Flock of Hercs

A crew performs pre-flight checks on a C-103E Hercules moments before a scheduled take off at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Larry A. Simmons)

Note the 6-bladed prop on the plane second from the rear in this photo. I know that J-model C-130s have these props, but I don’t know if earlier models have been upgraded or not.

And do not forget the Project Valour-IT fund raising drive. Team AF needs to kick it in gear.






If you haven’t contributed to this project, which provides voice-activated laptop computers for wounded troops who don’t have the use of their hands, please consider doing so. Every little bit makes a big difference.

Comments

  1. I notice that each Herc has all of its props lining up their blades, as though they were all on the same gear shaft. I’d have thought to see randomness here.

  2. Jerome, it’s nothing special, just the military’s penchant for making everything nice and neat.

  3. As far as I know there is only one 8 bladed version of the C-130 and it was created by Snow Aviation. I believe all the 6 bladed prop version are J’s. Boeing is spending more on thier avionics modernization program (AMP) than it cost Lockheed to put new avionics and new engines on their airplane. Iroically it is taking Lockheed twice the money and twice the time to do the same to their C-5s. Funny how when it is your money they’re spending it takes longer and costs more. Real damn funny, isn’t it? Even funnier still, Lockheed completed their J avionics upgrade program in 1998. They could have proposed that avionics system for the C-5, the advantage to you would be whatever upgrades were required for that avionics system for the later program could have been rolled into the C-130J for no additional cost. From what I understand, both Lockheed and the government worked hard to make sure that didn’t happen. Like they give a damn about your money.

  4. Those all are C-130Es (except for the lone J model in that picture) LRAFB also has one squadron of H models (H3s to be exact) but none are in this picture. As to why some blades are lines up as a cross and some in an X When the aircraft is going to sit for any length of time you want to put #1 blade up and putting #3 blade down (if you ever get a close look at a C-130 prop, most will have some sort of prop art on the #3 blade for easy reference to what blade goes down) This is to put a drain hole that is near the #1 blade up so it will lot drain. The Crew Chief will put the blades in an X for two reasons before a flight. One, to release the prop break, and two, for easy reference to let MX and crews to know what airplanes are going to be flying that morning. And for the J model….screw’em

  5. In case you haven’t noticed, there is no more bitter group of people in aviation today than those flight engineers who were replaced by computers on the C-130 flight deck. Although as a C-130 pilot friend of mine notes, the computer will never replace the flight engineer until it too can bring me coffee. Wait until they see what the next generation of cargo airplanes do without…

  6. I think it is more than just the FEs and Navs that are bitter about it..there is one area that the defensive systems still lack is the ability to clear the aircraft… there is no replacing two extra sets of eyes scanning the sky to the rear and the sides of the aircraft allowing the pilots to fly… the C-17s when in combat fly with one or two extra pilots…not to augment crew flight times but to scan… Pilots are a hell of a lot more expensive to train than a FE, Nav, Loaddie… Also, it is not the systems that people are pissed at about the J (well sort of, I will get to that in a tad) It is the prop…. this prop is not designed for the dirt and if they have to replace a prop in an area that only a herk can land… thye might have a problem fixing the plane…the prop is not an easy fit within the cargo compartment of the Herk. Now back to the systems… These things run HOT!!! so, it is much harder to do a self contained start in an hostile environment…they require a HUGE A/C system to keep the systems cool during pre-flight….so, if you want to do true tactical airlift..the C-130E and the C-130H is the way to go. There also having problems with the J model props on the Hurricane hunters delaminating… If you want to do KC/EC/HC missions or if you are going to hard runway to hard runway (air/land missions) where you also have a large infrastructure….the J model is a better aircraft… but the traditional missions and AFSOC missions, the older low tech Herk is still the way to go… HerkEng

