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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

People's Daily Online

Danger coefficient high for fully-loaded military transport aircraft at take off

People's Daily Online

(People's Daily Online) 08:39, February 18, 2014

On February 11, local time, a C-130 Hercules military plane belonging to the Algerian Air Force crashed in Algeria's eastern Oum El Bouaghi province. Xu Yongling, a test flight expert of the Chinese air force, said in an interview with People's Daily Online that military transport aircraft usually take off with almost a full load, which involves a higher danger coefficient than with no load or a half-load.

According to Xu Yongling, large military transport aircraft can carry large and heavy cargoes and have a large cabin size and a large cargo hold cross section. They usually take off when close to fully loaded. 'There is a huge differential between the safety coefficients of a transport aircraft in the states of full-load, half-load and no-load,' he said. 'The safety coefficient of full-load is the lowest. Both take-off and landing are very dangerous for a heavily-loaded transport aircraft.'

On their use in battlefields, Xu Yongling said that a military transport aircraft can deliver a lot of equipment and people very rapidly and can adapt very well to the quick and prompt requirements of modern war. However, it must be recognized that it is quite common for aircraftof this type to be discovered and brought down because of their weak self-protection systems and their large radar reflection area.

Xu pointed out that the only way for military transport aircraft to avoid ground-based artillery is extreme low-altitude flight. It is very difficult for these heavy aircraft to achieve this. They therefore have poor ability to avoid ground antiaircraft weapons, artillery and missiles.

Modern military transport aircraftmust have an electronic interference system. However, early airplanes were not fully equipped in this regard. According to Xu Yongling, many large transport devices have been brought down by ground antiaircraft fire during combat. There is a high requirement for the parties which deliver and use transport devices to prevent their transport devices from being brought down by ground forces. Therefore, the parties which have the air-control right usually use large numbers of transport aircraft in delivery missions.

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