- A heavy-duty transport aircraft designed by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation for the United States Air Force (USAF) in the early 1950s
- Extremely popular with both military and civilian organizations because of its versatility and dependability
- Used for a variety of functions including air drops of supplies and/or troops, medical evacuations, aerial fire-fighting, mid-air refuelling, hurricane hunting and the capture of satellite data capsules
- Canada was one of the earliest foreign users of the Hercules (after Australia) beginning with the purchase of four CC-130B models in the 1960s and continuing to the present day’s “J” models
- Affectionately known as the “Herky Bird”
- The C-130 has the longest, continuous military aircraft production run in history and one of the top three longest, continuous aircraft production lines of any type
Not long after the Korean War began in 1950, the USAF realized the need for a new military transport aircraft that could handle combinations of troops and heavy cargo, get in and out of tight places and do so on rough terrain. The successful bidder was Lockheed, and by 1954 the first prototype took to the air.
In naming the aircraft, Lockheed looked to the constellation Hercules, named for the Greco-Roman demigod renowned for his strength. This has proven an apt name given the aircraft’s reputation as a strong, dependable aircraft.
The Hercules boasts a number of features that contribute to its versatility and endurance. Its pressurized fuselage enables the carrying of troops, the specially-designed cargo ramp and door coupled with a high-wing design allow for straight-in loading, and the unobstructed hold facilitates carrying vehicles. The Hercules can also be fitted with skis for winter/northern operations.
Features such as these made the Hercules the right choice for the RCAF in the 1960s when it was looking for support aircraft. With North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) obligations overseas and sovereignty operations in Canada’s north, the RCAF found the Hercules to be the adaptable heavy-lifter it required to move troops and supplies efficiently.
The Hercules continues to serve a variety of military and civilian needs in over 70 countries around the world. Throughout its history, more than 2,500 Hercules aircraft have been produced and all signs point to a continued global presence.
Reserve Hangar, Canada Aviation and Space Museum
Transfer from Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)
The Museum’s Hercules was one of 24 CC-130E models purchased by the RCAF between December 1964 and August 1968.
It entered service in February of 1965 with 435 Squadron at RCAF Station Namao, now known as Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Edmonton. In the mid-1970s it was transferred to CFB Winnipeg where the aircraft was fitted with navigator training platforms. These platforms allowed navigators to train not only to work with Hercules aircraft but also with the Argus and Aurora aircraft. In 1991, it was converted for search and rescue duty and transferred to 424 Squadron at CFB Trenton.
The longest serving Hercules in Canada, it made its final flight in April of 2016 when it landed at the Museum. In all, it flew just over 47,000 flying hours coming within only a few hours of its maximum serviceable life.
|Wing Span||40.41 m (132 ft 7 in)|
|Length||29.79 m (97 ft 9 in)|
|Height||11.66 m (38 ft 3 in)|
|Weight, Empty||33,060 kg (72,885 lb)|
|Weight, Gross||70,310 kg (155,000 lb)|
|Cruising Speed||555 k/h (345 mph)|
|Max Speed||618 k/h (384 mph)|
|Rate of Climb||558 m (1,830 ft) /min|
|Service Ceiling||7,040 m (23,100 ft)|
|Range||7,220 km (4490 mi)|
|Power Plant||4 Allison T56-A-7A turboprop engines, 4,050 shp|