The Contrails: Aircraft, Weapons Systems: C-130 Hercules

  • Published
  • By Public Affairs staff
  • U.S. Air Force Academy Public Affairs

Manufacturer: Lockheed

Function: Theater
Tactical Airlift

Modified Functions:
Tanker, Special Operations, Reconnaissance,
Airborne Command Post, Special Mission

Service Date: 1956

Speed: 366 mph

Crew: Five

Production: 2,200+ Inventory: 428

Commentary: Basic and specialized versions of the C-130 Hercules transport operate throughout USAF, performing diverse roles in diverse situations, including airlift support, Arctic ice cap resupply, aeromedical missions, aerial spray missions (AFRC), fire-fighting duties (AFRC and ANG) for the US Forest Service, gunship, special operations, and natural disaster and humanitarian relief missions.

Major Variants:
AC-130U “Spectre” Gunship
C-130E/H/J “Hercules” Inter-theater Airlift
DC-130 Drone Launch/Control
EC-130E “Commando Solo” Command/Control
EC-130H “Compass Call” Electronic Warfare
HC-130 “Combat King” Tanker/Combat Rescue
LC-130H Arctic Operations
MC-130E/H “Combat Talon” Special Operations
MC-130W “Combat Spear” Special Operations
MC-130P “Combat Shadow” Special Operations
WC-130 “Hurricane Hunter” Weather Operations