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Metalbasher

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Everything posted by Metalbasher

  1. Yes it was # 62-1838 https://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19950513-0
  2. All the LS extrusions are detailed in the 1C-130A-3, to include detailed pix and dimensions of each LS extrusion.
  3. LS4211 is the LMCO part number for raw stock extrusion. It could be an L angle, T angle, round stock etc. For example, the crew door longeron (runs for to aft at the top of the crew door frame) has an LS #. That equates to the stock...actually an L angle, 1 1/2" by 3" with the 3" side being tapered from .125" to .060" and 12' long or something like that. Far more easier to order the LS material than to try and locally fabricate.
  4. The first production Air National Guard C-130H3 with the #CollinsAerospace NP2000 eight bladed propeller completed a functional check flight and was released back to the 152nd Airlift Wing, Reno, Nevada. The Air Reserve Component has been working for the past six years to bring this capability to the field and it's great to see production aircraft now in service. This particular aircraft has the large orange “8” in reference to the Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System (MAFFS) Aircraft #8. The NP2000 brings increased safety, performance, and maintainability to not only the airborne firefighting mission, but normal airdrop and air land missions as well. Thanks to Chris Swadener for the photos. This upgrade, along with the #RollsRoyce T-56 Series 3.5 engine upgrade, and the #L3Harris Avionics Modernization Program Increment 2 (AMP-2) beginning in Waco, built on the highly successful Compass Call avionics upgrade, offers the Air Force cost-effective options to ensure the ARC legacy C-130 fleet remains relevant and viable for both domestic and overseas missions.
  5. Seen it done in the field but work performed by depot/CLSS personnel. Even then, somewhat tricky as field units are all equipped differently (machine shop/sheet metal tooling etc).
  6. Air Force Reserve Receives First HC-130J Combat King II Hercules history was made on April 2, when a crew from the 920th Rescue Wing (RQW) from Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, accepted delivery of the U.S. Air Force’s Reserve first HC-130J Combat King II search and rescue aircraft. This HC-130J will be operated by the 39th Rescue Squadron (RQS), which is part of the 920th RQW. These Reservists are long-time operators of legacy HC-130 P/N Combat King combat search-and-rescue aircraft, flying and maintaining HC-130s since the 1960s — using HC-130s to save more than 3,000 lives. The HC-130J is the sole dedicated fixed-wing personnel recovery platform operated by the Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. The 920th RQW and 39th RQS also have the distinction of being the Air Force Reserve’s only HC-130J operators and will eventually have an HC-130J fleet to support mission requirements. Like others in the U.S. Air Force Rescue community, the 920th RQW and the 39th RQS live by the motto, "That Others May Live," which reflects the mission of supporting combat search and rescue anywhere in the world. These crews rely on HC-130s to also extend the range its HH-60 Pave Hawk combat search and rescue helicopters, which were manufactured by Lockheed Martin’s Sikorsky business in Stratford, Connecticut. Often tasked for airdrop, airland, and helicopter air-to-air refueling and forward-area ground refueling missions, the HC-130’s mission capabilities also include humanitarian aid operations, disaster response, security cooperation/aviation advisory, emergency aeromedical evacuation and noncombatant evacuation operations. “As we salute one fleet for a lifetime’s worth of work, we are also excited to commemorate a new era with the arrival of the 920th’s first HC-130J Combat King II,” said Rod McLean, vice president and general manager, Air Mobility & Maritime Missions at Lockheed Martin. “This HC-130J provides the 920th’s Citizen Airmen with increased power, capability and performance to continue to support critical missions close to home and around the world.”
  7. Doing well for now but the craziness is ramping.
  8. Credible Sport C-130 was at Robins but has since been moved to a location up in New England somewhere (forget). There is a thread on this board about the flatbed journey though.
