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Metalbasher

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  1. Amphibious MC-130J Transport Is On Special Operations Command's Wishlist There have been proposals for a waterborne C-130 Hercules in the past, but the U.S. special operations community might just make it a reality. By Thomas Newdick and Joseph Trevithick May 19, 2021 SOCOM The U.S. military is once again looking at the potential of an amphibious C-130 Hercules variant to operate from littoral areas in support of special operations forces. The project, which in its early stages, has yielded an artist’s concept of an MC-130J Commando II multi-mission combat transport fitted with large underslung floats mounted on the fuselage. The MC-130J is the latest Air Force special operations version of the Hercules, intended to penetrate into denied areas to insert, extract, or resupply special operations forces, as well as refuel helicopters and tilt-rotor aircraft. The new effort, known as the MC-130J Amphibious Capability, or MAC, came to light today in a briefing given by U.S. Air Force Colonel Ken Kuebler, U.S. Special Operations Command’s (SOCOM) Program Executive Officer for Fixed Wing (PEO-FW), at the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC). At a media roundtable later in the day, Kuebler added that feasibility and operational studies regarding the project are going on now and that the command is working with unspecified “innovative partners” to hopefully prove out a lot of the concept using digital design tools. This, in turn, could help speed up the research and development and help keep costs low. SOCOM A slide from Colonel Kuebler's briefing that mentions the MAC concept as one of a number of "focus areas" for SOCOM PEO-FW. It's important to note that, while the concept art in Kuebler's briefing, seen at the top of this article, shows huge floats added to an MC-130J, he stressed that the MAC concept is looking for an amphibian aircraft able to operate from the land, as well as bodies of water. A basic floatplane would not be able to operate from land, but adding wheels to the floats could give it this capability. There are other possibilities, as well, for how the aircraft could be made truly amphibious. The basic idea of a waterborne C-130 has been around for decades and it is a concept that certain parts of the Pentagon have mulled in the past. In fact, the aircraft's original manufacturer, Lockheed, pitched a fully amphibious Hercules with a boat-like hull back in the 1960s, without success, though the U.S. Navy did at least undertake studies using a radio-controlled scale-model version. Lockheed has since evolved in Lockheed Martin, which is the current manufacturer of the C-130J family, including the MC-130J. Lockheed A model of a C-130 with a boat hull as well as wheeled landing gear. Lockheed An artist’s conception of a boat-hulled Hercules. The possibility of fitting a C-130J variant with pontoon-like floats attached to the fuselage, as seen in the PEO-FW concert art, is not new, either. Lockheed Martin proposed just a version of the aircraft in the late 1990s, reportedly after receiving interest from the U.S. Navy as a way to insert and extract SEAL teams, and their specialized watercraft, in littoral areas. Lockheed Martin Older Lockheed Martin artwork depicting a C-130J floatplane. Of course, strapping big floats to a Hercules would impose severe drag and weight penalties, reducing range and load-carrying capabilities, although it is not unheard of for seriously large aircraft to operate on floats. However, with the amphibious requirement in mind, it may be the case that the concept art is a simple reuse of older floatplane artwork, and not necessarily exactly what SOCOM now has in mind for its seagoing Hercules. While a boat-like hull would not have such an adverse effect on performance, it would require more significant redesign and it’s not something that Lockheed Martin has been known to be working on of late. Lockheed Martin Another artist's conception of a Hercules floatplane. Regardless of the exact configuration, an amphibious MC-130J could offer new and novel capabilities for the U.S. special operations community, particularly as part of future expeditionary and distributed operations. The U.S. military, as a whole, has been exploring concepts of operations in recent years that focus heavily on being able to operate from austere and remote areas with very limited infrastructure in the event that large, established bases are destroyed or are otherwise unavailable. Air Force MC-130J crews already train to operate in exactly these kinds of environments and there have been many efforts in the past to expand the ability of the Commando II, as well as the older MC-130H Combat Talon II, to operate from very confined areas with little or no infrastructure. You can read more about these initiatives in this past War Zone feature. At the same time, the U.S special operations community at large is currently in a process of examining how it could contribute to higher-end conflicts, including against near-peer adversaries, such as China or Russia, and especially in the broad expanses of the Asia-Pacific region. This includes operating from small islands in the Asia-Pacific region, where there might not even be sufficient space on certain tiny islands to establish a proper airstrip quickly. An amphibious aircraft could be the perfect solution, especially in times of conflict, when existing airfield infrastructure might be placed under considerable threat, if not destroyed in a first wave of attacks. During the media roundtable, Colonel Kuebler said that potential conflicts with “peer and near-peer” opponents and other “emerging threats” were some of the drivers that had prompted the MAC project. He also acknowledged that the aircraft could be particularly valuable in the Pacific, but also pointed out that it would be able to operate from anywhere there is water. An amphibious C-130 could potentially perform a wider array of missions beyond those of the standard MC-130J, as well, and Kuebler said he "would not make that assumption" when asked if the MAC aircraft would have the exact same mission set as the Commando II. If a waterborne Hercules finally comes to fruition, various elements of the U.S. military, beyond just the special operations community, could very well be interested in acquiring them. A 2016 U.S. Marine Corps ‘toolkit’ of existing and notional capabilities for use in developing tabletop wargames includes a section on seaplanes, with a clear emphasis on operations in the Pacific. A slide from that document, seen below, provides data on a float-equipped Cessna 208 