The Versatile C-130 Cargo Aircraft By Lockheed Martin

The C-130 Hercules from Lockheed is a turboprop military cargo aircraft equipped with four engines. Originally built by Lockheed and now by Lockheed Martin is designed and built to use on ill-equipped runways for the purpose of landing and takeoffs. The primary aim of designing this aircraft is to airlift and dropping troops and military equipment in some of the world’s most hostile places. This transport aircraft is capable enough to operate on some of the rough and dirty strips. The C-130 cargo aircraft is used in evacuation missions, and troop and cargo transportation purposes. This versatile cargo aircraft has been successfully inducted in many military services worldwide. There are more than 40 variants of this aircraft serving different military around the world.

Some of the specialized versions of this aircraft airframe perform varied number of duties that include airlifting during medical missions, firefighting missions, aerial refueling, and maritime patrolling to name a few. Inducted into the US military services in the year 1950s this cargo aircraft has conducted numerous military, humanitarian and civilian missions successfully. Due to the unique design of its loading ramp, the C-130 can very easily accommodate large varieties of heavy and oversized cargo, which includes utility helicopters, and even six armored vehicles. It has the ability to even airdrop around 42,000 lbs of cargo. The high floatation landing gear of this very versatile aircraft makes it easy for landing even on dirty and unprepared rough sir strips.

Flexibility Of The C-130 Cargo Aircraft

The design flexibility of this aircraft makes it very simple to configure according to the mission. This adaptability of this cargo aircraft makes it a preferred choice of many military worldwide. Most of the special mission equipment added to the aircraft can be removed allowing the aircraft to return to cargo delivery missions. The aircraft can be configured according to the mission and types of cargo. Designed and produced fifty years ago this remarkably versatile aircraft is still being used and produced.

The latest model of the C-130 is the C-130J. This new model of the C-130 is equipped with some of the very state of the art technical features that reduce manpower, and operates on low costs. Even the support costs are low saving on expenses in the long run as compared to it’s previous models. The J model of the C-130 can climb faster, higher and at higher cruise speeds. The takeoff and landing is also shorter than the previous models. The new C-130 aircraft also features fully integrated defensive systems, color radar, digital moving maps, new set of Rolls Royce turboprop engines, six blade composite propellers, and a digital auto pilot system. The latest C-130 also includes improvement in fuel, ice and environment protection, and better cargo handling features.

The C-130 cargo aircraft has a very low accident rate, making it the most preferred cargo aircraft of many US government agencies and 60 other nations. The basic design has been modified several times to meet the needs, and environment requirements of the mission. The C-130 has unmatched versatility, effectiveness according to the mission and performance. The earlier models of the C-130A, B and D are now retired from service.