  9. End of the line Air Force C–130 makes final trip—by road March 19, 2020 By Mike Collins It’s not very often that you hear the command, “Pull chocks,” on a city street, miles from the nearest airport. But the phrase was shouted several times in the early morning hours March 14, as a retired U.S. Air Force C–130H Hercules was pulled—on its own wheels—some 7.5 miles through the streets and highways of Frederick, Maryland, to its final assignment. Rosemont Avenue traffic is stopped for a U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-130H Hercules aircraft during an overnight move from Frederick Municipal Airport through city streets to Fort Detrick. Photo by David Tulis. The four-engine Air Force turboprop transport, built in 1974, was flown into Frederick Municipal Airport in September 2019. Over the past six months it had become a fixture at the busy general aviation airport that is the home of AOPA. In October, the engines and propellers were removed and shipped to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Disassembly of the fuselage began in mid-February as the outer wing sections, vertical and horizontal stabilizers, and other parts were removed to make the Hercules both smaller and lighter for its final journey. The aircraft, with a maximum takeoff weight of 155,000 pounds, was lightened significantly but still weighed more than 50,000 pounds for the move. Finally it was towed away in the wee hours to its final assignment, with the Air Force Medical Evaluation Support Activity (AFMESA), which operates a testing facility on Fort Detrick—a U.S. Army Medical Command garrison on the west side of Frederick that plays a key role in biological research. AFMESA’s mission, testing medical technology and devices to ensure they meet the military’s needs and can survive the rigors of deployment, is unique within the U.S. military. The AFMESA testing site already includes a complete 10-bed Expeditionary Medical Support Hospital, a 44,000-square-foot test pad, and other testing facilities that simulate many of the conditions medical airmen experience in the field. Ken Wrobleski of Legacy Aerospace and Defense monitors obstacle clearance as a U.S. Air Force Lockheed C-130H Hercules aircraft is rolled under traffic lights on Rosemont Avenue in Frederick, Maryland, en route to Fort Detrick. Photo by David Tulis. At AFMESA the Hercules will be reassembled, except for its engines and propellers, and used to test equipment and procedures. A speaker system will be installed to replicate the sounds usually experienced in a C–130, both in flight and on the ground. But first it had to get there. The move followed a circuitous route that had been carefully evaluated to ensure sufficient height clearance between the fuselage and overhead obstructions and was scheduled to begin at 2 a.m. to minimize traffic disruptions. This move was unusual because the airplane was being towed on its own wheels, explained Charles White of moving contractor Whites Aircraft Salvage and Parts. He has moved and dismantled many large aircraft, including more than 40 C–130s, some of which have been repurposed to train paratroopers or loadmasters. “It’s good to reuse them,” he said, adding that in this case the relatively short distance and clearance issues made towing the Hercules practical. White got into the aircraft transport and salvage business by accident. “About six weeks into retirement I realized this is what I want to do,” he said of the chapter in his life that will soon close. “I’m retiring at the end of the year and turning the company over to Tom Stone,” he said. “At 74 I’m ready to go fishing.” Connecting a safety chain caused a slight delay but the C–130 was rolling by 2:25 a.m. Slowing down for tight clearances, the aircraft traveled as fast as 10 to 20 mph on open stretches of road. About 4:15 a.m. the caravan—a truck tractor pulling the Hercules with a towbar, several trucks and trailers with additional crew and support equipment, and a Maryland State Police escort—reached a very tight, descending exit ramp from U.S. Route 15 South to Rosemont Avenue. It had been identified as the most challenging segment of the journey for the 97-foot-9-inch-long fuselage, and White and some of his crew walked the ramp again the day before the move. Navigating this short stretch of road took an hour and a half. During the descent the towbar detached from the truck and had to be reattached. A second truck was connected to the rear of the airplane with safety chains to provide stopping power, and White had two people in the aircraft itself—one person in the pilot’s seat to apply the brakes if necessary, and an observer riding in the roof hatch to monitor clearances. Only enough hydraulic pressure remained in the system to apply the brakes six times, White noted. Especially on the steep grade, chocks were used to ensure the Hercules didn’t move unintentionally. It was apparent that White has moved many of the big transports. About 5:46 a.m. the caravan reached the Montevue Lane gate to Fort Detrick’s Area B, where AFMESA is located. There, the movers reconfigured to pull the Hercules backward onto the base, so it could more easily be positioned in its final parking spot. To steer the hulking airplane through the narrow gate, crew manhandled the heavy towbar. The transport rolled onto the Army installation at 6:27 a.m. The C–130H logged more than 24,000 flight hours and had most