MC-130J Air Commando II Puts on a Show for USAF and RAAF Airmen

Most of us are completely mesmerized by the sleek lines, incredible speeds, and deadly firepower military jets come with, and often think they're the best out there. But no matter how exciting these planes are, when a massive transport plane shows up, all eyes turn to that.
MC-130J Air Commando II 8 photos
Photo: USAF/1st Lt. Joshua Thompson
Ac-47 Spooky and AC-130J GhostriderAc-47 SpookyAc-47 Spooky and AC-130J GhostriderAc-47 SpookyAc-47 SpookyAC-130J GhostriderAC-130J Ghostrider
These sluggish beasts have been around ever since airplanes were invented, and have become over the years the backbone of military operation overseas.

Take the MC-130J Commando II. Made by Lockheed Martin and based on the mighty C-130, it is officially described as a multimission combat transport/special operations tanker. It’s primary goal is to provide air refueling for helicopter or tilt-rotor aircraft, aid with infiltration and exfiltration, and resupply troops by airdrop or airland.

The thing, first deployed in 2011, is powered by four Rolls-Royce turboprop engines that develop 4,591 shaft horsepower of thrust. It has a wingspan of 132 feet (39 meters), and can reach a top speed of 416 mph (670 kph).

The MC-130J comes with a takeoff weight of 164,000 pounds (74,400 kg) and can fly at an altitude of up to 28,000 feet when carrying a 42,000 pounds payload (19,000 kg). Crewed by two pilots, one combat systems officer, and two loadmasters, the MC-130J Air Commando II can fly as far as 3,000 miles (4,800 km) on a single load of fuel.

The one you’re looking at (click main photo to enlarge), beautifully captured in a photo by 1st Lt. Joshua Thompson of the U.S. Air Force (USAF), is seen flying off the coast of New South Wales, Australia, during an exercise called Teak Action 21, that took place there earlier this July.

Through the open door of another, unspecified cargo aircraft, five airmen with the USAF and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) are watching the MC-130J flying in close formation, putting on quite the show for them.
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Editor's note: Gallery shows Ac-47 Spooky and AC-130J Ghostrider heritage flight.

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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