The C-130K (L-382) is a C-130E with different engines, British comm/nav equipment, redesigned cargo floor, and tie down grid pattern (5 crew). This variant of the C130E was given the manufacturer's designation, somewhat confusingly, of C130K. In RAF service, they were designated Hercules C.Mk1. The first aircraft, XV177, was delivered to the RAF on 19th December 1966, followed throughout 1967 by delivery of a further 65 aircraft. The ALLISON T56A-15 engines mated to a Hamilton Standard Constant speed propeller power the RAF Hercules. This gives the aircraft a cruising speed of about 300 knots and a range of about 3000 nautical miles. XXIV Sqn used these aircraft mainly as strategic transport aircraft, typically operating legs of 2 to 8 hours in duration to and from airfields around the globe. The loads carried are diverse and range from weapons and ammunition to humanitarian aid.
In 1978, it was realised that the C.Mk1 Aircraft were consistently "bulking out." The cargoes carried were filling the freight bay while falling some way short of the maximum weight that the aircraft could carry. To rectify this, the stretch programme was initiated. This involved the insertion of a 100-inch fuselage plug in front of the wing and an 80-inch plug aft of the rear para doors, increasing the load carrying volume by 37%. In RAF service, these aircraft are designated Hercules C.Mk3. During the Falklands War, in order to boost the range of the Hercules and enable the Falkland Islands to be re-supplied by aircraft flying from Ascension Island, in-flight refuelling probes were fitted to all aircraft at very short notice. A further 6 aircraft were converted for use as Tanker aircraft and were operated as such by XXIV Sqn until their retirement in 1995.
|Hercules||C Mk 1||C Mk 3|
|Basic Weight||36.0 t||38.0 t|
|Max Take Off Weight||70.5 t||72.5 t|
|Typical Loads:||92 Passengers||126 Passengers|
|64 Paratroops||90 Paratroops|
|5 Freight Pallets||7 Freight Pallets|
|Wing Span||132ft 7ins|
|Length (inc Probe)||100ft 6ins||115ft 6ins|
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