Lockheed C-130 Hercules

Lockheed C-130 Hercules

 

Introduction

The C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turbo-prop built by the Lockheed Aircraft as a Cargo/Troop transport aircraft. Besides the basic role of hauling cargo and troops, it was used as a medevac, gunship, airborne assault, search and rescue, weather recon, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, aerial firefighting and a tactical military aircraft.

There have been more than 40 variants built since the early 1950s and is currently still being produced by now Lockheed-Martin. There have been over 2,500 C-130 Hercules of all varieties built. Nearly every country in the world has a C-130 for many purposes. There is a civilian version called Lockheed L-100 being used in over 60 nations.

The United States Air Force (USAF) was the first to receive a C-130 Hercules in 1954. Since then the United States Navy (USN), The United States Marine Corps (USMC), Royal Netherlands AirForce, Royal Australian Air Force, and Royal Air Force (RAF) have purchased the Lockheed C-130 Hercules just to name a few users.

Design and Development

The Korean War which began in 1950 and with a peace armistice (no peace treaty has ever been signed) in 1953 showed that the piston driven transports of World War II, the Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, the Douglas C-47, and the Curtiss C-46 Commando were outdated.

In 1951, USAF put out a General Operating Requirement for a new transport to the Boeing Aircraft company, Douglas Aircraft, Fairchild Aircraft, Lockheed Aircraft, Martin Aircraft, chase Aircraft, North American Aviation, Northrup Aircraft and Airlifts, Inc.

The transport should be able to carry 92 passengers, or 72 combat troops, or 64 paratroops in a cargo compartment that would be approximately 41 feet long, 10 feet wide and 9 feet high with a hinged folding ramp in the tail of the aircraft.

The ramp was necessary to be able to load military equipment such as Sheridan tanks, jeeps and other rolling stock. It also must be able to support the dropping of special airdrop cargo including rolling stock and even “cluster bombs”.

The aircraft also must be able to use four Allison T-56 turboprop engines which were being designed by Allison aircraft under a separate contract.

Four of the companies, Fairchild Aircraft, North American Aviation, Martin Aircraft and Northrup Aviation declined to bid for the contract. Of the remaining 5 companies, Lockheed and Douglas Aircraft were in close competition.

The Lockheed design team was headed by Willis Hawkins which included Hall Hibbard and Kelley Johnson. Hibbard who was vice-President and Chief Engineer asked Kelley Johnson what he thought of the low-speed and unarmed aircraft proposal.

Kelly remarked ..”that this aircraft would destroy the Lodhkeen Company”. Both Hibbard and Johnson signed the proposal and a Lockheed won the contract on 02 July 1951.

The first flight of the YC-130 was on 23 August 1954 with Stanley Beltz, Roy Wimmer, Jack Real and Dick Stanton making up the crew. Kelly Johnson flew a Lockheed P2V as a chase plane on the 61-minute flight from Burbank, California to Edwards AFB in Lancaster, California.

When the prototype testing was completed in the California desert, production began in Marietta, Georgia, where over 2,300 Hercules have been built. The C-130 A had Allison T56-A-9 turboprop engines with 3 bladed propellers.

The C-130B was developed to improve the range with pylon fuel tanks and Hamilton Standard 4 bladed propellers which became standard until the “J” model.

The C-130E had an extended range with large wing tanks and a more powerful Allison T-56-A-7A engines. A whole host of varieties of C-130s were developed through the years as it has been over 64 years since that first test flight.

One other variant was the KC-130F tanker used by the USMC for aerial refusing. The C-130H was introduced in 1974 and is still in use today by several nation’s military. In the 1990s, the C-130J came out with new engines and a 6 bladed propeller, digital avionics and other new systems.

Operational History

In 1956 the first production C-130A went to USAF at Ardmore AFB Oklahoma and Sewart AFB Tennessee. In time C-130s were assigned to nearly every theater around the world. The Royal Austrailian Air Force became the first non-American military to purchase the C-130 in late 1958. The Royal Canadian Air Force took delivery of C-i30s in 1960.

The USN/USMC wanted to test the possibility of using a Hercules to be a supply aircraft for USN aircraft carriers. A USMC KC-130 was used for 29 touch and go landings and 21 full stop landings on the USS Forrestal bu USN Pilot Lieutenant James Flatley who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and later was promoted to Rear Admiral.