recently served with the Ohio Air National Guard, based at Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport in Mansfield, Ohio. It was named Spirit of Clear Fork Valley, honoring an area of southern Richland County, Ohio, that is home to a number of members of its previous unit, the 179th Airlift Wing. However, it’s not the first C–130 to wear that name. On October 16, 2014, Jenny Carr—wife of then-Butler, Ohio, Mayor Kevin Carr—revealed the script tribute over the crew door. But that aircraft carried the serial number 81-0629, and by summer of 2019 that aircraft apparently had been transferred to the 189th Airlift Wing in Little Rock, Arkansas, where it serves as the wing commander’s flagship aircraft. The aircraft delivered to Maryland for the AFMESA assignment—and now named Spirit of Clear Fork Valley—is 74-1660 which, interestingly, carried in its cockpit a set of custom reflective cockpit window covers made by industry supplier Bruce's Custom Covers embroidered with ship number 629, reflecting the original Spirit of Clear Fork Valley. Little history of C–130H 74-1660 was available from project managers, but information available online revealed that it was assigned to Yokota Air Base in Japan, and that its duties took it to locations including Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Ben Gurion Airport near Lod, Israel. 20_c130_hercules_0318f_108_16x9.jfif 20_c130_hercules_0318f_112_16x9.jfif 20_C130_Hercules_0318F_116.jfif
  10. USN converted many legacy acft to NP2000 props as well due to the lack of the 4 balded props because overhaul issues and the production line at Robins coming to a stop until all the revisions (that came out of the investigation of the KC-130T accident) could be incorporated into production. People don't realize that after that accident, while the USAF continued to fly/operated at elevated risk levels, the USN halted all legacy C-130 ops pending new props etc. Hence the reason the USN opted to jump to the NP2000 and get back to operating.
  11. March 6, 2020 Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has been awarded a firm-fixed-price contract, worth around $16 million, from the U.S. Air Force for the C-130J center wing box replacement program. This contract provides for 14 C-130J Super Hercules enhanced center wing boxes and 14 component kits. Work will be performed in Marietta, Georgia, and is expected to be complete by March 30, 2027. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 procurement funds for the contract amount are being obligated at time of award. The U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, is the contracting activity (FA8504-20-C-0002). The C-130J Super Hercules is a comprehensive update of the legacy C-130 Hercules tactical transport aircraft, developed by the American company, Lockheed Martin. The C-130J features upgraded technology not found on older model C-130s, including improved turboprop engines, propellers and digital avionics. The J-model has greater range, higher maximum speed and shorter takeoff and landing distances than previous C-130 models. The C-130J is a proven aircraft, with more than 400 having been delivered to over 21 nations, including the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
  12. Report: C-130 crashed after clipping tree during retardant drop By Reuters | February 27, 2020 at 4:45 p.m. By Jamie Freed | Reuters SYDNEY – A C-130 tanker plane that crashed and killed all three Americans on board while fighting fires in Australia last month hit the ground shortly after making a two-second fire retardant drop at an altitude of 200 feet, investigators said on Friday. In a preliminary report into the crash, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said after the drop, the aircraft was flying at a very low height with its left wing down and it hit a tree before crashing into the ground, leading to a post-impact fuel fire. No distress calls were made to air traffic control before the crash and an emergency dump of fire retardant had not been activated, according to the report, which said the nearby Cooma-Snowy Mountains Airport forecast warned of high winds, reduced visibility and severe turbulence at altitudes below 5,000 feet above ground level before the crash. The preliminary report contained factual information and the sequence of events as understood so far but did not determine the cause, which remains under investigation. “An investigation of this nature and complexity may take more than 18 months to complete,” ATSB Chief Commissioner Greg Hood said in a statement. “However, should any safety critical information be discovered at any time during the investigation, we will immediately notify operators and regulators, and make that publicly known.” The crash of the plane, operated by private Canadian firm Coulson Aviation, killed U.S. military veterans Captain Ian H. McBeth, 44, of Great Falls, Montana, First Officer Paul Clyde Hudson, 42, of Buckeye, Arizona, and Flight Engineer Rick DeMorgan Jr., 43, of Navarre, Florida. The cockpit voice recorder was recovered but investigators said the data was not useful because all of the audio was from a flight that was operated in the United States in 2019. The aircraft had been based there before coming to Australia to help during a bushfire season that killed 33 people, charred nearly 12 million hectares (29.7 million acres) of land and wreaked billions of dollars in damage.
  13. The 353rd SOG bids farewell to the Combat Talon II By 1st Lieutenant Renee Douglas, 353rd Special Operations Group / Published December 20, 2019 Kadena Japan -- After 24 years of service in the Pacific region the last of the Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) MC-130H Combat Talon II aircraft returned to Hurlburt Field, Fla. Dec. 4, 2019. The earliest variant of the MC-130, the MC-130E Combat Talon, first flew in 1966 and saw extensive service in Southeast Asia, including the attempted rescue of Americans held at the Son Tay prisoner-of-war camp in 1970. In 1966, the 1st Special Operations Squadron (SOS) began flying the MC-130E Combat Talon under a project known as STRAY GOOSE, which would later become the call sign for its original six crews. The Talon era continued for 29 years and 99 subsequent crews, flying proudly under the STRAY call sign before transitioning to the Talon II in 1995. Over the next 24 years, the 1st SOS would create 92 crews flying under the GOOSE call sign. The 1st SOS will continue the STRAY legacy as the unit transitions to the MC-130J Air Commando II this spring. The 353rd Special Operations Group (SOG) will reorganize its two MC-130 squadrons transitioning the aircraft and personnel from the 17th SOS to the 1st SOS and standing down the 17th SOS. The Airmen who fly and maintain the Talon II are proud to be part of this specialized mission. “As one of the last Air Force squadrons with legacy C-130’s, we were part of a very unique mission in the (U.S. Indo-Pacific) Command area of responsibility due to the aircraft’s specialized capabilities,” said Tech. Sgt. Peter O'Donoghue, MC-130H Dedicated Crew Chief (DCC). “Maintaining these aircraft provided us with immense job satisfaction and made the Talon II maintainers a special breed. We poured our blood, sweat, and tears into the aircraft daily and worked countless hours but we loved every minute of it crewing this amazing aircraft! As a MC-130H DCC, having the privilege of working with such a dedicated group of maintainers made my years on the Talon II some of the most memorable in my career.” O’Donoghue has served two tours with the 353rd Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron and has worked with three variants of AFSOC C-130 aircraft, the MC-130P Combat Shadow, MC-130H Combat Talon II, and now the MC-130J Air Commando II. “The Talon II aircraft have been absolute workhorses during their lifetimes, although they have left (the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command), their presence continues to be seen and their mission continues to be fulfilled,” said O’Donoghue. “It’s been bittersweet watching the Talon II’s leave this area of responsibility, but they will forever live in the hearts of the crew that flew them and the maintainers that kept them airborne.” The Talon II carries so much equipment the design of the aircraft is a little different from most variations of the C-130. The nose of the aircraft juts out sharply compared to other AFSOC C-130s, almost like the bill of their namesake Stray Goose. “The Talon II is not a glamorous aircraft, some may even say they are ugly,” said O’Donoghue. “I grew to love these dirty, worn, and ugly aircraft like only a mother could or more accurately, like only a dedicated crew chief could!” Lieutenant Col. Joshua Petry, Commander of the 1st SOS, gave a nod to this particular attribute in his remarks at a ceremony before the final Talon II departure from Kadena Air Base. “Admittedly, the Talon II brings with it a unique and unmistakable look, but over the years, its presence has established a level of respect that sends a clear signal to our adversaries,” said Petry. The Talon II is distinctive in appearance but the character of this aircraft has much more to do with the partnerships the 1st SOS has created in the Pacific region and the mission it has carried out. “After decades in the Indo-Pacific, the Talon II has enabled the United States to create strong bonds with many critical, regional partners through flight and maintenance training with their H-model C-130 counterparts, including: Royal New Zealand Air Force’s 40th Squadron, Republic of Korea Air Force’s 255 SOS, Royal Thai Air Force’s 601st Squadron, Philippine Air Force’s 220th Squadron and Royal Malaysian Air Force’s No 20 Squadron.” The Talon Mission: Secret and Dangerous The Talon IIs first arrived at Hurlburt Field, Fla., June 29, 1992, and after acceptance testing, began official flying operations Oct. 17, 1992. Since then, the Talon II has played a vital role in AFSOC operations by providing infiltration, exfiltration and resupply of special operations