  7. Seems hard to believe you couldn’t teach a load master to do that job. They are used to hanging out the back end already. They are supposed to be putting an infrared laser counter measures system on all C-130s soon. Very different escape tactics for those things. The current system is the same as the Hs had. I can see the composite props not being as rugged as the aluminum versions were. They are also much more efficient. So far as I know, no one has asked to go back to the older props. Part of the reason might be because of the more complex and less reliable feathering mechanism. And if heat’s a problem it is more so for the older Hercs that have to struggle to get into or out of a high, hot runway with any kind of load and fuel. The higher and hotter it gets, the more horsepower advantage the new powerplant has over the old T-56. That’s often the case when you have to torque or thrust limit a new engine in a spot designed for an older engine. I have never heard a C-130J pilot have anything but praise for the new version. Typically it’s always the flight engineers complaining – and trying to sell off their complaints as saving the taxpayer money, which is a crock.

  8. They could train the Loadmasters to do it…except there are not enough loads. There has always been a shortage of them. We never had enough to keep them as part of the hard crews…they had to rotate and then fly even more missions then the rest of us. As far as the crock..and pilots only having praise… you have not talked to enough pilots. I hear it all the time. They are limited on the locations that they can go into and the missions that they do. Basically, they have become more of the C-141 replacements. Lockheed came out with emergency restrictions on the older C-130s (what, over night it is now dangerous to do the missions that the herk has done for 50 years? No longer capable? ) This was to sell the Js… Remember, the USAF did not want the Js. It would cost a hell of a lot less to re-wing box (over rated problem…made up in most cases) and to update the systems like many nations have (Spain being one)…better rollers for MUCH MUCH less then the anal-raping that Lockheed is passing off as the J. I am not heartbroken about the FEs and Navs going away, if they could (and they very well could) kill those positions and keep the ruggedness of the older herks. They could have kept the H3s or update to an H4/5/6/7/ by now and I would be happy. What about the one door paratroop drop out of the Js? Care to address that… Also, until recently, they were not even qualified to land in the dirt…we used to have to fly in all the Italian gear and people into the Italian held dirt strip in Afghanistan…because their J models could not do it.. Also, look closely to the range and power of the J model compared to any of the -15 powered H models… and then look at the cost difference…That is my gripe, not the fact that I will no longer be able ‘to go fetch the pilot coffee’ any more .. (I never did that by the way and none of the pilots I have ever flown with would have ever stooped so low to ever have asked any of the crew to do that for them…. I do not know what kind of pilots you have ever met…..fighter pilots don’t fly herks The J is not a Herk

  9. I do like both the AMP and Snow’s C-130M… both could easily delete the Engineer and Nav. I do however believe where the C-17 program shot themselves in the foot was when they got rid of the Nav’s position…why? Because when on the rare occasion they actually fly a tactical mission and do an airdrop, they NEVER go as planned…and it never goes well when you have a pilot heads down reprogramming a computer while trying to stay on a airdrop run in…they then have to pull out of formation (and or the whole formation also has to pull out) and they have to go into a pattern and reprogram… we would go ape-shit when we had to stay behind these planes doing airdrops…why can a old stopwatch and hand held map hit the drop-zone on target (PI) on time on altitude and speed and the fancy computer systems fail EVERY TIME? Every time. Herk

  10. Wow, if it’s harder to train a loadmaster than it is a flight engineer, maybe they should have replaced the flight engineers with loadmasters a long time ago. Of course, the loadmasters all seem to love the Js too. They like the new cargo handling system that makes their job easier. It’s just the flight engineers, always griping. Seems to me like a good object lesson in why bureaucracies never fix themselves.

