C-130 Hercules cargo plane turns 60

An amazingly durable and useful plane: http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/08/us/c-130-hercules-military-plane-anniversary/index.html

My favorite variant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AC_130_gunship

My word. Only 60 years separates the Wright Flyer from the Gemini space capsule!

I want one to drop stuff out of and then circle around and shoot at the parachute on the way down.

Me first!

I’ve had the opportunity to be a passenger in one a few times sitting back in the cargo bay. Not fancy, but I always felt safe in them.

I like the new J-model’s 6-bladed prop.

I flew from Lahr, Germany to Gatwick in a Herc - sitting on (in?) a cargo sling with two kids. Very noisy but fun! Kids had ear defenders on - I didn’t. Also made sure that everyone had attended to basic bodily functions before departure - sanitary facilities on a Herc are not exactly kid- or female-friendly.:dubious:

Besides, the flight was free!

I once flew from Mildenhall, England to Lahr, Germany on the way to another base in Germany on a C-130 if memory serves. I think the route was called the KONG or something like that. I was stationed at RAF Upper Heyford at the time.

“C130 rolling down the strip
What a joke, my tank won’t fit”

An old workhorse that keeps on plugging and I had a number of trips on one sans tank. I had a couple of tactical landings that were…interesting.

I did have one experience where I didn’t feel all that safe during it. The second attempt at landing as we bounced through the turbulence yet again, I was less than entirely safe feeling…and pretty close to losing my lunch. The landing, at a cant, involved the gear on one side hitting hard and then the plane rotating to slam down even harder on the rest of the gear. Supposedly the tower crew was starting to call the emergency crew out when we almost literally “stuck the landing”. The old bird took the abuse like a warrior though. She was go to go for the trip home 2 days later.

I trusted the plane a lot more after that experience. Pilots though… :smiley:

Awesome plane.
Surely we must have some C130 pilots here on board to explain WHY THE FREAKING JESUS ARE WE LANDING HERE? YOU ARE GONNA KILL US ALL.
After that “explanation” we return you to your regular channel.
:slight_smile:

I used to jump out of them in the Army and even flew in one from North Carolina to Panama with a stop in Florida to argue with a couple Rangers over whose plane it was (uh, the Air Force’s?). Eventually we all piled in and continued the flight – not sure what the big deal was.

There’s the old joke told to someone wearing a parachute about jumping out of a perfectly good plane but the C130 was never a “perfectly good plane.” They always dripped and steamed and were noisy and bumpy. Other than that, they were an awesome and dependable workhorse.

She is still a bad-ass that I would not want to mess with.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_AC-130

I flew the mighty C-130E for 15 years in the active duty USAF - about 3,000 hours worth. I flew “Slicks” (non-special ops). The E-models I flew had patches in the skin covering bullet holes from Viet Nam (the E-model is no longer in the USAF inventory). But the Herk never let me down, and I had a blast flying it.

I jumped out of a C130 in 2002 but it was nothing like the serious shit you paratroopers do. We were 12,000 feet AGL, not 800 feet. We jumped off the tailgate, not through the side door. And we weren’t carrying 70 lbs. of gear! But mostly it’s the low exit altitude that scares me. I want enough time to open my reserve if something goes wrong.

C130 JATO What a ride that must be!

My family used to wonder at the nerve it took for troops to jump from an airplane. I told them that after an hour-long, bumpy low-level in a hot, smelly, cramped cargo compartment, most troops were fighting to get out of the plane when the green light came on.

Nevertheless, I was always amazed they did so. Typical drop altitudes would allow for a swing or two before slamming into the DZ. And that was just the ride to work!

I have flown in the Legacy Herc a few times, usually the SAR (search and rescue) bird, so at least I had a nice view through the big spotter window. When I was escorting media, I was often entertained by the chatter on the headsets, and the Pilot’s attempts to get the media to “punch their boarding passes” (vomit), usually using the “Overhead break”. Herc’s are used for air-to-air refuelling of CF-18s and they used this maneuver to keep up to the fighters (causing excited civilians to phone demanding to know “Why those fighters are chasing that plane?”).

Most people don’t realize how short a runway they can use for landing/takeoff, and therefore they were heavily used during Op HESTIA - earthquake relief in Haiti. The runways were damaged and short, so this was one of the few transport planes that could do it.

Love the workhorse.

My dad built a career on this plane. First, he was a navigator on C130s in the late 50s and early 60s. After he retired from the USAF, he moved to Saudi Arabia to work for Lockheed, who had sold C130s to the Saudi Arabian military.

I’ve had the pleasure (experience?) of flying in one, once. Carrying a packing and wearing all the deuce gear, ear plugs in, and sitting on the web strappings that they called seats. They’re loud.

Great aircraft the Hercules. Still the largest aircraft to land on an aircraft carrier,

http://www.theaviationzone.com/factsheets/c130_forrestal.asp

Amazing stuff.

Peter

WC-130. Equally badass, but for different reasons.

Most powerful meteorological phenomenon on Earth? Bring. It.”

I’ve had the pleasure of a single ride on a C-130. It was with a AFJrROTC outing. They took us up from what used to be Bergstrom AFB for a lap around Austin. It was a loud, bumpy blast.