forces and equipment in hostile or denied territory and accomplishing secondary missions including psychological operations and air-to-air refueling. The Talon II carries terrain-following and terrain-avoidance radars capable of operations as low as 250 feet in adverse weather conditions. Structural changes to a basic C-130 include the addition of an in-flight refueling receptacle, and strengthening of the tail to allow high-speed and low-signature airdrop. Their navigation suites include dual ring-laser gyros, mission computers and integrated global positioning system. They can locate, and either land or airdrop on small, unmarked zones with precise accuracy day or night. An extensive electronic warfare suite enables the aircrew to detect and avoid potential threats. If engaged, the system will protect the aircraft from both radar and infrared-guided threats. The Talon II is also equipped with aerial refueling pods to provide in-flight refueling of special operations forces and combat search and rescue helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft. The 1st SOS, and the 353rd Special Operations Wing, were moved to Kadena Air Base, Japan from Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines Feb. 5, 1992. The 1st SOS flew a mixed fleet of Combat Talon I and II aircraft at Kadena until the last MC-130E Combat Talon I assigned departed Oct. 2, 1995. Nearly two weeks after the last E model left, the 1st SOS received their final Combat Talon II for operational use. Some of the Talon II’s most notable operations include the evacuations of non-combatant Americans and other civilians from conflicts in Liberia in 1996. In 1998, a Talon II aircrew was awarded the Mackay Trophy for their involvement in the evacuation of civilians from the Republic of the Congo; and they participated in combat operations in the Balkans during Operation Allied Force. In 2001, Talon II’s were employed to seize an airfield in southern Afghanistan delivering U.S. Army Rangers to begin ground operations in Operation Enduring Freedom and later in 2003, a Talon II was the first US aircraft to land at Baghdad International airport to initiate missions supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since Oct. 2001, this aircraft has been used extensively in combat and humanitarian operations worldwide – operations Enduring Freedom and Inherent Resolve, Resolute Support, Tomodachi in Japan, Unified Response in Haiti, and Sahayogi Haat in Nepal. The day after Christmas in 2004, an earthquake measuring 9.1 on the Richter scale occurred in the Indian Ocean generating a tsunami that killed over 275,000 people throughout the region. The 1st SOS and 17th SOS flew nearly 1 million pounds of relief supplies and cargo to support recovery and aid efforts. The flying squadron's ability to land on short unprepared strips helped distribute over 600 aid workers into some of the hardest to reach areas. On Sept. 26, 2008, members from the 1st SOS, 320th Special Tactics Squadron (STS), and the 18th Wing's 31st Rescue Squadron conducted a complex rescue operation at night to save two mariners who were injured in a crane accident aboard a cargo vessel, the Occam's Razor. A joint team of Pararescuemen and Combat Controllers were flown to the vessel situated 750 nautical miles from Guam onboard a Talon II from the 1st SOS. Both men were treated on board the vessel until they reaching a hospital on Guam. Operation Damayan followed the landfall of Super Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8, 2013 near Leyte and Samar Islands in the Republic of the Philippines. The 1st SOS were among the first to respond to the humanitarian relief efforts. Members of the 353rd SOG arrived with four MC-130s and three Special Tactics Assault Zone Reconnaissance teams. They established operating locations at Clark, Mactan, Tacloban, Ormoc, Guiuan, and Borongan Airfields and conducted 188 sorties to deliver 721,300 pounds of aid and evacuated 3,278 residents to safety. “So, I’ll conclude by saying thank you,” said Petry. “Thank you to all of the men and women who’ve been a part of the Indo-Pacific Talon legacy. I also tip my hat and say thank you to all of the Talon aircraft that have rotated through this theater, served us well, and brought us and our supported forces to their objectives and back home safely, via landing zone or drop zone, day or night...you’ve always done it with precision and style.”
  14. You might pull the small ramp floor panel that gives you access to the lock actuator. In many cases the structure that secures the actuator ends up being cracked and when actuated just turns in place vs. actuating the locks.