Caravan, the Bombardier (now Viking Air) CL-415MP amphibian, and the Japanese US-2 amphibian, as well as their respective ranges operating from Manila in the Philippines. U.S. Marine Corps “Seaplanes are a proven, cost-effective operational capability that can provide lines of communication to remotely dispersed EAB sites that lack port or airfield infrastructure,” the document read. EAB refers to Expeditionary Advance Base Operations, a broad concept for executing expeditionary and distributed operations the Marine Corps has been developing, which you can read more about here. The inclusion of the US-2, presently only in service with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and primarily used for search and rescue, underscores both the relevance of such aircraft in the Pacific and other missions they can perform, including in non-combat disaster relief and humanitarian assistance roles. China is also busily working on a much larger amphibian of its own, the AG600, which is widely expected to have a significant military, or at least paramilitary, role, especially in support of man-made islands and other infrastructure in the hotly contested South China Sea. With all this in mind, beyond the Navy and Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard could be another service that might be interested in an amphibious Hercules. It is a C-130 operator and a waterborne version could operate as a long-range search and rescue aircraft, allowing survivors to be picked up directly from the sea, thousands of miles from the shore, providing the weather and sea conditions permitted it. It's also worth remembering that the Coast Guard operated HU-16 Albatross amphibian aircraft into the 1980s. A seaplane variant of the Hercules could also lend itself to the kinds of aerial firefighting missions that are now undertaken by Air National Guard C-130s with the Modular Airborne Firefighting System, or MAFFS. While it remains to be seen how the MAC effort will progress, and what specific kinds of roles a potential MC-130J amphibian might take on, Kuebler made clear that he felt there was "enough command interest" to be hopeful that this long-discussed concept will finally become a reality. https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/40694/amphibious-mc-130j-transport-is-on-special-operations-commands-wishlist?fbclid=IwAR3Il_3NK-3HY_u7CO_UMlES1Qp6tiX0vZ7JeJ4ZSU6T6D4zwD0BNMtKO1Y
  2. AC-130J #1 that went inverted while in OTE at Eglin (damaged beyond repair)…now ground trainer at Kirtland. Congrats to our teammates in the Simulators Division on the recent successful delivery of an Enhanced Fuselage Training Device to the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base! Working in partnership with various stakeholders, to include Lockheed Martin and Air Force Special Operations Command, the division led an effort to convert an operational MC-130J aircraft – which had sustained damage – to a training device that will provide realistic simulation capabilities for approximately 200 MC-130J and HC-130J loadmasters and special mission aviators annually. The device frees up operational aircraft from being used for static ground training and overall provides a training capability that was not previously available. This is just another example of the Simulators Division providing our warfighters with the enhanced training tools they need to fight and win!
  3. Metalbasher

    Ouch!

    Hard landing caused $21 million in damage to Ramstein cargo plane, Air Force finds February 17, 2021 (by Jennifer H. Svan) - Pilot error caused $21 million in damage to an Air Force cargo plane that landed hard during a training flight at Ramstein Air Base in April, the service said following the release of an accident investigation board’s findings. http://s9.addthis.com/button0-rss.gif http://s9.addthis.com/button1-addthis.gif The C-130J Super Hercules pilot reduced power to the engines 70 feet above the ground and fully idled them at 45 feet, an Air Force statement said Tuesday. That caused the plane to drop down onto the runway too quickly, the statement said. The pilot, who was simulating a landing on a dirt airstrip, known as a maximum effort landing, should have started to pull the power at about 20 feet in order to land “in the center of the runway touchdown zone,” the report said. A reduction in thrust accelerates the “sink rate” of the C-130J and leaves the aircraft’s propellers unable to generate high-velocity airflow over the wings, the report said. The accident caused no significant injuries or damage to civilian property, the investigation report said. The aircraft was assigned to the 37th Airlift Squadron, based at Ramstein. The failure by both the pilot and the aircraft commander, who was also the instructor pilot, to identify and stop “the excessive sink rate … in a timely manner were substantially contributing factors” to the accident, the statement said. The landing caused significant damage to the center wing, both outer wings, the left and right main landing gear assemblies and engines, including the mounting structures, the report said. Visible damage to the plane included a buckled lower fuselage, pulled rivets and cracked sealant, images included in the report showed. Although the investigation board found no evidence that the operations tempo contributed to the accident, the pilot noted that one of two sorties he planned to prepare him for the April 23 evaluation flight was canceled due to coronavirus restrictions at the time. The report noted that the squadron’s high operations tempo, supporting both U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa missions, leaves less time for local training missions, which are particularly important for less experienced air crews. “The lack of local training sorties, combined with local area restrictions, make it difficult to practice critical combat airlift skills, to include maximum effort takeoffs, approaches, and landings,” the report said
  4. L-3 Waco awarded $667 million contract by: Roland Richter Posted: Dec 1, 2020 L-3 Communications Integrated Systems of Waco with facilities at the TSTC airport has been awarded an estimated $667,877,734 contract for maintenance of C-130 aircraft. The contract describes the work as including unscheduled depot-level maintenance for C-130 H aircraft and programmed maintenance for all C-130 types, including painting for the C-130J. Work will be performed at the facility in Waco. The C-130 is a four engine turbo prop aircraft with many versions in use, ranging from cargo carriers, troop carriers, and even gunships and can often operate from unimproved airstrips. The announcement was made by the Department of Defense.