The project was considered too dangerous for routine supply support and was canceled. The Grumman C-2 Greyhound was then developed as the official Carrier Onboard Delivery ((COD). The Grumman was a twin-engine, high-wing cargo aircraft designed to carry a limited amount of supplies from USN base off-shore to an aircraft carrier.

Some other specialized missions the C-130 was called on to perform in Vietnam was the FAC (forward air control l) over the Ho Chi Minh Trail to lead air strikes on specific targets by B-57 bombers to interdict the supply routes from North Vietnam to the South.

Hercules in the role of FAC would fly missions over North and South Vietnam looking for opportune targets for Allied strike craft to attack.

In Africa, in November of 1964, the C-130s assisted the United States and Belgium military in a hostage situation in the Belgium Congo which required the C-130 land landing and picking up of paratroops and air dropping them near the target areas. The rescue of hostages was a success and the rebels were captured.

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the Pakistan Air Force modified its small fleet of C-130s to carry bombs on pallets to drop on Indian targets such as bridges, artillery placements, and concentrated troop locations. The bombs which weighted about 20,000 lbs were shoved off the ramp in the aft section of the aircraft over the designed targets.

The Commando Vault operation was to drop 10,000 bombs to clear Landing Zones or LZ for helicopter operations in 1969. They also used these bombs from C-130 Hercules on enemy (VC) base camps and other appropriate targets.

This was unusual for a transport to perform such a task as the sudden shift in weight, of the aircraft, could provide a tricky situation for the pilots.

The Heavey Tea operation was for a C-130 to drop two battery pallets with sensors near the Lop NurChinese nuclear testing area to monitor China’s nuclear weapons program.

This turned out to be a grand success but required the C-130 to fly 6 1/2 hours from Takhli, Thailand to the target area and another 6 1/2 hours at low altitude to return to base.

In Conclusion

The Lockheed C-130 was designed to haul cargo, passengers, and troops to designed locations. But the diversity of it made a great artillery platform, gunship (machine guns), even a makeshift bomber.

The Forestry Service used the C-130A, which was retired by the military,  for firefighting and other forestry observing missions. The Hercules was also used to treat oil spills on the ocean, lakes or rivers.

The C-130J is still active with new engines, new electronics, six-bladed propellers and other new systems. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules has been a workhorse for many countries throughout the world and will continue to be for many nations in the years to come.

Where you can see the Lockheed C-130 Hercules

#55-037 Museum of Missouri Military Histi9ry Jefferson City, Missouri.

#56-0518 Little Rock Air Force Base Visitor Center, Little Rock Arkansas

#57-0457 Pima Air and Space Museum Tucson, Arizona

#570453 National Vigilance Park, National Security Agency, Fort George                           Meade, Maryland

#57-0489 Empire State Air Museum Schenectady County Airport, New York

#BuNo15-1891 National Museum of Naval Aviation, Pensacola, Florida.

#62-1787 National Museum of the United State Air Force, Wright-                                         Patterson   AFB, Dayton Ohio

This is Just a Partial List of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules on Display. Check With Your Local Air Museum for More Information.

Tech Specs for the Lockheed C-130H

Wingspan: 132 ft 7 in

Length: 97 ft 9 in

Height: 38 ft 3 in

Weight: 75,800 lbs (empty); Useful Load” 72,000 lbs; MTOW 155,00 lbs                         (Max Take Off Weight)

Max Speed: 366 mph; Cruise Speed 336 mph

Ceiling: 33,000 ft (empty); 23,000 ft with a 42,000 lb load

Range: 2,360 mi

Engine: 4/Allison T-56-A-15 Turboprop engines rated at 4,5900 hp each;                   4/4 bladed propellers

Crew: 5; 2 pilots, navigator, flight engineer, and loadmaster

Load Capacity: 92 Passengers or 74 Litter patients or 64 airborne troops                                     or 6 pallets of cargo.

THANKS FOR READING! I HOPE THIS WAS INFORMATIVE!

North American F 82 Twin Mustang

Introduction

The North American F-82 Twin Mustang was designed after the North American P-51 Mustang which was a long range fighter-escort from World War II. The War ended before the F-82 units could be organized, but the post-War needs were still there as a new adversary came foth–the Soviet Union.

The original designation of the P82 now became the F-82 for “Fighter”as the design was for the F-82 to be a long range escort. It was to be a replacement for the Northrup P-61 Black Widow as an all weather day/night interceptor. Although it “missed” World War Ii, it was used in the Korean War. It was the first United States Air Force (USAFF) aircraft to operate over Korea and the first to down 3 North Korean aircraft, the first to be a Yak-11.

There were 272 F-82s Twin Mustang produced

F-82 Twin Mustang

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Beechcraft D-18

Introduction

The Beechcraft D-18 also known as the “Twin Beech” is a twin engine, low wing, tailwheel aircraft that could carry 6-11 passengers built by Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas.

This aircraft was produced from 1937 to November 1969, a period of 32 years. There were over 9,000 built making it one of the worlds’ most widely used light aircraft. It had many uses cargo, passenger, VIP aircraft and many uses in the military as transport.

During and after World War Ii it was used by the military besides being a great transport, navigational trainer, bombing trainer, gunnery training, photo recon, drone target puller. The aircraft identifiers when used by the United States Army air Force (USAAF) were C-45 Expeditor, AT-7 Navigator, UC-45 Navigator and with United States Navy (USN) SNB-1 and SNB-2.

In the early pre- WWII days, it was the pre-eminent “business aircraft” and “feeder airliner”. Later it was used in civil purposes as: aerial spraying, sterile insect release, aerial firefighting, air mail delivery, air ambulance, movie productions, skydiving, freight hauling, weapon/drug smuggling (when the smugglers got caught, an aircraft auction occurred) the D-18 was also a skywriter and banner towing.

Many Beech D18s are privately own in the world with 240 registered with the United States Federal Aviation Administration.

On a personal note: I got my first twin-engine time as a young pilot, flying the D-18 on FAA radar testing station in Fontana CA. It was quite a thrill.

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The Douglas DC-3

Douglas DC-3

Introduction

In 1935, the first Douglas DC-3 took to the skies that began an incredible advancement in transportation in that started the world on its way to fast, reliable and safe way to travel. The DC-3 had a lasting effect on the airline industry and made it one of the most significant transport every made.

The Dc-3 was an all metal monoplane that was designed to be an all sleeper version of the DC-2. It was fast, reliable could operate off short runways. Plus it had a good range (for the time), easy to maintain and provide passengers with great comfort.

In the 1930s, the DC-3 pioneered many new routes across the country, making it possible to fly transcontinental in a matter of a few hours. It was the first airliner to make money by carrying passengers alone.

The Civil DC-3 ended production in 1942, but the military venison, the C-47 (also known as the Dakota in England) continued on in production until 1950. There were 607 Civil DC-3s and over 16,000 of the military venison of all types built between 1936 and 1950.

After World War II, as aviation technology advanced, big four-engine aircraft like the Lockheed Constellation and the DC-4 replaced the smaller DC-3. However, the DC-3 continued to service many communities through the years.

There were estimated over 2,000 DC-3s still flying as of 2013 throughout the world. Most of these aircraft were used as a “niche “role, quite a testament to the design of this popular and sturdy aircraft.

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The Boeing 314 Flying Boat

 Introduction

The Boeing 314 Flying Boat also known as the Boeing Clipper was built by Boeing Airplane Company from 1938-1941. It was used by two airlines and later the United States Navy (USN) for long range flights across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

There were only 12 built,  these going to Pan American Airways. Pan Am sold three Clippers to British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC). The nine Flying Boats at Pan Am were later transferred to United States Navy (USN).

The Boeing 314 was a marvelous aircraft of its day but had a short life span as it was retired in 1946.

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North American A-36 Apache

Introduction

North American Aircraft produced a relatively unknown ground attack and dive bomber called the Invader or A-36 during World War II. This was a brother to the North American P-51 Mustang however it had rectangular, slatted dive brakes above and below the wing.

It served from 1942-1944 in North Africa, Mediterranean, Italy and the China-Burma-India theaters.

North American built 500 of the A-36 Apache which were used by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) which were retired in 1945.

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The de Havilland Mosquito, Night Fighter

Introduction

The de Havilland Mosquito was an all wooden framed  twin engined aircraft built primarily in England  during World War II.  It’s  roles were varied.  It was used as a Light Bomber, Fighter-bomber, Night Fighter, Maritime Strike Aircraft and Photo Recon Aircraft.

It was also adapted through various variants for day time low to Medium altitude tactical Bomber, and Pathfinder.  The British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) used the Mosquito as a high speed flying between England and neutral countries, sometimes through enemy airspace, with high value cargoes.

