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Red Nose C-130J Super Hercules Flies Proud to Be Part of the World’s Largest C-130 Force

The 19th Airlift Wing is one of the many unsung units of the U.S. Air Force, the ones tasked not necessarily with conducting battle, but with making sure other units can do so effectively. It also happens to be the one operating the largest fleet of C-130 aircraft anywhere in the world.
C-130J Super Hercules over Arkansas 25 photos
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More to the point, between the 19th and its sibling, the 314th Airlift Wing, there are now 47 C-130J Super Hercules flying out of Little Rock Air Force Base in Arkansas, where the two are based. The last plane of the bunch arrived in the base’s care back in May 2020.

The Super Hercules is the most recent variant of the C-130 Hercules and is one of the largest in the family. From wing tip to wing tip, it measures 132 feet (40 meters), and nose to tail 112 feet (34 meters).

It can take off weighing as much as 164,000 lbs (over 74 tons), as much as 46,700 lbs (21 tons) of that being the cargo alone. According to its maker, Lockheed Martin, it can carry, in C-130J-30 configuration, 30 percent more cargo, 44 percent more paratroopers, and 50 percent more Container Delivery System (CDS) bundles than a regular Hercules.

Back in March 2022, Lockheed announced it produced the 500th Super Hercules for the USAF.  But there are more of them, as some 22 countries are using the plane. Combined, this massive fleet flew for over 2 million hours – that’s 228 years, if you really want to make some sense of it.

The one you see here flying its red nose over some woods over in Arkansas does serve the U.S. It’s deployed with the aforementioned 19th Airlift Wing (more precisely the 61st Airlift Squadron) and is seen here conducting a formation flight that took place at the beginning of the month.

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

 
 
 
 
 

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