  11. It is a matter of supply…there isn’t enough loadmasters period. All the squadrons I was a member of were always short on loads. We would carry a 1.65 per mission vs a needed 2 per mission. (we would fly with two and they would rotate Also, it is harder to train a loadmaster when you now have to try to train them the technical side of the aircraft. There is no systems exert now on the plane and if there is an inflight emergency, the loadmaster is not trained to handle them, and the pilots for the most part is not trained to deal with them. Do the Loadmasters go through a mechanical course on the specific aircraft? No, they now have to fly with crew chiefs…(who are not mission crews and they end up getting screwed in the end) The loadmasters do love the J… yes, the rollers are a hell of a lot better and the loading and unloading is easier, I will give you that, but is it worth the increase of $50 million per airframe? The brits have some of the new rollers on the older airframes…how much did that cost them? I again do not know what pilots you have talked to but I know one DO of a J squadron very well who is fighting to get back to the older airframes because he wants to fly real missions. One of my ACs who became an Instructor and Evaluator on the Js is now back to an E model squadron and will next month be in an H model squadron also never liked the J models. They are pretty, and nice but it is not a mission hacker’s aircraft..the J is an Airland aircraft only, much less tactical…again, please tell me why they can only drop troops out of one door? 🙂 If you are going to load a box at one hard runway position, take off, and land at another hard runway position then unload a J model is the best of the C-130s to do that..but again, is it worth the $50 million increase when the upgrades to the older systems would be much less? Why is AFSOC trying so hard to keep the Js out of their command? Why would they not buy Js to fill the new MC-130W requirement? Why will they not use her as an AC-130? Why will they not use her as an MC-130? You said it right there yourself, the loadmasters job has become easier…Why would they not love it. The J model is a fine airplane, but it is not worth the extra cost when they could have done it better for much less. It again is a fine airplane but it is a different airplane, she is no herk

  12. Yeah, I’m sure it’s always better to go to war with a less capable airplane than a more capable one. Yap yap yap. Just like every displaced bureaucrat. How could they possibly survive without you? Yet, they do. And $50 million additional per airframe? Even if you don’t know what an index of inflation is that’s crap. Seems to me like good old McCain did a big investigation and chopped <$5M off the price - by getting rid of the maufacturer's warrantee. Better that the US taxpayer should warantee the airplane I guess.

  13. How is the older C-130s less capable? The ONLY thing that ever limited us was crew day. We had all the range we could ever need and speed… believe me, the J is not that much faster. I am not resorting to insults like you…but I feel you have zero knowledge on the topic…you just think that newer/more expensive is always better and that just isn’t the case in tactical airlift…the more complex, the harder it is to fix in the field. I could still have another 30 years on a C-130 as a Flight Engineer if I wanted it… Also, if you want to factor in the inflation, it will be $100 million per airframe… I was being nice. Do you understand the difference between tactical airlift and strategic airlift? What is the C-130s mission? What is the Mission of the MC-130H/W?, AC-130H/U? Why do they not trust them to the J? Also, 🙂 Why on earth did the big, bad, modern, capable C-17s NEED the older C-130Hs to help them airdrop the first days of OIF? You never answered my other question–. Listen, like I said, for the non-mission critical jobs (non-AFSOC, Non-tac) The C-130J is a great plane…but if it involves the dirt and a self contained location, the Js just can not do the mission…FE/Nav or not Aslo, like I said, they very well could make the C-130M/AMP into a Pilot/LM only aircraft and I wouldn’t loose sleep over it.

  14. C-130 AMP is a pipe dream, another Crusader. They’ll spend $2 billion ‘modifying’ the 737 avionics system to fit old airplanes that according to the ‘mullet has never died set’ are perfect the way they are, and the taxpayer footing the bill will get absolutely nothing for it. The program will collapse like a cheap lawn chair under aunt Bertha the minute they go to recompete the production phase. $2 billion being twice what Lockheed spent of their own money upgrading the avionics and engines of the C-130 when they produced the J model. And, oh my, they did it without even asking the US government if they should. They didn’t get any bureaucrats involved. Such a shame. What if everyone did business this way? Where would we be? Oh yeah, we’d be buying A400s because the under powered, analog, fatigue prone C-130H had hit the end of the road. Lockheed had 15 to 20 unsold airplanes littering the runway and no prospects for a new sale because no one would buy an H in the 25th year of it’s production for any price. But what does a bureaucrat care about that? All a bureaucrat cares about his his rice bowl. Screw everyone else.