  15. Super Herculean Accomplishment: Global C-130J Fleet Surpasses 2 Million Flight Hours ATLANTA, Oct. 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) announced today the global community of C-130J Super Hercules operators recently surpassed 2 million flight hours. These hours were logged beginning with the C-130J's first flight on April 5, 1996, through the end of July 2019. Twenty-two operators from 18 nations contributed to this achievement, adding hours through multiple missions including combat, transport, aerial refueling, special operations, medevac, humanitarian relief, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, firefighting and commercial freight delivery. A C-130J Super Hercules demonstrates its capability to land in remote, austere conditions. The mission-proven Hercules recently surpassed 2 million flight hours. (Lockheed Martin photo) Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of the Air Mobility & Maritime Missions line of business at Lockheed Martin, announced the milestone at the Hercules Operators Conference, the annual C-130 operator-industry event held in Atlanta. "The C-130J has earned a reputation as the world's workhorse and this most recent achievement is a powerful reminder of the Super Hercules' unmatched global reach," McLean said. "Crews continue to exemplify the C-130J's proven capability and versatility with every mission they fly. The Lockheed Martin team is proud of the work of the Super Herc crews who rely on the C-130J to support vital missions, both home and abroad." Countries with military variant C-130Js contributing to these flight hours include (in order of delivery) the United Kingdom, United States (the U.S. Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard), Australia, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Canada, India, Qatar, Iraq, Oman, Tunisia, Israel, Kuwait, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, France, and Bahrain. Also contributing is Lockheed Martin Flight Operations, whose crews are the first to fly every C-130J produced. The U.S. Air Force maintains the largest C-130J fleet, with Super Hercs flown by Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command, Air Education and Training Command, Special Operations Command, and Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units. In addition, Defence Contract Management Agency crews support C-130J test flights at Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics site in Marietta, Georgia, home of C-130 production. The C-130J Super Hercules is the current production model of the legendary C-130 Hercules aircraft. For more information on the C-130J Super Hercules, visit www.lockheedmartin.com/c130.
  16. L3Harris Selects Collins Aerospace for C-130H Avionics Systems Installation Posted By: Matthew Nelsonon: August 29, 2019In: Contract Awards, News L3Harris Technologies has tapped Collins Aerospace to install an integrated avionics platform onto the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard’s C-130H Hercules aircraft fleet. Collins Aerospace said Wednesday that it will use the Flight2 avionics system to replace more than 100 analog instruments within the C-130H cockpits with three control display units, seven multi-functional panels and a digital autopilot tool. “These aircraft are important to national security, and by working with L3Harris, our integrated avionics system will support the extension of the life of the planes for another 20 years,” said Dave Schreck, vice president and general manager for military avionics and helicopters at Collins Aerospace. In addition, the company noted that the displays will help pilots overlay flight plans, view radar data and augment situational awareness capacities. L3Harris also secured a separate $499.6M contract from the Air Force to provide training, production and logistics support efforts for the C-130H aircraft.
  17. https://www.noozhawk.com/article/aircraft_reportedly_crashed_caught_on_fire_at_santa_barbara_airport
  18. Laurent I'm somewhat clueless, way before my time but what you are suggesting would make sense. Stripes could have been applied for a period of time in similar fashion to C-130s, F-15s etc that were painted with the 75th Anniversary Invasion Stripes commemorating D-Day Invasion.
  19. What specifically? It looks like orange on the tail...maybe arctic markings? Same with rudder. Just a thought...
  20. New USAF Base in Niger Begins Limited Operations 8/15/2019 —Brian Everstine USAF airmen assigned to the 409th Air Expeditionary Group watch as a C-130J Super Hercules taxis in at Nigerien Air Base 201, Agadez, Niger, on Aug. 3, 2019. The C-130 landing marked the next step in airfield evaluations by starting Visual Flight Rules operations at the base. Air Force photo by SSgt. Devin Boyer. The Air Force’s new operating base in central Niger began its first regular operations this month, with C-130s flying limited missions into the facility, the service announced Aug. 15. The US military was waiting on Nigerien approval to start operations at the base, US Africa Command and US Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa officials told Air Force Magazine. USAFE-AFAFRICA said the Nigerien Civil Aviation Authority, Nigerien air force, and USAF reached an agreement to start limited “visual flight rules” operations Aug. 1. A C-130J from the 409th Air Expeditionary Group landed at the base two days later. VFR flights are part of the airfield assessments and procedure development that must take place before an installation begins full operations, the Air Force said. Unmanned MQ-9s are slated to start flying missions at Air Base 201, near the village of Agadez, by the end of the year as well. The Air Force launched its largest-ever construction project in 2016. “Air Base 201 gives Niger and the US incredible capability in a challenging region of the world,” USAFE Commander Gen. Jeff Harrigian said in the Aug. 15 release. “This joint-use runway allows for a better response to regional security requirements and provides strategic access and flexibility.” A US Africa Command official, during an interview with Air Force Magazine at the command’s headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, said the base will serve as a hub for operations in the region. The 323rd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron will fly Reapers out of the installation. The MQ-9’s ability to loiter for hours “gives us a lot of good options” in the region, a second AFRICOM official told Air Force Magazine. Constructing the base was a long-term, logistically complex process because of its location and the lack of infrastructure surrounding it, the first official said. C-130s flew in basic supplies for personnel about once a week, including food supplies, spare parts, and workers. Large materials and equipment used to build the base were delivered by ship to a port on the western coast of Africa, then took a three-week journey from the port to the construction site by truck. The Air Force also has an existing presence at Nigerien Air Base 101, near the capital city of Niamey. Together, the bases will give the Air Force a large, persistent intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance presence in a country that has been a hotbed for extremist activity. For example, the 2017 ambush of Green Berets in the village of Tongo Tongo took place in the same region of Niger. The US has a 10-year lease agreement at the base, according to AFRICOM.