  5. Air Force selects next C-130J locations Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs / Published November 25, 2020 WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- The Air Force has selected Louisville Air National Guard Base, Kentucky; McLaughlin ANGB, West Virginia; Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base, Texas; and Savannah ANGB, Georgia as the preferred locations to receive C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to replace their aging C-130Hs, pending the outcome of environmental assessments. The Air Force evaluated all C-130J candidate locations against objective criteria based on mission requirements. The preferred alternatives were the highest scoring locations based on that criteria. The C-130J reduces manpower requirements, lowers operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models. Compared to older C-130s, the “J” model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. C-130J major system improvements include advanced two-pilot flight station with fully integrated digital avionics, color multifunctional liquid crystal and head-up displays, and state-of-the-art navigation that includes a dual inertial navigation system and GPS. The aircraft also features fully integrated defensive systems, low-power color radar, digital moving map display, new turboprop engines with six-bladed all-composite propellers and a digital autopilot. The C-130J also includes improved fuel, environmental and ice-protection and an enhanced cargo-handling system. Kentucky, West Virginia and Texas will begin receiving eight aircraft, each in 2021. Georgia will receive new aircraft if they become available in the future.
  6. Aircrew Faulted for Landing Too Fast, Destroying C-130 in Camp Taji Mishap Nov. 19, 2020 | By Brian W. Everstine A C-130H crew landed too quickly, causing the aircraft to oscillate and then overrun the runway before crashing into a concrete barrier in June at Camp Taji, Iraq, destroying the Hercules, according to an Air Force investigation. The C-130H, tail number 94-6706, assigned to the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard and flown by a crew from the Wyoming Air National Guard’s 153rd Airlift Wing, was flying a theater airlift sortie from Ali Al Salem, Kuwait, when the mishap occurred on June 8. All 26 aircrew and passengers survived, with four sustaining non-life-threatening injuries. The aircraft was a total loss valued at $35.9 million. The C-130, callsign CROME60, took off without incident from Ali Al Salem and began its descent 59 minutes later into Camp Taji at about 10 p.m. local time for a night-vision landing, according to an Air Force Accident Investigation Board report released Nov. 18. During the descent, the aircrew turned earlier than its planned turn point and did not descend to the lower altitude as described in its flight plan. The C-130 engaged its flaps to 100 percent while flying at about 157 knots indicated airspeed, though the recommended speed for 100 percent flaps is 145 knots indicated airspeed, according to the investigation. Two miles out from the airfield, the C-130 was flying at about 1,000 feet above the recommended glideslope for a landing at Camp Taji. GPS data showed that when the C-130 crossed the runway threshold at the base, it was flying 151 knots, with the recommended landing speed for a C-130 at its loaded weight being 105 knots. Because of the excessive speed, and the fact the C-130 was at a nose-down attitude, the aircraft generated lift causing it to oscillate or “porpoise” down the runway—an up and down movement similar to how the sea mammal swims. By the time the aircraft’s engines engaged reverse thrust and allowed it to settle onto wheels so its brakes could engage, there was only about 1,000 feet of runway left. It overran the runway, and ultimately slammed into the concrete barrier 600 feet beyond the end of the tarmac. In the impact, all propellers, still in reverse, and the front of their reduction gear boxes came off their engines. Two external fuel tanks hit the barrier, and debris from aircraft parts scattered across the aircraft and the ground around it. All 26 aircrew and passengers were able to escape through paratroop doors. The report states the primary cause of the mishap was the excessive speed above the landing velocity, which caused the oscillation during landing. Additionally, the aircrew failed to adequately assess risk, follow proper procedures, and had poor communication throughout the incident, the report states.
  7. Originally a slick and converted at Robins under the Combat Loss Replacement (CLR) program to created the MC-130W. Then down to Eglin where CLSS from Robins converted it to a gunship (AC-130W (cut out holes for 30MM etc, added SOPGM tubes etc). Palletized 105 didn't come about until later. Not sure about dates and names...its kind of hazy...first referring to them as MC-130Ws and then to AC-130Ws...they couldn't make up their mind, heck they even updated TOs to reflect MC-130Ws and then changed to AC-130W. The article says it was converted to AC-130W in 2012 but achieved it's first kill in 2011, assuming while they were being referring to as MC-130W.