  15. The USAF had requested more H models… The J was shoved down it’s throat. How old is the J model now? When will she become mission capable? When will more than 2% be able to do the mission? Why did Lockheed market it as a Commercial airplane…why did congress buy her as a commercial aircraft? How much is that costing tax payers? It was lockheed that ran to the USAF after they couldn’t sell the J and congered up this jr. high type drama saying that the E/H models were in danger because they could no longer do 3000 ft assault landings/TOs….what, after 50 years Lockeed data was wrong and the whole time the aircraft wasn’t capable of doing its mission? She was never capable of what she had done in the past? Balanced and unbalanced TOs… silly shit. It was the non-fliers that changed the -1 and -1-1 to make the C-130E/H less capable… I will pause to raise my BullShit flag now… Newer isn’t always better…more expensive isn’t always more capable. The Brits are unhappy with the J, the Aussies are pissed at the Js. When will they become mission capable? Did you ever answer why the J can not drop troops out of both paratroop doors? Can she drop dual 28s yet? How many dirt landings can she do before the mandatory prop changes due to delamination? (How much do those props cost again?)

  16. Oh hell, if the US government wanted the H so badly, why didn’t they buy the 15-20 H’s that were cluttering the ramp space at Lockheed’s Marietta plant? Instead Lockheed sold those, mainly to foreign governments, at a huge loss. The J model C-130 successfully threw a wrench in Airbus’ plans to replace the old E models that everyone (except certain US Air Force bureaucrats, naturally) knew were approaching the end of their useful lives. The wings had been flown off them. There is no mystery about how long a C-130 lasts after 50 years of continuous production. As for why they sold C-130s under a commercial contract, I’m sure this will be a difficult concept for a bureaucrat, but Lockheed designed and built the first C-130 with their own money. They own that design. Some modifications to the original airplane were made with thier own money, some weren’t. The extensive J modifications were made with the private funds of the Lockheed stock holder. They took a chance with that money, and not only made their money back, but also made a profit. I know that to a socialist bureaucrat that word ‘profit’ is a dirty one, but to those of us who are capitalists, who don’t bring home a check from the government or expect Uncle Sammy to take care of us the rest of our lives, that is a good thing. In fact, unlike most other military aircraft that are sold today, the profit made on the C-130J ensured that the Brits, Aussies, Norwegians, and every other country that’s bought a J has paid their fair share. I have not heard of any of these countries either publically or privately being unhappy with them, quite the contrary, actually. C-130Js are doing thier job in the war on terror every day. You can beat your socialist drum all you want, but socialism is failing us every single day. There has been one capitalist success in the defense industry in over 3 decades, and naturally people like you will try to bury it, but it is quite clear what you stand for.

  17. Dfens, I have no idea who or what you are puffing and blowing…the last 15-20 Herks built off the H line were all delivered to Peterson, USNR, Min/St.Paul, and Martinsburg (as well as a Japanese H model) 94-7320 94-7321,95-6709,95-6710,95-6711,95-6712,95-1001,95-1002,96-1003,96-1004,96-1005,96-1006,96-1007,96-1008, 165378,165379,96-7322,96-7323,96-7324,96-7325,85-1086. All except for one went to the USAF and USN. If any were waiting ‘unused’ at the end they were awaiting modifications. How have the wings been flown off of them? The wings are fine…and the wing boxes are as well…again more hype brought on my the mighty Lockheed to try to force the Js down our throats. This is the same type of hype brought on to down the crappy old useless F-15s to the curb and to bring on more joy for the F-22 (the fact is, we do not need so many superiority fighters…We need more cargo, bomber, attack, and tankers…the last thing we need is hundreds of superiority fighters (how long did the F-15s fly….actual missions over Iraq?)) The A400M will never be a threat to anyone or any sales , Airbus shot themselves in the foot over that one…it is also a piece of crap…if there was a natural successor to the C-130 it would have been the An-70, that thing has balls (and no FE… 🙂 ) A bureaucrat? It is the Bureaucrats in Congress in bed with Lockheed that forced the Js on the USAF…we didn’t want them. It was Lockheed that sent Congress a ‘warning’ that the wings are going to fall off every single C-130E/H if they did not restrict the flights and end the lives….remember, this was right after the C-130A’s wings folded in on itself in California…from shitty maintenance and lack of procedure…not a crappy design. (plus, the Js aren’t built any different in the wing box area…) I have no problems with companies making a profit…but when you sell a less capable aircraft to replace one that is just fine at double the cost…this is not good for anyone. Lockheed used to make a design and then fix it with their own money before the USAF took the plane…now it is you and I that are flipping the bill trying to just make the pile of bolts work. (tell me again why they can not drop troops out of both paratroop doors? Tell me again why they are limited to how many times they can actually do their mission and land in the dirt before they have to replace the props that silly enough will not even fin inside the C-130E/H or Js? Tell me again why they made the J model unable to do a self contained start (or a preflight with power on without an aux A/C cart?) You have not talked to the crews of the Brit/Oz C-130Js have you? 🙂 A Socialist?–me?? If it ain’t broke… I am not against profit…I am against a shitty design How do you feel about the F-16 being replaced by UAVs?

