The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules aircraft is affectionately referred to by many as the Herc and has been in continuous production since 1956. To date, more than 2,260 of the aircraft in various configurations have been delivered to 60 countries, and 67 countries fly the plane, some of which were purchased as pre-owned. From 1964 to 1997, Lockheed Martin manufactured 1,205 aircraft of the C-130H variety, making it to date the most produced version of the Hercules.
The C-130 Hercules is used to support a wide variety of missions including troop and cargo transportation, medical evacuation, search and rescue, weather reconnaissance, firefighting, aerial refueling, and scientific research. The wide aft door makes it possible to load and unload oversized cargo quickly and efficiently. This enables it to carry everything from cargo pallets to helicopters. Despite its size, the Herc can land and take off on short, unpaved runways which makes it especially useful in combat and in locations without developed facilities.
In February 1999, Lockheed Martin introduced the newest version of the C-130 which is the C-130J. The C-130J is powered by Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 turboprop engines with six-bladed propellers, which together offer improved power and performance over older versions of the Hercules. The C-130J Hercules has an upgraded suite of equipment from previous models, including an advanced cargo-handling system, anti-icing system, advanced heads-up display, a cutting edge navigational system, low-power color radar, digital mapping displays, and a digital auto pilot. The C-130J is also considerably more fuel-efficient. The C-130J is flown by the U.S. Air National Guard and the U.S. Air Force Reserve Command. The C-130J-30 Hercules is the same as the C-130J but the fuselage has an additional 15′ in length which provides additional cargo room.
Besides the United States, other countries that fly the C-130J are the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, and Denmark. The U.S. Coast Guard flies the HC-130J and the U.S. Marine Corps flies KC-130J tankers.
Speed: 345 mph
Range: 1,150 miles
Maximum weight: 155,000 lb
Empty weight: 69,300 lbs
Engine(s): Four Allison T56-A-7 turboprop 4,200 HP engines
Cruise speed: 292 knots