  8. By Staff Sgt. Luke Kitterman, 27th Special Operations Wing Public Affairs / Published October 22, 2020 The 16th Aircraft Maintenance Unit said farewell to one of its AC-130W Stinger II gunships as it took its final flight from Cannon Oct. 19, 2020, before permanently retiring from air operations. Officially labeled as Tail No. 1303, the aircraft was received from the Lockheed-Martin factory June 6, 1989, with the original nickname of ‘City of Hurricane.’ Since that time, but before becoming part of the gunship arsenal, Tail No. 1303 served in numerous, varying mission sets including critical supply drops into Bosnia, transportation of Special Forces during Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM, humanitarian missions providing relief for Hurricane Katrina, and refueling duties for the 73rd Special Operations Squadron. “The aircraft was a MC-130W being utilized for refueling missions when I arrived in 2008,” said Master Sgt. Kevin Shafer, 16 AMU crew chief section chief and prior Dedicated Crew Chief to Tail No. 1303. “I was its Dedicated Crew Chief in 2009 and it wasn’t until 2012 when it was converted into an AC-130W.” As a gunship, Tail No. 1303 made its claim to fame by being the first gunship to record a combat kill on Feb. 9, 2011. It then went on to achieve another milestone by having the distinction of being the first 105mm cannon-installed whiskey to confirm a 105mm kill in December of 2016. However, even though serving a critical role as a lethal option in the Air Force Special Operations Command’s firepower, the whiskey models’ purpose in a sense was a temporary capability, or a long-term solution, for its eventual and intended replacement – the ‘J’ models. “The Air Force has a new generation of gunships, the AC-130J models, that are ready to come off the assembly line and we have to make room for them,” said Master Sgt. Jesse French, 16 AMU production superintendent. “Eventually, all whiskey models will be replaced by the J models.” While the Air Force is always looking to improve its weapons systems and preparing for the future, it doesn’t mean that one can’t pay homage to the equipment that got it to this point. A 31-year career for an aircraft that has seen combat doesn’t happen without countless maintainers providing extreme care over the years. It takes dedicated individuals. “Dedicated Crew Chief is a program that units offer to highly-skilled maintenance technicians,” Staff Sgt. Joshua Ohienmhen, 16 AMU Non-Commissioned Officer in charge and most recent DCC for Tail No. 1303. “Of course you take care of multiple aircraft but the aircraft you are dedicated to is your baby. This is the one you take the most pride in and try to make it look and work the best. It promotes healthy competition within the unit and ownership over your aircraft.” For a long time, Cannon did not have a DCC program so the unit decided to mirror their program after the Flying Crew Chief program. “Since we don’t have Flying Crew Chiefs here, we have just tailored our DCC program to match the FCC requirements,” Ohienmhen explained. “So all of our DCCs should have a FCC mentality even though we cannot fly with the plane.” Ohienmhen has been working on Tail No. 1303 for a few years but has been its DCC for approximately six months since when the DCC program was officially created. “It takes a special kind of maintainer to walk in knowing that the aircraft is going to be retired soon and still take an immense pride in taking caring of it,” Shafer said about Ohienmhen. “I couldn’t ask for a better DCC to take over this aircraft.” That pride, and mindset of still giving it the best treatment possible, comes from Ohienmhen’s history with the aircraft. “I was actually there helping [Tail No. 1303] get modified for the 105mm,” Ohienmhen said. “So it was kind of like nostalgia for me when we took all the weapons systems back off in preparation for retirement because I was reminded of all the hard work I had put into it. It was sad to be honest. I don’t want my plane to go.” Fortunately, ‘retirement’ is not synonymous with ‘out-of-use’ in the case for Tail No. 1303. The aircraft’s final destination was Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas, which falls under the Air Education and Training Command, where it will permanently stay to be repurposed as a weapons training system. “Sheppard needed an aircraft they could train on for weapons school,” French explained. “This way, Airmen at the school can work on a real-world weapons system to be proficient at their job before arriving to their first operating unit.” The weapons systems on 1303 were stripped off the aircraft prior to its final flight and shipped off to a different installation where they will be altered to meet safety regulations for school before returning to 1303 in December. As a farewell, Shafer and Ohienmhen, both once DDCs of Tail No. 1303, rode with the gutted, empty aircraft on that final flight to Sheppard AFB. “You know in the movies where people are walking away and not looking back…that wasn’t us.” Shafer said. “We were both practically walking backwards looking back at the aircraft for the last time.”
  9. There has been a few more changes published since then...I believe they are on Change 62, dated Aug 2020. However, I'm not at liberty to distribute manuals...sorry.
  10. Update on Military Plane that made Emergency Landing in Thermal Taylor Martinez October 13, 2020 11:00 AM Update: The C-130 Military cargo plane has been moved to the Jacqueline Cochran Airport in Thermal. NBC Palm Springs viewer Steve Randall shared these photos with us.