  18. Like hell they sold them to the US government. They sold them one by one to foreign governments and took a bath on each and every one. Lockheed used to build what they called ‘white tails’ to keep the assembly line full. They took a bath on those at the end of the H line. There was no demand for Hs except in your mind. The C-130 line was about to be shut down and would have been without the J. Congress bought the J for the Air Force, just like Congress bought the H for the Guard. Yet another hypocritical observation. You don’t know what Lockheed used to do. Hell, I’ve been in the aerospace business for 25 years. I know a damn sight more than you do about how business is done and what the politics of that business is.

  19. Again, I raise the Bullshit flag… You are telling me that Mighty Lockheed creates the line number after an aircraft is sold? Because there are only four that were not built…all others were sold before they were even built. So if you could provide the line numbers, this would help me out (I already have all the line numbers and at the end of the H line and the beginning of the J line…there were none that were sold to anyone besides the US and one lone aircraft to Japan. So you sir are full of shit. What are the line numbers for these ‘white tails’ at the end of the H line? Besides the Japan example, all the US military aircraft were bought years in advance. and the only other foreign planes in the mix was a couple of toe in the water Js for RAF and some Taiwan H models around the time of the H3s that went to Little Rock in the early-mid 90s Late H2? Early H3 maybe…but not in the late H3 line. You have been in the Aerospace business for 25 years…I’ll send over a fake gold tie tack for you, that’s a real great accomplishment but you have obviously lost what it means (or have never had a clue) to fly these missions. Just because its new does not mean that it is better. (Mustang II?? New Coke?? Anyone–) Good job! You might know about the reach around with congress in the business…but you have no clue what it takes to do the mission. Since you do ‘know a damn site more than I do’ …can I use you as a reference…I plan on applying to Lockheed this time next year. Why have you not answered my previous questions? They are all valid questions that are keeping the J from greatness (and yes, without Lockmart’s help, the J will achieve greatness eventually through the blood and sweat of their maintenance and crews) It is the little things that keep the crews frustrated. The fact that they have to make twice as many passes over the drop zone in the J then they did in the A/B/E/H models chaps hides (one paratroop door drops vs. two) The fact that some heavy loads are no longer able to be dropped because the lack of being able to drop with dual 28s. The fact that the range is no big deal because they are still limited by crew day and the tad extra speed gained is not enough to counter that. That fact that when they have a fault, the pilots are heads down trying to run the procedures and not flying the plane (ok for an airliner…but this ain’t no airliner, son) The sad fact is, she looks great on paper…but she is no longer a tactical airlifter. She does not like the heat, her props get torn up in the dirt but hell son, her rollers are top notch (these are the same rollers the Brits have used on their C.1 and C.3 birds for 27 years right?) Have you been to an Airlift/Tanker Association Convention? just curious– you might learn something if you go and listen to the people flying and maintaining the aircraft? As far as little demand…Not too many breaks in those line numbers eh 5360 93-1455 C-130H USAF NC ANG 156th AS 5361 93-1456 C-130H USAF NC ANG 156th AS 5362 93-1457 C-130H USAF NC ANG 156th AS 5363 93-1458 C-130H USAF NC ANG 156th AS 5364 93-1459 C-130H USAF NC