  21. Posted On Wednesday, 07 August 2019 09:41 Lockheed Martin Corp., Marietta, Georgia, is awarded $16,465,887 for modification to a previously awarded firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract . This modification increases the ceiling of the contract to procure consumable parts and material, technical publications and engineering services in support of the C/KC-130J aircraft. The Lockheed Martin KC-130 is the basic designation for a family of the extended-range tanker version of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft modified for aerial refueling. The KC-130J is the latest variant operated by the United States Marine Corps, Work will be performed in Marietta, Georgia (84.5%); Miramar, California (2.5%); Cherry Point, North Carolina (2.5%); Elizabeth City, North Carolina (2.5%); Fort Worth, Texas (2.5%); Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base, Kuwait (2.5%); Iwakuni, Japan (2.5%); and Greenville, South Carolina (0.5%), and is expected to be completed in December 2019.
  22. Yes, Robins discovered a rainbow with an 18" crack on the CWB side (OEM installed rainbow in 1992 model) and another crack on a node, hence the concern.
  23. http://www.c-130.net/aircraft-database/C-130/airframe-profile/8978
  24. The AC-130J's arrival in Afghanistan marks a historic changing of the guard as older AC-130Us have now finished their last scheduled deployment. By Joseph TrevithickJuly 10, 2019 The U.S. Air Force's new AC-130J Ghostriders have been flying combat missions in Afghanistan since June 2019. The gunships took over from AC-130U Spooky IIs that had been supporting U.S. and coalition special operations forces and their Afghan partners in that country. Those Spooky IIs have now returned to the United States, marking the last scheduled combat deployment ever for that version of the AC-130. Northwest Florida Daily News had been the first to report on June 28, 2019, that the AC-130J had flown its first-ever combat mission in Afghanistan. This detail had emerged during a change of command ceremony at Hurlburt Field in Florida, during which U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General James Slife took charge of Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) from Lieutenant General Brad Webb. The Ghostrider's first combat sortie had taken place "just days before," according to the story. "We are pleased to announce the AC-130J has deployed in support of combat operations overseas," U.S. Air Force Captain Keavy Rake, an AFSOC spokesperson, confirmed to The War Zone in an Email on July 10, 2019. "The first AC-130Js deployed in late June 2019 to relieve the AC-130Us, who arrived home to Hurlburt Field on 8 July 2019." The Air Force declared that the AC-130J had reached initial operational capability in late 2017, with the 73rd Special Operation Squadron at Hurlburt Field becoming the first operational unit to fly the aircraft in 2018. The 73rd is the squadron presently flying the Ghostriders over Afghanistan. AC-130Js had previously taken part in a number of exercises in the United States and abroad. We don't know much about the 73rd's initial deployment with the Ghostrider yet, but AFSOC's AC-130s most often fly at night, supporting special operations forces on the ground, either providing direct close air support or armed overwatch during their operations. U.S. special operators remain heavily engaged in Afghanistan, against the Taliban and a variety of other terrorist and militant groups, including an ISIS-linked faction that first emerged in 2015. In the past, AC-130s have also conducted targeted strikes against specific individuals in support of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command's task forces in the country. An AC-130U from the 4th Special Operations Squadron was also notably involved in the infamous mistaken strike against a Doctors Without Borders hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz in 2015. A subsequent investigation revealed a number of equipment failures and human errors that led to the tragedy. The 4th SOS is the last squadron to fly the U-model, including the ones that just returned home this week. It will continue to keep some of those aircraft available for unscheduled contingency deployments until its full complement of AC-130Js has arrived, according to Military.com. The squadron received its first Ghostrider in March 2019. The last Ghostrider deliveries are scheduled to occur in 2021 and the Air Force plans to eventually have a fleet