  11. Marshall's wins historic USMC service contract October 1, 2020 (by Oliver Drury) - Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group (MADG) has won a ten-year multi-million dollar contract with the US Marine Corps to provide depot-level maintenance to its 66-strong fleet of KC-130J tanker aircraft deployed worldwide. The contract, one of the biggest in the company’s history, enables MADG to perform scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in support of Naval Air Systems Command’s Tactical Airlift Program Office (PMA-207). The Multiple Award Contract (MAC) was issued by Naval Supply Systems Command (NAVSUP) Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) Yokosuka after a rigorous international competition that included extensive pre-solicitation audits and demonstration of past performance. MADG Chief Executive, Gary Moynehan, comments: “This really is fantastic news that represents a very significant step forward in our strategy to grow our share of business in North America. This win builds on more than 50 years of service to the Royal Air Force which has, and continues to be, the bedrock of our Military Aerospace business. I am very proud that the US Marine Corps is prepared to place its trust in a privately-owned British company to undertake this important work. “We are already working closely with the US Government and the US Department of the Navy through NAVAIR. We initially won the support contract in 2019 for three Kuwaiti KC-130Js purchased through the US Government’s Foreign Military Sales process and, more recently, supported the entry into service of the iconic ‘Fat Albert’ replacement for the Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron. “Our ability to secure this framework contract with the US Navy is a further strengthening of our relationship with this important customer, the world’s second largest operator of C-130 aircraft, validating MADG’s position as one of the most capable, experienced and competitive C-130 support organisations in the world. We thank both NAVSUP and the Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific for the trust they have shown in our aircraft support capabilities. “MADG is one of just two suppliers to have been awarded a framework contract and as such it has huge potential for the long-term future of our business. Whilst the volume of work we secure will ultimately be dependent on our ongoing performance I am very confident that we will begin to demonstrate our ability to deliver a world-class, cost effective service when the first aircraft arrives Cambridge later this year.” Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadrons provide an important aerial refuelling service to support Fleet Marine Force air operations, as well as assault air transport of personnel, equipment and supplies. As CAPT Matthew Brickhaus, NAVSUP FLC Yokosuka Director of Contracting explains: “This innovative contracting strategy led by our team will enhance global commercial repair capacity and redundancy for the naval aviation enterprise. Simply put, there is now more than one overseas commercial contractor ready to service the depot repair needs of the C-130 fleet.” Fleet Readiness Center Western Pacific Commanding Officer, CDR Randy Berti comments: "Our mission is to provide safe, mission-ready aircraft to our U.S. Navy and Marine Corps customers. Teaming up with Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group will help us to accomplish our mission and accelerate naval aviation readiness with world-class execution.” MADG supports the C-130 platform for 17 Government operators including the UK Royal Air Force under the award-winning Hercules Integrated Operational Support (HIOS) contract. Courtesy of Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group
  12. Marine F-35B Crashes After Collision With KC-130 Over California; All Aircrew Recovered Safely By: Sam LaGrone September 29, 2020 9:34 PM • Updated: September 29, 2020 11:03 PM A Marine F-35B aircraft has crashed near Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif., following an air collision with a KC-130J, defense officials confirmed to USNI News. At approximately 4 p.m. local time, “it was reported that an F-35B made contact with a KC-130J during an air-to-air refueling evolution, resulting in the crash of the F-35B. The pilot of the F-35B ejected successfully and is currently being treated,” read a statement from Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Joseph Butterfield to USNI News. “The KC-130J is on deck in the vicinity of Thermal Airport. All crew members of the KC-130J have been reported safe.” The KC-130J, often used as an aerial refueler for Marine aviation, made an emergency landing near the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Therma, Calif., according to photos published by KESQ Channel 3. The following is the complete statement from the Marine Corps. MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. (Sep. 29, 2020) — At approximately 1600 it was reported that an F-35B made contact with a KC-130J during an air-to-air refueling evolution, resulting in the crash of the F-35B. The pilot of the F-35B ejected successfully and is currently being treated. The KC-130J is on deck in the vicinity of Thermal Airport. All crew members of the KC-130J have been reported safe. The official cause of the crash is currently under investigation. Updates will be provided as information becomes available.
  13. FORT INDIANTOWN GAP, PA, UNITED STATES 09.14.2020 Members of the 193rd Special Operations Wing move an EC-130E "Commando Solo" static display to a new location at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pa., on Sept. 14, 2020. The aircraft, which has been on display since 2006, was moved to make way for a future construction project. This aircraft began its service in 1963, and the 193rd SOW used it to conduct airborne psychological operations missions from 1979 to 2006.
  14. Metalbasher

    NESA

    I would think if they are telling to turn it off to avoid cracking, then you would leave it off if it were cracked. Can always submit a TAR/-107 for clear guidance.
  15. C-130 “Hulk” demolished after 40 years at Hanscom By Lauren Russell, 66th Air Base Group Public Affairs / Published September 17, 2020 HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. – The 66th Logistic Readiness Squadron oversaw the demolition of the static C-130 Hercules “Hulk” here Sept. 15. The 94-and-a-half-foot long airframe has been at Hanscom since 1982, and served as grounds for the 57th and 85th Aerial Port Squadrons cargo loading and offloading training. After the 85 APS deactivated in 2009, “Hulk” was left behind. “It’s been nothing more than a relic on the base for the last ten years,” said Bill Perkins, 66 LRS Material Management and Fuels Flight chief. “It was time.” The demolition team completely gutted ‘old 5019,’ as it was referred to by its tail number, before dismantling the entire frame. Perkins said the shrapnel is off to the scrap yard, and all internal landing gear and equipment was destroyed so it cannot be reused. “It is a bit of sad ending for a war bird like that one,” said Perkins. “It did its job.”
  16. Acft 74-1660, LM # 4592
  17. Connecticut State Police troopers escorted a military aircraft across Connecticut roads Friday, attracting an audience along the way. Police posted photos of the plane, a U.S. Air Force C-130 transport aircraft, on its Facebook page Saturday. It was loaded onto a tractor trailer in CT, where troopers escorted the heavy cargo to the Rhode Island border. The plane is headed to New Hampshire, according to the State Police Facebook post. "Many people were surprised to see this plane traveling along the interstate and through Bethel, Thomaston and other towns," police wrote in the post. Believed to be heading for Pease ANGB, NH to be possibly a aeromedivac trainer.
