Massive HC-130J Combat King Sitting on the Flight Line Looks Straight Out of a Video Game

Recent conflicts have brought to light some peculiar - let’s call them - advertising stunts from some of the world’s militaries. For example, some of you might remember how, several years ago, the Russians might have used video games stills to "prove" Americans are in cahoots with ISIS in Syria.
HC-130J Combat King II at Moffett Federal Airfield in California 7 photos
Photo: USAF/Airman Josey Blades
HC-130J Combat King IIHC-130J Combat King IIHC-130J Combat King IIHC-130J Combat King IIHC-130J Combat King IIHC-130J Combat King II
Such occurrences have been made possible by the advancements made in video game technology, which can now pretty faithfully replicate the real world. But this blurring of the lines between the virtual world and reality works the other way around as well.

Just take a look at the main image of this pic (click photo to enlarge). It shows an HC-130J Combat King II sitting peacefully on the flight line at the Moffett Federal Airfield in California. Behind it, an army of other airplanes, the lights of the city, and above a slightly cloud-covered sky with the last remnants of light from a setting sun coming from the right.

Now, the image shows an as-real-as-they-get airplane. We’re talking about the U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) only dedicated fixed-wing Personnel Recovery platform, a Lockheed HC-130-derived machine that has been around for about a decade now.

This one is deployed with the 130th Rescue Squadron headquartered at the said base, one of the younger USAF units, that has been around since 2003.

Like all others of its breed, this Combat King is powered by four Rolls Royce turboprop engines that allow it to lift 164,000 pounds (74,389 kilograms) and achieve speeds of up to 364 mph (586 kph).

Yet, despite knowing all of the above, the perfectly captured image of the airplane makes us unable to stop the feeling we’re staring at a still coming straight out of a video game, although to our knowledge at the moment, this particular monster is featured in none.

Or, if you like, a wallpaper-grade image created in one of those fancy photo editing programs.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows other HC-130J Combat King IIs.

About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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