ANG 156th AS 5365 93-1561 C-130H USAF NC ANG 156th AS 5366 93-1562 C-130H USAF NC ANG 156th AS 5367 93-1563 C-130H USAF NC ANG 156th AS 5368 93-1036 C-130H USAF 463rd AG 5369 93-1037 C-130H USAF 463rd AG 5370 93-2041 C-130H USAF HI ANG 204th AS 5371 93-2042 C-130H USAF HI ANG 204th AS 5372 93-1038 C-130H USAF 463rd AG 5373 93-1039 C-130H USAF 463rd AG 5374 93-7311 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5375 93-1040 C-130H USAF 463rd AG 5376 93-1041 C-130H USAF 463rd AG 5377 93-7312 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5378 94-6701 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5379 93-7313 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5380 93-7314 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5381 93-2104 HC-130H USAF AK ANG 210th RQS 5382 94-6702 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5383 165313 C-130T US Navy – Reserve VR-62 5384 165314 C-130T US Navy – Reserve VR-62 5385 165315 KC-130T US Marines VMGR-452 5386 165316 KC-130T US Marines VMGR-452 5387 93-2106 HC-130N USAF AK ANG 210th RQS 5388 93-2105 HC-130N USAF AK ANG 210th RQS 5389 94-7315 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5390 94-7316 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5391 94-7317 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5392 94-7318 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5393 94-6703 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5394 94-6704 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5395 94-7319 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5396 94-7310 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5397 94-6705 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5398 94-6706 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5399 94-6707 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5400 94-6708 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5401 94-7320 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5402 92-1094 LC-130H USAF NY ANG 139th AS 5403 94-7321 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5404 165348 C-130T US Navy – Reserve VR-62 5405 92-1095 LC-130H USAF NY ANG 139th AS 5406 165349 C-130T US Navy – Reserve VR-62 5407 165350 C-130T US Navy – Reserve VR-55 5408 ZH865 C-130J-30 Royal Air Force 5409 165351 C-130T US Navy – Reserve VR-55 5410 93-1096 LC-130H USAF NY ANG 139th AS 5411 165352 KC-130T US Marines VMGR-452 5412 165353 KC-130T US Marines VMGR-452 5413 94-8151 C-130J USAF 5414 ZH866 C-130J-30 Royal Air Force 5415 94-8152 C-130J USAF AFRC 815th AS 5416 ZH867 C-130J-30 Royal Air Force 5417 95-6709 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5418 95-6710 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5419 95-6711 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5420 95-6712 C-130H USAF WV ANG 167th AS 5421 95-1001 C-130H USAF MN ANG 109th AS 5422 95-1002 C-130H USAF MN ANG 109th AS 5423 96-1003 C-130H USAF MN ANG 109th AS 5424 96-1004 C-130H USAF MN ANG 109th AS 5425 96-1005 C-130H USAF MN ANG 109th AS 5426 96-1006 C-130H USAF MN ANG 109th AS 5427 96-1007 C-130H USAF MN ANG 109th AS 5428 96-1008 C-130H USAF MN ANG 109th AS 5429 165378 C-130H US Navy – Reserve VR-55 5430 165379 C-130H US Navy – Reserve VR-55 5431 96-7322 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5432 96-7323 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5433 96-7324 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5434 96-7325 C-130H USAF AFRC 731st AS 5435 85-1086 C-130H JASDF 401 Hikotai

  20. Gee, I wish I had a list of numbers instead of having actually seen all those unsold aircraft on the ramp. Wouldn’t that be great? Here’s an article on the C-130J. Also saw today that the Norwegians are buying some more C-130Js. I guess they weren’t too terribly disappointed in the first batch, or the second.

