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Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
Also Known As: Hurricane Hunter and WeatherBird
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: C-130 Hercules
Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
23 August 1954
Family Members: AC-130J Ghostrider
, AC-130U Spooky
, C-130H Hercules
, C-130J Super Hercules
, CC-130J Super Hercules
, EC-130J Commando Solo
, KC-130J Super Hercules
, MC-130H Talon II
, MC-130J Commando II
and MC-130W Combat Spear
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Description: The Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules is a medium-size transport aircraft designed to operate from rough dirt strips. The first prototype, the YC-130A, maiden flight took place in 1954. The first model C-130A achieved initial operational capability in December1956 becoming thereafter the most important cargo transport aircraft of the free world. Since then, the C-130s had assumed a wide range of military tasks such as airlift, airdrop, reconnaissance, special operations, close air support, electronic warfare, air refueling, etc. The C-130 features an aft loading ramp and door and is able to accommodate a wide variety of oversized cargo, including everything from utility helicopters and six- to eight-wheeled armored vehicles to standard palletized cargo and military personnel. The Hercules can be configured to carry out different missions and re-configured to its original cargo transport mission.
To date, more than 2,400 C-130s in more than 70 variants to five basic models (A, B , E, H and J) have been produced for customers worldwide. In the first decade of 21st century the majority of C-130s in service belong to the E, H and J basic models introduced in the early 1960s, in the 1970s and late 1990s respectively. The US Air Force, Navy and Marines operate the C-130 aircraft as well as the air forces of 66+ other nations worldwide. The US Air Force plans to convert the surviving E and H models to the C-130AMP (Avionics Modernization Program) configuration beginning in 2007. AMP covers avionics modernization and some engine improvements to keep the fleet flying and serviceable well beyond 2020.
The C-130J achieved initial operational capability in 1999. The WC-130J is a derivative of the C-130J tactical transport aircraft specially modified to perform weather reconnaissance missions. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron at Keesler Air Force Base in Missouri received eight aircraft in 1999 and two more in 2000 totaling 10 WC-130Js. Assigned to hurricane hunting the new aircraft has 29 percent more thrust than those it replaced, which means WC-130J can fly higher and faster. It can reach 28,000-ft (8,500 meters) in 14 minutes and it's a lot more fuel efficient than its predecessor allowing to go farther.
WC-130J inherits C-130J glass cockpit and avionics, including two head-up displays and computers, which represent reduced workload for aircrews and allowing crew members to spend more time on mission work. The United States National Hurricane Center gets all the weather information needed from the plane straight from the eye of the storm. Then forecasters can use the data to provide a more trustworthy hurricanes and/or storms path prediction. The WC-130J storm hunter aircraft was deployed for the first time ever on 20 May 2005 by the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron, dubbed Hurricane Hunters, based at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. Hurricane Adrian appeared in the Pacific off the coast of Central America and was threatening El Salvador. The first flight mission lasted for over 11 hours.
Number of Engines: 4
Height: 11.4 meter (37.4 foot)
Length: 29.3 meter (96 foot)
Wingspan: 39.7 meter (130 foot)
Ceiling: 10,058 meter (32,999 foot)
Max Range: 4,390 kilometer (2,370 nautical mile)
Max Power at TakeOff: 18,364 shp (13,700 kW)
Top Speed at High Altitude: 196 mps (381 KTAS)
Max Takeoff Weight: 70,308 kilogram (155,000 pound)
Payload: 21,151 kilogram (46,629 pound)
CEP: Circular Error Probable
Meters (m) Kilometers (km) Nautic Miles (nm) Inch (in) Yard (yd) Foot (ft) Millimeter (mm)
Pound (lb) Kilogram (kg) kN (KiloNewton) Ton (t)
Meters per Second (mps) Kilometers per Hour (kph) Knot (kt) Miles per Hour (mph)
Liter (l) Galon (gl)
Year (yr) Minutes (min) Second (sec)
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10 May 2007 and 12 Feb 2014
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