  18. The L3Harris Technologies plant in Waco has won a contract to maintain up to four U.S. Navy and Marine Corps KC-130 aircraft used in air-to-air refueling, though impact of the work on employment levels was not announced. The sprawling facility at Texas State Technical College airport long has engaged in depot-level maintenance of C-130 military aircraft. But this contract is the first under a new “U.S. Navy acquisition initiative,” according to a press release from L3Harris spokesperson Lance Martin. The initiative could mean even more work for L3Harris locally, Martin said. Called the U.S. Navy’s Contracted Maintenance, Modification, Aircrew and Related Services program, it allows companies to quickly secure the Navy’s nod to proceed with heavy duty maintenance and support services. L3Harris uses six hangars at TSTC airport and welcomes applications from students in the school’s aviation programs, Martin said. Up to four U.S. Marine Corps KC-130J/T aircraft will regularly fly into Waco for a thorough examination, maintenance and repairs that include new paint jobs if necessary, repairs, operational checks and test flights to ensure aircraft readiness. Martin referred to the testing as visual and nondestructive, and said it takes place when aircraft reach certain hours of operation. L3 and Harris Technologies merged last year to form L3Harris, which is headquartered in Melbourne, Florida. Executive leadership said the merger would create a defense company geared to pursue contracts meeting the U.S. Department of Defense’s vision for more sophisticated warfare systems. The aircraft the Waco facility will service, “was purchased by the Marine Corps to replace its aging fleet of KC-130F tanker aircraft. The ‘J’ is a primary aerial refueling aircraft for Marine fixed-wing jets and helicopters. The KC-130 Hercules can resupply austere battle zones, provide a Direct Air Support Center, insert ground troops and perform medevac operations,” according to a description featured on Military.com. The KC-130 has capacity to offload 57,500 pounds of fuel from wing-mounted and external tanks, in addition to a 3,600-gallon aluminum fuel tank that can be removed from the cargo area. It can transfer 300 gallons per minute to multiple aircraft simultaneously, according to Military.com. The team at L3Harris in Waco has the experience, resources and facilities to conduct maintenance on these planes in a timely fashion, Jon Piatt, vice president and general manager of Integrated Aerospace Systems wrote in the press release. “We are pleased the U.S. Navy selected us to apply our proven and trusted expertise to augment mission readiness for these critical U.S. Navy and Marine Corps C-130 aircraft,” Piatt said in the press release. Martin could not provide an exact dollar value on the work and would not speculate on whether it would create additional jobs at the Waco plant. He said L3Harris Technologies employs about 750 at its Waco site. L3 last year won a $499 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to perform avionics upgrades on 176 C-130H aircraft in Waco. The award was announced prior to the merger that formed L3Harris Technologies. Work has continued on that project despite COVID-19, Martin said Tuesday. L3Harris enjoys about $18 billion in annual revenue and has 48,000 employees and customers in more than 100 countries, the company said.
  19. US Air Force gets colour TV upgrade for Litening targeting pods By Garrett Reim9 July 2020 The US Air Force (USAF) has placed an initial order for colour video feed upgrades to some of its Northrop Grumman Litening targeting pods. The number of targeting pods to receive upgrades and the value of the contract were not disclosed in Northrop’s 7 July announcement. Source: Northrop Grumman Litening pod footage after colour TV upgrade Litening targeting pods are used by fixed-wing combat aircraft to detect, acquire, automatically track and identify ground targets at long range. The equipment comes with a laser designator and laser rangefinder. It is used by pilots to direct or aim laser-guided bombs, conventional bombs and GPS-guided weapons to targets. Northrop says colour video footage should help pilots make sense of the battlefield faster. “Litening’s colour video capability works with the way we naturally see the world to give warfighters in the cockpit and on the ground more-complete situational understanding in less time,” says Ryan Tintner, the company’s vice-president of navigation, targeting and surveillance. Source: Air National Guard Northrop Grumman Litening pod on a Lockheed Martin C-130’s wing Adding colour video to the pod is made easier by the hardware’s modular design, a feature which should enable further upgrades, says Northrop. The upgrade also includes the ability to simultaneously record video feeds from all of the Litening pod’s sensors, including its forward-looking infrared camera, for post-mission analysis. Previously, the video footage the pod fed to pilots was black and white. In addition to the USAF, the Litening pod is used by the US Marine Corps and several foreign militaries. The equipment is qualified and integrated on the Boeing AV-8B, F/A-18, B-52 and F-15, Fairchild Republic A-10, Lockheed Martin C-130 and F-16. Northrop says it has delivered more than 900 examples of the Litening pod.