  21. pictures with line numbers would help… What countries did they go to? How much were they sold for and how were they configured when built? The Norwegians do not use them for tac…I said in the a previous reply, the J is great if you are going to go from hard field to hard field. For EC (CS) work she is much better… Have no answers to the other questions? No plan to fix them or will lockmart just the AF do it themselves?

  22. Dfens, You can attack me all you want but you have not answered a single one of my basic questions. I have said several times that the J model is a wonderful aircraft for everything except for Tac and AFSOC style missions…she is just not durable enough, sometimes the down and dirty basic models perform better in harsh environments… Also, about your articals..you can’t be serious…the person writing that crap got all their info from Wiki(crappi)pedia… It can not land/TO on a shorter dirt strip than an E/H…so why even say that… it is restricted to 3000′ just like the rest of them. This guy is so full of shit…first of all…the J does not have larger internal dimensions as stated—- ‘It can accommodate heavier loads with larger dimensions, such as helicopters and combat vehicles, while still taking off in shorter distances than the older planes’—- And if they are comparing the J-30 to a regular 130 then that is stupid…the weights of the C-130 are not limited by the engine power…it is limited by the ramp and door design and the max weight in the C-130 reflect that…the J is the same weight. C-130H3/J and C-130H-30/J-30 have the same weights. Max take off weights for ALL are 155,000lbs and war time wavered is 175,000lbs The max zero fuel weight for the J is 1792 lbs less than a standard H model. The J model is more fuel efficient. Max cruise speed is a tad faster, (12 kts…whoa), and can fly a smidge higher 26,500 vs. 28,000 of the J Take off distance over a 50ft obstacle for both the H and J is the same at 4,700ft The only real ass kicking over the H is in the rate of climb…1,900 fpm vs. the J’s 2,100 fpm. You keep hounding that I am a bitter Fe…well the fact of the matter is, I am no longer an FE (per the flight docs not the fact the Js took me out) I am not bitter at all… I think that on the Tactical missions/Gunship/Talon and the likes there are no replacing the older H (Super H) models. and That is why AFSOC has not and has no plans to do it. Do I think I could have made the calculations better than a computer? Yes in some cases but for most not…the computer will do just fine. I had the ability to give sound advice to the Aircraft Commander and in a hand full of situations we could have lost the plane and our lives without the years of aircraft knowledge under my belt. The J model had a bad habit of not liking a yaw in the plane…so if you loose an engine on Take off, and you are in a no shit unbalanced take off roll and you need 3 engines–the J will kill your ass…If you loose an engine, to keep the tail and nose straight she will retard power to the apposing engine. This is fully safe in all but a very few situations…but it is those situations that the C-130 is meant to fly in. Also, look at the Brits J they had to destroy in Iraq (ZH876 c/n 5460)…It has come out that it was faulty wiring. That is a costly mistake isn’t it? How much did the Brits pay for her? Around $87 Million? Will LockMart fix it? Again, I do not know where you get your info…but you have none and you have yet to answer a single one of my questions…the only thing you do is take pop shots at me because I happened to be an FE. I do not think for about 85% of the missions you would NEED an FE…the computer does a great job at engine and fuel management. What does scare me however is the fact that they took the Nav off. Even the KC-135s have retained the Nav for some missions and they have to do far less in the tactical environment. When the times slip on an airdrop/troop drop and you need to re program the computers, who is going to do it? One of the pilots? (Is this why the C-17 flies with four pilots during a no shit tac mission?….that’s cost effective!) Now you have only 3 people looking out of the airplane….safe going from Atlanta to Boston but not going from FOB Q-West to FOB Manhattan. You mentioned the IR deterrents… Find me an aircrew that trusts it even 80% and I will PayPal you $20…does it help? Yes, but we didn’t trust them (Think AFSOC will get rid if their observers?…think again) I am all for the C-130AMP …FE or no FE position