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C-130J Super Hercules Is Arctic SWAT Poster Plane Flying Over Alaska

Generally speaking, winters in Mississippi are not all that scary. The state only gets under an inch of snow on average each year, as opposed to Alaska, which averages 64 inches. Massive differences can be seen when it comes to temperatures as well. And we mentioned these facts because the C-130J Super Hercules that is the star of this story is somehow related to both states.
C-130J Super Hercules during Arctic SWAT exercise in Alaska 19 photos
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You see, airplanes are generally made to operate in a wide range of conditions, but their deployment to this or that base does end up influencing some of the airplane’s performances, not to mention those of the crew.

This is why, from time to time, airplanes and personnel are taken out of their comfort zones and sent to places that are the exact opposite of the ones they like to call home. That’s what happened to this transport plane, which traveled from the Keesler Air Force Base in Mississippi all the way to the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska.

The plane, belonging to the 815th Airlift Squadron, took part in the Arctic SWAT training exercise that was held there in mid-July. Among other things, the top brass wanted to see the performance of the plane and pilots “in a new environment, opposite of their home station.”

We are not informed how the exercise went, of course, but we are left with the image that is the main pic of this piece (click photo to enlarge), and it is one for the ages, with the grayish monstrous flying machine imprinted over the surrealistic blue of the Alaska skies and waters.

The C-130J Super Hercules is one of the newer transport airplanes made by Lockheed Martin, having arrived onto the scene 25 years ago. Since that time, 11 variants of it came to be, and the over 400 planes made since are deployed in the service of about 18 countries.

The monster can be used in a variety of roles (about 17 by Lockheed’s count), from airdrops and firefighting to gunship and combat delivery. Powered by four Rolls-Royce engines, it has a maximum take-off weight of 164,000 lb (74,389 kg) and can fly for as much as 2,500 miles (4,000 km).

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

 
 
 
 
 

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