autoevolution
 

C-130J Super Hercules Hides in the Shadows, Can’t Hide Impressive Muscle

Whereas the most visible stars of the American Air Force (USAF) are obviously the fighter jets, there is one other breed of flying machines that makes military efforts in faraway lands possible and successful: transport aircraft. And one fine representative of the breed is the C-130J Super Hercules.
C-130J Super Hercules 21 photos
C-130J Super HerculesC-130J Super Hercules during Arctic SWAT exercise in AlaskaLockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130Lockheed Martin C-130C-130J Super Hercules with the 815th Airlift Squadron
Appropriately named so on account of its lifting capabilities, the airplane came about in the mid-1990s as an upgrade of the older Lockheed C-130 Hercules. In its manufacturer’s own words, it is presently the world’s longest continuously-produced military aircraft, and no other one in history matches its “relevance and versatility.”

Depending on use, there are several variants of the Super Hercules. The most important are the C-130J-30, the main cargo configuration, the KC-130J, a short-body model capable of providing aerial refueling, the C-130J-SOF which comes with sensors and weapons suitable for special operations, and the LM-100J, the newest of the bunch, an FAA-certified commercial freighter. Non-USAF organizations also use their own variants for firefighting (FireHerc) and maritime patrol.

All of the variants above (over 450 aircraft deployed with over 24 different operators from 20 countries) have clocked over 2 million flight hours combined since introduction, and are holding no less than 54 aviation records.

The C-130J Super Hercules shown in the main photo of this piece (shown is perhaps too strong of a word, given how all we see is the shadowy outline of the thing) is deployed with the 317th Airlift Wing out of the Dyess Air Force Base in Texas.

It was snapped by a Nikon camera-wielding Senior Airman back in early January, as the plane was sitting on the flight line of the Alexandria International Airport in Louisiana, getting ready for the Green Flag Little Rock 22-03 held there.

Despite not much of it being visible in the darkness, one can easily be amazed by the impressive outline of the beast over the blue-orange sky, making it a perfect fit for this weekend’s Photo of the Day feature.

Editor's note: Gallery shows other C-130s.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories