INCLUDES: AC-130 Spectre Gunship EC-130 Electronics aircraft HC-130 Combat Shadow refueler MC-130 Combat Talon WC-130 Weather aircraft
SERVICE: Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard
DESCRIPTION: The C-130 Hercules, a four-engine turboprop aircraft affectionately known world-wide as "Herky," is the work horse of the military services. Capable of landing and taking off from short, rough dirt runways, it is a people and cargo hauler, and used in a wide variety of other roles, such as gunships, weather watchers, tankers, firefighters and aerial ambulances. There are more than 40 versions of the Hercules, and it is used by more than 50 nations.
AIR FORCE MISSION: The C-130 primarily is the intratheater Air Force's airlifter. It is the main transport for dropping paratroops and equipment into hostile or remote areas. Much of today's airdrop technology originated with C-130s.
OTHER MISSIONS: The Marine Corps uses the HC-130 for in-flight refueling of fighter aircraft and helicopters, and tactical transport. Air Force Reserve units use the WC-130 in their Storm Tracker fleet of weather plotters. Two Navy C-130 "Herkys" are assigned to the Science Foundation, and equipped with skis as well as wheels for operations in support of scientific research in Antarctica, and the Coast Guard uses HC-130s for its law enforcement and search and rescue missions.
Four decades have elapsed since the Air Force's Tactical Air Command issued its original design specification, yet the remarkable C-130 remains in production. Deliveries of the C-130A began in December 1956 and the first B models came on board in April 1959. Congress recently authorized the purchase of several H models to replace the aging models still in the inventory.
There are 98 in active duty units, 606 in the Air Force Reserve and 173 in the Air National Guard. The Marine Corps has 70 HC refueling models in active and reserve units.
The C-130 accommodates 92 combat troops or 64 fully equipped paratroops on side-facing seats. For medical evacuations, it carries 74 litter patients and two medical attendants. Paratroops jump out of the aircraft through rear doors on each side of the aircraft. Cargo airdrops go off the rear ramp. In cargo configuration it accommodates five standard Air Force cargo pallets.
IMAGE FILE NUMBER: DF-ST-90-06019