They could carry one passenger, seated in the “bomb bay”.  I wouldn’t t think this would offer much of a view. unless the bomb bay doors were opened, then the thrill of a lifetime for a few minutes.

In 1941, the first of many Mosquito variants were produced.  The Mosquito was the fastest operational aircraft in the world at that time.   It’s first role was an unarmed high-speed photo-recon aircraft.  The first Mosquito bomber entered  Royal Air Force (RAF) in November of 1941.

The Mosquito saw service from mid 1942-to Mid-1943 in missions against factories, railways and other strategic targets in Germany.  In June of 1943, they were formed into a unit called the Light Night Strike Force as pathfinders for the “Heavies” such as Lancasters.

The Mosquito could deliver a 4,000 “block buster bomb” to a designed target.  Their role as a night fighter started in in 1942, as they intercepted Luftwaffe raids over England.   The very versatile Mosquito was also used as a “strike aircraft” in preparation for “D-Day” also known as Operation Overlord in 1944.

The Mosquito flew with the RAF, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and the United States Army Air Force.  There were 7,731 (all models and variants) produced from 1940-1950.

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The P-61 Black Widow by Northrop

 INTRODUCTION

Northrop aircraft designed the first operational night fighter called the P-61 Black Widow.  It was an all metal, twin-engine, twin-tailed aircraft developed during World War II with a crew of 3. It had four forward firing 20mm Hispano M2  cannons mounted in the lower fuselage and four 50 cal M2 Browning machine guns in a remote dorsal gun turret.

The crew consisted of pilot, gunner and an radar operator.  Although not produced in large numbers, the Black Widows were an effective night fighter used by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) in the European Theater, Pacific Theater, the China-Burma Theater and the Mediterranean Theater.

On 14 August 1945, a P-61 (Lady in the Dark) scored the last victory of World War II (VJ Day).  When World War II ended the P-61 now designated F-61 served as a all-weather, day/night intercepter for the now called United States Air Force (USAF) until 1950.

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The Douglas A-20 Havoc

 Introduction

The Douglas A-20 Havoc was World War II light bomber attack and recon aircraft. Its users, besides the United States Army Air Force (USAAF), were Soviet Air Forces, Soviet Naval Aviation and the British Royal Air Force (RAF) which called the A-20, Boston.

It was also used by air forces of Australia, South Africa, France and the Netherlands.  Brazil  obtained the Havoc and after the War.  There 7,478 Havocs built for all users .

Design and Development

Donald Douglas, in March of 1937, led a design team that included Ed Heinmann and Jack Northrop that designed a new light bomber that was to be powered by 2 Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp-Junior radial engines rated at 450 hp each.

However another design model very similar being used in the Spanish Civil War indicated the proposed aircraft  Model 7A as Douglas named it, was extremely underpowered and could carry very little if any ordnance.

Donald Douglas, in response to a USAAF request for a attack aircraft, placed Ed Heinmann as head of the design team replaced the R-985 with Pratt & Whitney R-1830 Twin Wasp engines and now called Model DB-7B for the USAAF proposal.  Competition for this bid was strong, with North American NA-40, Stearman X-100 and Martin 167F.  Although the DB-7B was very maneuverable and fast, the USAAF did not place any orders with Douglas.

However the French Purchasing Commission  who were in the country looking for American armament of various types, were attracted to the DB-7B.    The “Munich Crisis” was in progress and the French wanted new weapons to counter the German aggression and they  ordered 270 DB-7s.

Although DB-7 aircraft were not the fastest or as long-ranged as some other aircraft in this class (light bomber), it was rugged and dependable with good speed and maneuverability.

One of Britain’s RAF test pilots, said “The Boston has no vices, very easy to take off and land…The aeroplane represents a definite advantage in the design of flying controls, extremely pleasant to fly and maneuver.  Former Boston pilots found it their favorite aircraft of the war dut the ability to toss it around like a fighter.  The Boston bomber/night fighter was found to be extremely adaptable and found a role in every combat theater of the ar, and excelled as a true ‘ pilots aeroplane’.”

The DB-7 series ended on 20 September 1944 with a total of 7,098 had been built by Douglas and another 380 by Boeing.  The Douglas ability to mas produce aircraft, when the Havoc production was over, the Santa Monica, California plant was quickly re-designed and refurbished and immediately started producing the A-20 Havoc series for the USAAF.