  20. The ex-Royal Air Force C-130J is presently in the United Kingdom undergoing final checks. By Joseph TrevithickJune 30, 2020 USN The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels have finally given us our first full look at the ex-Royal Air Force C-130J Hercules that will take on the role of Fat Albert. The flight demonstration team teased the arrival of this aircraft and its new paint scheme, which will replace the already retired C-130T that they had previously used as their squadron transport and in their performances, earlier this year. The Blue Angels released the picture of their latest Fat Albert on their Facebook page on June 30, 2020. The aircraft is presently at Marshall Aerospace and Defence Group's facility at Cambridge City Airport in the United Kingdom, where it is undergoing final fit checks. "Over the next few weeks, team members will conduct a series of maintenance tests, which include an aircraft systems operational check out and a functional check flight, prior to completing the transatlantic flight to the United States," the accompanying Facebook post says. "#BAFans you will notice a couple changes to the paint scheme. The flight surfaces now have yellow tips, similar to our F/A-18s, 2 stripes run down the side of the aircraft and the iconic white top has been changed to a tear drop design." Some of those changes had already been visible in the images that the Blue Angels had released of the aircraft back in March. In contrast to the scheme used on the previous C-130T, this aircraft's aircraft's paint scheme also has the name of the team written in gold lettering rather than blue and a pair of gold stripes in place of a single thicker one. The Blue Angels' previous C-130T-based Fat Albert. "This C-130J model will provide improved logistics support and eventually join the Blue Angels demonstration!" the Facebook post also notes. The team has been without a Fat Albert, which also serves as their dedicated transport from show to show, for more than a year now. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic has also, unfortunately, severely curtailed their show season for this year, though they did take part in flyovers across the country in support of first responders, healthcare workers, and other individuals on the front lines that crisis. The Navy formally acquired this ex-U.K. Royal Air Force C-130J as the Blue Angels next Fat Albert in 2019 at the cost of around $29.7 million. The U.K. Ministry of Defense had previously decided to retire all of the RAF's short-fuselage J models, which that service had designated Hercules C5s, based on the recommendations of the country's 2010 Strategic Defense and Security Review. It has now revised that plan to retain one of the Hercules C5s through at least 2021. The RAF will also continue to fly 14 long-fuselage C-130J-30s, which it calls Hercules C4s. It remains uncertain, especially given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when the Blue Angels' latest Fat Albert will make its public debut. "Please note that our team is practicing social distancing and taking every precaution to maintain mission readiness. Stay safe!" the team's Facebook posted said. Regardless, it's exciting to finally get a glimpse of the aircraft in its new paint scheme and hopefully it won't be too long before people get to see it up close.
  21. The Air Force's last AC-130U gunship, named 'Big Daddy,' made history before a flight this month Airman 1st Class Hailey Ziegler, US Air Force Jun 29, 2020, 9:44 AM The last AC-130U Spooky gunship to retire, aircraft 0128, also known as "Big Daddy," on the flightline at Hurlburt Field, Florida, June 26, 2020. US Air Force/Airman 1st Class Hailey M. Ziegler An AC-130U Spooky gunship named "Big Daddy" made history by being the first Spooky to ever receive a black letter initial on its status page before a flight. A black letter means the aircraft has no maintenance discrepancies and is a rare feat for any Air Force plane. The Air Force is phasing out the AC-130U. Big Daddy will be the last to retire and will be placed in the Hurlburt Field Air Park. HURLBURT FIELD, Florida — An AC-130U Spooky gunship named "Big Daddy" made history by being the first Spooky to ever receive a black letter initial on its status page before a flight, June 18, 2020. This was a momentous accomplishment for Air Commandos in the 4th Special Operations Squadron and the 4th AMU. "A black letter is significant because it means there are absolutely no discrepancies whatsoever on the plane," said US Air Force Tech. Sgt. Mark Lennon, a section chief with the 4th Aircraft Maintenance Unit. "A black letter is when there's no discrepancies on the status page. The crew chief's last name and first initial goes in that place. It shows that aircraft has really been maintained with excellence." This standard of excellence is only achieved through teamwork. "It's a huge teamwork effort and accomplishment for everyone," said Lennon. "It takes a lot of hard work and pride to make this happen." The last Spooky, named "Gunslinger," retired to the boneyard at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, June 26, 2020. However, Big Daddy will be the last to retire and will be placed in the Hurlburt Field Air Park. Any time an aircraft flies, it could come back with any number of discrepancies or those discrepancies which can be found when maintainers do their inspections. "Aircraft across the Air Force usually fly with discrepancies, so it's really rare to see a black letter initial," said Lennon. "In my 11 years in service, I've only seen it one other time." The Spookys have been operational since 1995, providing combat overwatch for 18 of those years. The heavily armed aircraft incorporates side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation, and fire-control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather. The mission down range has been taken over by the AC-130J Ghostrider gunships since July 2019. The same aircraft the 4th SOS and AMU will now be working with. "After 25 years of service, we're closing one chapter and starting another with the AC-130Js," said US Air Force Capt. Hannah Boeman, officer in charge with the 4th AMU. "Talking to a lot of the maintainers at the 4th AMU, it's kind of a bittersweet moment for them. Since most of them have spent a majority of their career working with these aircraft, I know it's sad to see them go."
