Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Sixty Years

From the Usual USAF Source:
C-130 Marks 60 Years in Production
Archived photo of the YC-130 Hercules during its ferry flight from Burbank, Calif., to Edwards AFB, Calif., on Aug. 23, 1954. The C-130 is still in production today, making it the longest running military aircraft production line in history. Air Force photo.
In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower was in his first term as President and an expansionist Soviet Union was generating global tensions in the emerging Cold War. On Aug. 23 of that year, a four-engine turboprop transport took its maiden flight at Lockheed Martin's plant in Burbank, Calif. Sixty years later, the C-130 Hercules still is in production, making it the longest running military aircraft in continuous production in history. The Air Force took delivery of its first C-130As in December 1956, and a total of 428 different models of the Hercules are being flown by nearly every major Air Force command, the Air Force Reserve, and the Air National Guard. Hercules also are operated by the US Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard and are in military or civil use in 70 countries. According to Lockheed Martin, a total of 2,471 have been produced. And the latest model, the C-130J Super Herc, continues to roll off the assembly lines. "In its first six decades, the C-130 shaped aviation history, redefined industry standards and exhibited flexibility that other aircraft have yet to match," George Shultz, Lockheed vice president and general manager C-130 programs, said in a company release. (USAF release).
Note that Mr. Shultz  said "its FIRST six decades."  I don't have much doubt the ol' Herky Bird will still be flying somewhere at the end of the 21st century.  The aircraft will most certainly have a longer life than I will.


  1. Loves me some Herky-Bird.

    Flown on them many times out in the wilds of the Pacific. Mostly over water. She'll take you to the dance and bring you home again.

    Noisy, cold/hot at all the wrong times and not really comfortable. But she gets it done.

    A classic aircraft by any definition.

    1. Noisy, cold/hot at all the wrong times and not really comfortable.

      And THAT, Kind Sir, is my understatement of the week. I have a few miles in the -130, too, all of them flown in Thailand, the Pee Eye, and Japan.

  2. And they are STILL trying to get it right... :-D

  3. ex-Trash Hauler27 August, 2014 13:00

    The thing I liked about it, was even a 2LT could fly it well after even 30 hours. Hell, we had Aircraft Commanders who were 1LT's :-) Meanwhile the loadmasters were worn-out semi-erect MSgt's... I like turbo-props though, the hum puts you to sleep...

    1. ...the hum puts you to sleep...

      That's good for PAX and the guys in back, NOT so good for the guys on the flight deck. ;-)

  4. Happy birthday to the C130 - Nice!


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