The plant itself was only 700 feet long but by looping back this made the assembly a mile long.  Manhours were reduced 50% for some areas of operation and production efficiency was increased.

Operational History

France

The French had ordered 270 DB-7s (Douglas Bomber 7) variant as they wanted to modify the aircraft with their machine guns and instruments.  They started out with the Pratt and Whitney R-1830–SC3-G radial engine,  rated at 1,000 hp.  Later tt was changed to the Pratt and Whitney R-1830-S3C-G radial engine rated at 1,100 hp.  The fuselage was narrower and deeper.

The DB-7s were shipped to Casablanca in North Africa for asembly and sent to France.  When the germans attacked France in May of 1940,the 64 available of the DB-7s were used against the Germans.

After the fall of France, the remaining DB-7s went to North africa but fell under the control of the Vichy French.  They were used against the Allied invasion of French North Africa.  After French (Vichy) forces sided with the Allies, the remaining French DB-7s were used as trainers.

Great Britian (RAF)

The RAF bought the undeliverable DB-7s as France had fallen to the Germans.  The Bostons as the RAF renamed them saw action in the Mediterranean and North Africa.  During and after the “Battle of Britain” the Boston II were used as night fighters with 8 /30 cal machine guns in the wings..

Some were used as “Turinlite aircraft where the aircraft had been fitted with a powerful searchlight in the nose of the aircraft.  The Boston would be directed by a radar operator on the ground in the proximity of an enemy on a bombing or escort run at night.  The pilot of the Boston would turn on the searchlite on the enemy aircraft and the Boston’s escorting RAF aircraft would attack the blinded enemy.  This practice discontinued in early 1943.

United States Army Air Force

In the 1930s, the United States Army Air Corp (USAAC) was reluctant to pursue any purchases of the A-20.  When they saw the improved versions and variants sold to the French and RAF, they became more interested.  The USAAC was interested in two versions, the A-20 for high altitude bombing and the A-20A for medium and low level bombing.

Over all USAAC ordered over 1,000 A-20s of different models with about 600 going to the USSR in the lease-lend deal..  The USAAC received 356 A-20s that wereorginally bought by France but could no longer be delivered because the German take over of France.

Pacific 

In 1942 the first operational unit that saw combat was the 89th Bombardment Squadron that served in New Guinea.    It was found that Japanese air defenses in the South Pacific were not nearly as deadly as the German air defences in Europe.

There wasn’t any need for a Bombardier in the aircraft and extra machine guns were mounted on the nose  giving them devastating fire power at low altitude.  The low level attack would wipe out ground targets  like aircraft and hangers, and supply dumps.  On the ocean the forward gun power was so devastating against the bombs could be literally skipped against supply ships an destroyers.

Europe and Mediteranean 

In July of 1942, the first USAAF “Boston” squardonron manned RAF A-20s in the first combat by American forces in theat type of aircraft.  They saw service in North Africa, Italy and Corsica France.

It was found the the German air defenses were, especially flak, caused high loses at low altitude, thus medium level bombing was adopted.  In 1944 the Havoc begin recon sorties until the end of the war, as more advanced fighter bombers took over their manin chore.

Where you can see the Douglas A-20 Havoc

#41-19393 Wings Museum Balcombe, England

#43-21709  Lewis Air Legends San Antonio,

#43-22200 National Museum if the United State air Force Dayton, Ohio

#4321627 Pima Air and Space Museum Tucson, Arizona

Tech Specs for the A-20 Havoc

Wingspan: 61 ft 4 in

Length: 47 ft 8 in

Height: 17 ft 7 in

Weight: 16,693 lbs (empty) 24,127 lbs (MGTOW)

Max Speed: 317 mph

Ceiling: 23,700 ft

Range: 945mi (combat)

Engine: 2/Wright R-2600-23  Twin Cyclone radial rated 1,600 HP

Crew: 3

 

THANKS,  FOR READING! I HOPE THIS WAS INFORMATIVE!

The Grumman A-6 Intruder

Introduction

The Grumman A-6 Intruder was an all-weather medium attack aircraft used by the United States Marine Corp (USMC) and United States Navy (USN). The Intruder was a replacement for the piston driven Douglas A-1 Skyraideer.

When the A-6 was scheduled for replacement, the strike mission was taken over by the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The first A-6 flight was on 19 April 1960. The USN retired the last active Intruder on 28 February 1997. Grumman Aircraft built 693 A-6 Intruders.

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