Roza Pilots at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., are testing out a new cockpit layout for the C-130H transport plane that will replace its analog gauges with glass multifunction displays, digital engine instruments, a new flight management system, autopilot, terrain awareness and warning system and other digital upgrades that should make the aircraft safer and easier to fly. “This is much larger than just a software or hardware upgrade,” Maj. Jacob Duede, an experimental test pilot with the 417th Flight Test Squadron, said in an Oct. 17 press release. “It’s reconstructing and modernizing the aircraft’s entire cockpit area.” An old workhorse, the C-130H has been in service since 1965, though the average age of today’s fleet is about 30 years. The Active-Duty Air Force has switched entirely to the newer C-130J Super Hercules, but the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command still fly more than 100 of the H models, and in recent years, the Air Force has upgraded several dozen H models with new propellers, better radios, navigation systems, and voice and flight data recorders. The newly all digital C-130H cockpit sits ready for its next test flight at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Sept. 29, 2023. U.S. Air Force photo by Samuel King Jr. Those upgrades made up Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) Increment One, but more changes are on the way with AMP Increment Two, which the pilots at Eglin have been testing out since August. At least 23 Air Force Reserve and 54 Air National Guard H models will receive the second upgrade over the next five years for about $7 million per aircraft, the release stated. Among the changes, a new flight management system should help pilots save time and reduce the chance of errors when uploading route information. “Aircrew essentially had to print the directions before flying and then type the information in using latitude and longitude or use ground-based navigation aids,” Duede said about the old systems. “This new mod is the newest GPS navigation with a by-name search function and autopilot, all built into the aircraft.” Instead of taking minutes to enter new latitude and longitude coordinates from a tablet or laptop into the aircraft computer, pilots flying the upgraded H can just point and click their new destination on a glass display in less than 30 seconds. “The new process is as quick as the first step of the old process,” Duede said. “You just identify the point on the moving map, grab it, and execute the flight plan.” There is also a significant safety upgrade in the form of the Integrated Terrain Awareness and Warning System, which detects when the aircraft is coming too close to the ground and warns the crew while they still have time to course correct. The new system is built into the aircraft, rather than being carried aboard tablets and laptops as is the case today. A new terrain awareness and warning system could be useful for many C-130 missions that involve flying close to the ground, such as aerial firefighting, aerial spraying, and low-altitude airdrops. A C-130 Hercules aircraft assigned to the 153rd Airlift Wing, Wyoming Air National Guard, comes in for a landing at the Jeffco Airtanker base, Colorado for annual Modular Airborne Fire System training May 13, 2021. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Jon Alderman) Only three of the H model’s original analog gauges will survive AMP Increment Two, which will include six multifunction displays. Such a transition affects flight deck workflow, where aircrew must quickly scan instruments to perform complicated procedures like aerial refueling or landing at night in bad weather. The big change called for a thorough testing process. “This is an entirely new system,” Caleb Reeves, a test engineer who helped design the test plan for the 417th FLTS, said in the release. “Everything we’re testing here is being done for the first time ever in this aircraft. We’re also examining if these untried systems perform in the ways we thought they would or not. That data allows us to adjust our testing and provide feedback to the manufacturer.” Some of the tests involve flying at terrain and obstacles to make sure the new warning systems work. The 417th will complete developmental testing for the first H model to receive the Increment Two upgrade by the end of the year before sending it to the Air National Guard/Air Force Reserve Command Test Center in Little Rock, Ark., for operational testing. Developmental testing gauges the performance of new systems, while operational testing does so under realistic operating environments. Pilots from Little Rock augmented Eglin crews during developmental testing so that they are better prepared for the upgraded H arrival. More C-130s are expected to begin developmental testing at Eglin later this month.
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