Lockheed C-130 Hercules

Overview

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport aircraft affectionately known as the ‘Herk’, the ‘Herky Bird’ and ‘Fat Albert’, went into production in 1954, following the United States Air Forces announcement of the need for a new transport aircraft following the outbreak of the Korean War.  In February 1952 requests for proposals were issued to Lockheed, Fairchild, Douglas and Boeing calling for “a medium transport to perform tactical and logistics missions – an advanced all purpose workhorse type, aerial vehicle that can go anyplace, anytime without elaborate facility or equipment preparations”. With the C-130 design Lockheed won the contract and in April 1955 the C-130A took its first flight.

What makes the C-130 so effective is its ability to accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everything from utility helicopters and six-wheeled armoured vehicles to standard palletized cargo and military personnel.  Additionally, the C-130 can be rapidly reconfigured for the various types of cargo such as palletized equipment, floor-loaded material, airdrop platforms, container delivery system bundles, vehicles and personnel or aero medical evacuation.  The flexible design of the Hercules enables it to be modified for several different missions, allowing one aircraft to perform the role of many.

The C-130 is still in use today by a number of Foreign Air Forces which testifies to the strength and reliability of the C-130 as a multi purpose transport aircraft.

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