of 37 of the aircraft in total, which will replace all of the remaining AC-130Us and AC-130W Stinger II gunships. As of March 2019, AFSOC had already retired seven of the 10 remaining U models and three of the 12 W variants, according to Pentagon budget documents. The service already retired the last of the AC-130H Spectre gunships in 2016. The deployment of the AC-130Js and the end of scheduled combat operations for the AC-130Us very much marks a shift in AFSOC's gunship operations, as well. The Spooky IIs, which entered service in 1995, are the last of the Air Force's old school AC-130 gunships with a five-barrel 25mm GAU-12/U Gatling cannon, a single-barrel 40mm Bofors cannon, and a 105mm howitzer as their only armament. These aircraft were a direct evolution of the original Vietnam War-era AC-130s. By all indications, the AC-130Us are also the last platform of any kind in the U.S. military to use the 40mm Bofors gun, a World War II-era weapon, which proved to be a deadly aerial weapon, but also increasingly hard to operate and maintain. The Air Force had found itself scouring the world for spare parts in the early 2000s and rebuilding 40mm ammunition from the 1940s in recent years to keep the guns operational. Clemens Vasters via Wikimedia A close up of the 40mm Bofors cannon, at left, and its 105mm howitzer, at right on an AC-130H Spectre gunship. The AC-130U has a similar configuration. The AC-130J is a very different beast, though it does have the same 105mm howitzer as the AC-130U, as well as a smaller 30mm GAU-23/A Bushmaster cannon. But the Ghostrider, from the very beginning, was designed to also employ precision-guided munitions, including the AGM-114 Hellfire missile, the GBU-39/B Small Diameter Bomb (SDB), the GBU-44/B Viper Strike glide bomb, and the AGM-176 Griffin, which can function as a powered missile or as an unpowered glide bomb. The AC-130Ws, which are conversions of older C-130H cargo aircraft, have a virtually identical armament package. The Air Force had not even originally planned to install the 105mm howitzer on the AC-130J, or the AC-130W, but eventually changed course. AFSOC took delivery of the first Block 20 AC-130J with the howitzer in 2016. There had also been concerns about the functionality of the Ghostrider's 30mm GAU-23/A, but these issues have all since been resolved, according to the Pentagon's Office of the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation. The precision-guided munitions capability has really added a new dimension to the gunship's capabilities, giving it more stand-off reach and the ability to engage targets in multiple distinct areas simultaneously, something you can read about in more detail here. The addition of new weapons in the future, including the GBU-53/B Stormbreaker, previously known as the Small Diameter Bomb II, and the GBU-69/B Small Glide Munition, both of which have multi-mode guidance systems, will only increase the AC-130J's flexibility. With its 30mm and 105mm weapons, the Ghostriders can also still provide the same kind of extremely precise direct fire support as their predecessors. The AC-130Js are also packed with a variety of updated sensors, data links, communications systems, and more, and the Air Force is already in the process of further updating those systems. The latest Block 30 Ghostriders, which the 4th Special Operations Squadron began receiving in March, feature a number of improvements over the Block 20 aircraft that the 73rd Special Operations Squadron is flying in Afghanistan now. This includes upgraded sensor turrets with higher fidelity electro-optical and infrared full-motion video cameras and a new, large broadband satellite communications "hump" on top of the forward fuselage. The Air Force is looking to improve the survivability of all of its remaining gunships against newly emerging threats, such as GPS jamming, too. In 2018, U.S. Army General Raymond Thomas, then head of U.S. Special Operations Command, said that unspecified opponents – most likely Russian or Russian-backed forces – were using electronic warfare attacks against gunships operating over Syria. Entirely new capabilities might find their way onto the Ghostriders as time goes on, too. AFSOC is planning to demonstrate a high-energy laser weapon on one of its AC-130Js in 2022. But with no more AC-130U deployments on the schedule and AC-130Js now flying combat missions, the Air Force has already entered a new era of gunship operations.
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