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L-100 / L382 Commerical Hercules

Lockheed produced 119 commercial versions of the C-130, better known as the L-100 or L382, recognizable by the absence of the two lower windows underneath the aircrafts windscreen. The original Commercial Hercules was made available as an idea, could it be used for Commercial purposes. The FAA granted an exemption 319. Without the foresight of those involved in that idea it would not have been possible. The Lockheed L-100 Hercules was the Lockheed Corporation's less successful civilian variant of the prolific C-130 military transport aircraft. Its first flight occurred in 1964 with certification the following year. Slow sales led to the development two new versions, the L-100-20 and L-100-30, both of which were larger and more economical than the original model. Total deliveries only amounted to 114, with production ending in 1992.

More than 100 L-100s, which were the commercial variant of the first generation C-130, were produced from 1964-1992 at the then Lockheed-Georgia Co., Marietta, Ga., facility. Many of those airlifters are still operated worldwide by commercial and government customers.

Equipped with built in handling systems, ramp facilities and thrust reversers that allow the aircraft to operate without pushback, the L-100-30 Hercules is ideal for transporting cargo to remote and isolated destinations. It is also capable of taking off and landing on short runways (STOL) and rough terrain.

The excellent capabilities and military market success of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport led to the civilian market model L-100 Hercules. The prototype first flew on 20 April 1964, and was introduced for civilian operations on 30 September 1965. The L-100 retained the same form and function of the original C-130 including its excellent handling capabilities and short-field hauling qualities. Production netted 114 aircraft in all with the last built in 1992. The L-100 was designated Lockheed internally as company "Model 382", the production form as the "Model 382B".

Following the original L-100, the L-100-20 of 1968 included a fuselage stretch for additional internal volume. The L-100-30 saw a further lengthening of the fuselage that added nearly seven feet. The -30 was 2.03m (6ft 8in) longer than the -20, first flew in August 1970, and was delivered from December that year. Most civil Hercules sales have been of the L-100-30 variant.

In the L-100-30, the crew numbered three minimum and included two pilots and a flight engineer. Payload capacity was 51,000lbs with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 155,000lbs. Power was 4 x Allison 501-D22A series turboprop engines developing 4,500 horsepower each. Maximum speed was 355 miles per hour with a cruise speed of 335 miles per hour. Round-trip range was 1,535 miles with a ferry range of 5,555 miles out. The aircraft featured a service ceiling of 23,000 feet and a rate-of-climb of 1,830 feet per minute.

Despite its civilian design, the L-100 was still adopted by the militaries of Algeria, Kuwait, Indonesia, Philippines and Saudi Arabia among others.

The Hercules L100-30 aircraft operated by ASL associate airline Safair is one of the most versatile aircraft for operating on unprepared airstrips worldwide. With the aircrafts capability to fit external fuel tanks and its relative low fuel consumption it is even possible to operate to destinations where fuel is not readily available. Safair can convert the Hercules from a freighter configuration to a bulk fuel tanker within 6 hours.

With the US military moving towards the much improved C-130J "Super Hercules", the L-100 followed suit with a February 2014 report that Lockheed would reactivate the initiative, to produce the L-100J designation.




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