Lockheed C-130K Hercules

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules of the U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Corporation is a military transport aircraft with four turboprop engines. With its advancements, the shoulder-deck aircraft is one of the longest built in the world after more than 60 years in production, and she is also the largest aircraft ever to land and take off again on an aircraft carrier (in 1963 on the USS Forrestal).

Development of the C-130 began at the time of the Korean War in February 1951 with a U.S. Air Force request for proposals for a new medium transport aircraft, in which Boeing, Douglas and Fairchild also participated. The aircraft was to be capable of carrying either 11.5 tons of load, 92 infantrymen or 64 fully equipped paratroopers. The machine should be able to use dirt roads. The USAF envisioned a flying hybrid of a jeep and a truck that could handle logistics tasks anywhere on the globe.

Since then, more than 40 versions have been developed and are in use in around 70 states. The C-130 is one of the most widely built transport aircraft in the world, with over 2500 aircraft built. The aircraft proved to be a very well-suited military transport because its design combined a low-slung cargo bay at ramp height, soft-sprung landing gear for unpaved runways, pressure equalization for the entire interior, integral tanks across the wingspan for long-range flights, very good visibility from the cockpit, and turboprop engines. Among the flight performances, the speed and maneuverability were particularly impressive. The aircraft has STOL characteristics and can thus operate on short runways. Due to its characteristics, the aircraft outlived a number of its planned successors. After more than 60 years, the Hercules remains in production, now in the modernized C-130J version, and there is no successor in sight.

At the Royal International Air Tattoo 2022 in Fairford, UK, the Austrian Armed Forces team was awarded the RAFCTE Trophy for the best flight performance by a foreign participant: Two Eurofighters and a C-130 of the Austrian Air Force thereby demonstrated the simulation of an interception of an aircraft in front of the enthusiastic visitors – by the way, this display will also be seen at AIRPOWER22!

In service since 2003, the C-130 “Hercules” is the backbone of the Austrian Armed Forces’ transport fleet. It is not only responsible for supplying soldiers abroad, but also guarantees to evacuate Austrian citizens from dangerous situations.

At AIRPOWER22, our “Herk” will be on display in both the Flying and Static displays.

Lockheed C-130K Hercules