  22. Last Spooky gunships retire at Hurlburt An AC-130U Spooky gunship with the 4th Special Operations Squadron parks on the flightline after it's farewell flight over Hurlburt Field, Florida, June 3, 2020. This heavily armed aircraft incorporates side-firing weapons integrated with sophisticated sensor, navigation, and fire control systems to provide surgical firepower or area saturation during extended loiter periods, at night and in adverse weather. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Hailey M. Ziegler)
  23. By Lt. Col. Paul Hendrickson , Materiel Leader, Agile Combat Support Directorate, CBRN Defense Systems / Published June 05, 2020 JOINT BASE CHARLESTON (JBC), S.C. – One month since the successful flight demonstration of the Negatively Pressurized Conex (NPC) proof-of-concept, a team of experts from across the country continue to work tirelessly to finalize the design and ensure the safety and effectiveness of both the NPC and NPC Lite (NPCL) next phase builds. The first NPCL was delivered to Joint Base Charleston on June 1 for operational test and the NPC will arrive this weekend. Following successful testing they are projected to immediately begin operations. The NPC is a rapid prototype project developed in response to the United States Transportation Command’s (USTRANSCOM) Joint Urgent Operational Need (JUON) requirement issued on March 28, 2020 for high capacity immediate transport of COVID-19 infected personnel. Under the direction of the Air Force Program Executive Office (PEO) for Agile Combat Support (ACS), a team led by the Air Force Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Defense Systems Branch and the Joint PEO CBRN Defense drafted the requirements, awarded an other transactional authority (OTA) agreement to the contractor team comprised of UTS Systems, Highland Engineering Inc, and Delta Flight Products and delivered the proof-of-concept NPC in less than 21 days. Following a series of tests and the successful demonstration flight of the NPC on April 30, and with the recommendation of PEO ACS, the Commander of Air Mobility Command (AMC) made the decision to proceed with the procurement of the NPC for Inter-Theater Airlift on the C-17 and C-5 aircraft; and the NPCL variant for Intra-Theater Airlift on C-130, C-17 and C-5. Beginning with a proof-of-concept prototype and ending with a fieldable system that is safe and meets the JUON’s requirements presented a major challenge. Teams from Air Mobility Command and the Air Force Lifecycle Management Center’s (AFLCMC) Engineering and Technical Management/Services Directorate, C-17 System Program Office (SPO), C-5 SPO, C-130 SPOs, and Human Systems Division worked directly with the NPC/NPCL program team and contractor to rapidly iterate on the systems’ designs, to compress the normally months to years interwoven engineering, medical, safety, testing, financial, scheduling, and air worthiness processes into less than 30 days. Working these separate streams at the same time was not for the faint of heart. “Helping a non-standard defense contractor understand the stringent requirements for air worthiness required an all-hands on deck and an outside of the box teaming strategy,” said Robert David, Chief Engineer for the C-17 SPO. “Having our engineers and subject matter experts work directly within the finalized design of the NPC/NPCL allowed for concurrent development, production and certification.” “We worked with the contractors to develop safer seating systems for patients and tested them here at the 711th Human Performance Wing’s vertical and horizontal crash test facilities,” said Dr. Casey Pirnstill, a research Biomedical Engineer at Air Force Research Laboratory. “We even had a local church donate personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer so the guys could work in proximity to build the test fixtures.” This rapid and outside of the box thinking for design was driven by AMC’s continued demand for the NPC and NPCL to facilitate COVID-19 aeromedical evacuation operations around the globe. While utilizing the lower capacity Transport Isolation System (TIS) and other methods, USTRANSCOM has already transported more than 46 patients and expects the demand to continue to ramp up. “We had to rapidly understand the inherent limitations we would experience in this rapid development, and help buy down risks to make the system both airworthy as well as safe for operations,” said Peter Christiansen the Chief Engineer for the C-130 in AFLCMC/WLN. “We sent four members of the C-130 team to Howell, Michigan to work directly with the NPCL build contractor Highland Engineering to ensure the delivered NPCL would meet all safety requirements. Seeing the team come together and work this rapid development was a huge testament to teamwork and made it all possible.” “One of the biggest hurdles to this process was designing and validating the overall structural integrity of the system through the development of Finite Element Models (FEM) and conducting the associated analysis on these,” added Sean Mortara, a structural analysis technical expert with AFLCMC/EN-EZ. “Working directly with both NPC and NPCL contractors to develop and modify these designs and models during production was definitely outside of the box, but made it possible to deliver these systems in 30 days.” “Our team had to pull together the entire package of risks and requirements for a military flight release, showing that the risks were addressed and this system was ready and safe to fly on military aircraft,” added Rebekah Less a member of the Human System Divisions Sustainment Branch. “On top of that, we had to develop a sustainment, training, and maintenance package, to ensure the system when it enters operations at the end of June will be ready for the operators to execute missions with confidence.” The NPC is scheduled for 10 days of ground tests followed by an Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE) C-17 flight. The NPCL is scheduled for 21 days of ground tests on three different C-130 to include its OUE on a C-130J mid-June. Follow on evaluations for the C-17 and C-5 aircraft will follow for the other configurations at a future date. With the conclusion of these OUEs, the systems will enter service and be available to transport COVID-19 patients around the globe for USTRANSCOM. Subsequent rapid delivery of additional NPC and NPCL units will begin at the end of June, and 30 of each system are expected to be produced. Testing will be conducted by a joint team comprised of members of the Air Force CBRN Branch, 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Centers (AFOTEC) Det 2, 417th Flight Test Squadron, aircraft SPOs, AFRL, AMC/SG, AMC/A3V, Army Combat Capability Development Directorate, Army Public Health Center and additional team members. “This was not how I expected to spend the month of May, but working hand in hand with the contractor team of UTS, HEI and DFP in place at their location in Howell, MI has been a sprint marathon,” said Matt Kilmer from the C-130 Program Office. “But the overwhelming commitment from both the government and contractor teams has been amazing to watch. Because these teams came together and worked diligently, we will be able to field this critical capability to the warfighter in an amazing short period of time.” “Providing an unrivaled mobility capability for the nation and our allies is the reason we come to work every day,” commented Col. Scott Ekstrom, Senior Materiel Leader for the C-17 Program Office. “The demand for urgent solutions to current problems is constant. Supporting an effort like the NPC/NPCL development showcased our teams working together to rapidly effect the safety and security of our Airmen. I couldn’t be prouder of the team.”
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