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C-130 Hercules

In continuous production since the 1950s, the C-130/Hercules is one of the most capable airlifters of all time. More than 2,100 C-130/Hercules aircraft have been built, and they are flown by more than 60 nations worldwide. They carry troops, vehicles, and armament into battle. They drop paratroopers and supplies. They serve as airborne and ground refuelers. They provide emergency evacuation and humanitarian relief. They do airborne early warning and martitime surveillance. They wear skis during operations at both poles. In the history of aviation design, if there is a symbol for strength, durability, and multi-mission success, surely it is the C-130/Hercules.

In its personnel carrier role, the C-130 can accommodate 92 combat troops or 64 fully equipped paratroops on side-facing seats. For medical evacuations, it carries 74 litter patients and two medical attendants. Paratroopers exit the aircraft through two doors on either side of the aircraft behind the landing-gear fairings. Another exit is off the rear ramp for airdrops.

The C-130 can deliver personnel, equipment or supplies either by landing or by various aerial delivery modes. Three primary methods of aerial delivery are used for equipment.

  • In the first, parachutes pull the load, weighing up to 42,000 pounds, from the aircraft. When the load is clear of the plane, cargo parachutes inflate and lower the load to the ground.
  • The second method, called the Container Delivery System, uses the force of gravity to pull from one to 16 bundles of supplies from the aircraft. When the bundles, weighing up to 2,200 pounds each, are out of the aircraft, parachutes inflate and lower them to the ground.
  • The Low Altitude Parachute Extraction System is the third aerial delivery method. With LAPES, up to 38,000 pounds of cargo is pulled from the aircraft by large, inflated cargo parachutes while the aircraft is five to 10 feet above the ground. The load then slides to a stop within a very short distance. Efforts are underway to increase the maximum load weights for LAPES aerial delivery to 42,000 pounds.

The C-130's design maximum gross weight is 155,000 pounds (175,000 pounds wartime) with a normal landing weight of 130,000 pounds. The operating weight is approximately 80,000 pounds. The airplane is capable of airlifting 92 ground troops, 64 fully equipped paratroopers, or 74 litter patients. It can also carry 45,000 pounds of cargo.

Design Features

FUSELAGE: The fuselage is a semimonocoque design and divided into a flight station and a cargo compartment. Seating is provided for each flight station. The cargo compartment is approximately 41 feet long, 9 feet high, and 10 feet wide. Loading is from the rear of the fuselage. Both the flight station and the cargo compartment can be pressurized to maintain a cabin pressure-altitude of 5000 feet at an aircraft altitude of 28,000 feet.

WINGS: The full cantilever wing contains four integral main fuel tanks and two bladder-type auxiliary tanks. Two external tanks are mounted under the wings. This gives the C-l 30 a total usable fuel capacity of approximately 9680 U.S. gallons.

EMPENNAGE: A horizontal stabilizer, vertical stabilizer, elevator, rudder, trim tabs, and a tail cone make up the empennage. This section consists of an all-metal full cantilever semimonocoque structure. It is bolted to the aft fuselage section.

POWER PLANT: (prior to the C-130J) Four Allison turboprop engines are attached to the wings. The engine nacelles have cowl panels and access doors forward of a vertical firewall. Clam-shell doors are located aft of the vertical firewall. Air enters the engine through a scoop assembly at the front of the nacelle.

PROPELLERS: (prior to the C-130J) Four Hamiliton Standard electro-hydromatic, constant-speed, full feathering, reversible-pitch propellers are installed on each engine.

LANDING GEAR AND BRAKES: The modified tricycle-type landing gear consists of dual nose gear wheels and tandem mains. Main gear retraction is vertically, into fuselage fairings, and the nose gear folds forward into the fuselage. Power steering is incorporated into the nose gear. The landing gear design permits aircraft operation from rough, unimproved runways. The brakes are hydraulically operated, multiple-disc type. The braking system incorporates differential braking and parking brake control. A modulating anti-skid system is provided.

AUXILIARY POWER UNIT (APU) (C-130H): The APU supplies air during ground operation for engine starting and air conditioning. One 40 KVA AC generator is mounted on the APU as an additional AC power source. Emergency electrical power during flight is also available up to 20,000 feet.

GAS TURBINE COMPRESSOR (GTC) AND AIR TURBINE MOTOR (ATM) (C-130E): C-13OE model aircraft have a GTC which supplies bleed air for engine start, air conditioning, and operation of an ATM. The ATM powers a 20 KVA electrical generator to supply auxiliary electrical power on the ground only.

OIL: The C-130 has four independent oil systems with a 12 gallon capacity for each engine. Oil is serviced through a filler neck located on the upper right engine cowling.

FUEL: The fuel system consists of a modified manifold-flow type incorporating fuel crossfeed, single point refueling (SPR) and defueling, and fuel dumping. Latest USAF versions incorporate blue foam for fire suppression.

ELECTRICAL: AC electrical power for the C-130H model is provided by five 40 KVA generators, 4 driven by the engines and one driven by the APU. On the E model, the power is supplied by four 40 KVA engine-driven generators, and a 20 KVA generator driven by the ATM. DC power is provided from AC sources through four 200 ampere transfomer rectifiers and one 24 volt, 36 ampere-hour battery.

HYDRAULIC: Four engine-driven pumps supply 3000 psi pressure to the utility and booster systems. An electric AC motor-driven pump supplies pressure to the auxiliary system and is backed up by a handpump. The hydraulic system maintains constant pressure during zero or negative "g" maneuvers.

AIR CONDITIONING AND PRESSURIZATION: Two independent air conditioning systems for the flight deck and cargo compartment are operated from engine bleed air in flight and by the GTC/APU on the ground.

OXYGEN: Both models have a 25 liter liquid oxygen (LOX) type system which provides for 96 man-hours of oxygen at 25,000 feet. It uses diluter-demand automatic pressure-breathing regulators. Portable units are also provided. System pressure is maintained at 300 psi.

FLIGHT CONTROLS: The primary flight control system consists of conventional aileron, elevator, and rudder systems. Hydraulic power boost is incorporated in each system.

WING FLAPS: The wing flaps are high-lift, Lockheed-Fowler type and are of conventional design and construction. Normal operation is by hydraulic motor. Emergency operation is by manual crank.

ANTI-ICING: Engine bleed air is used for anti-icing the wing and empennage leading edges, the radome, (radome anti-icing may be removed in some models, check with aircraft forms) and engine inlet air ducts. Electrical heat provides anti-icing for the propellers, windshield, and pitot tubes.



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