History Construction List

Lockheed Martin C-130. 2009

316 Section 2009-03-24

Lockheed Martin C-130 E Hercules

Poland

History

History until delivery of the first copy of the Lockheed C-130 E Hercules nb 1501 on 2009-03-24.

Polish C-130 E nb 1501 No. 70-127773 lands in Powidz on 2009-03-24. Photo by PSP
Polish C-130 E nb 1501 No. 70-127773 lands in Powidz on 2009-03-24. Photo by PSP

Construction history

Since the end of World War II, about 400 aircraft have been developed for air forces, but only a few of these constructions have become legendary and are still in operation and production. The legendary aircraft include the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transporter. We remember, in the 80's looking for a successor to the C-130, it was found that this machine can only replace - C-130.

On 1951-02-02, USAF announced the demand for a new medium transport aircraft, the successor of the Fairchild C-119 Flaing Baxcar. It should be written that the new aircraft also replaced; C-97 Stratofreighter, C-118, C-121. The requirements are written; transport of 92 soldiers or 64 skydivers over a distance of 3,220 km, the ability to transport cargo weighing 13,608 kg, over a distance of 950 miles without refueling in the air, able to operate from unpaved airports, equipped with rear loading doors. An interesting requirement was not to interrupt the task due to the failure of one of the engines, which indicated a four-engine system.

Companies have entered the competition; Fairschild, Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed, which together presented 9 projects. At Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, the designer team was led by Lockheed's chief designer Willis Hawkins. The designation received the designation L-206. Allison T-56 turboprop engines were chosen as the propulsion. Turbo-jet engines were rejected due to excessive fuel consumption and therefore insufficient range. Pilot cabin and hermetic hold were designed. The hold was of considerable size; length 12.62 m, width 3.14 m, height 2.74 m, and the total volume is 127.4 cubic meters.

The winner of the competition was L-206 / Model 82, which received the designation C-130 and a little later the name Hercules. The result was announced on 1951-07-02. The company received a contract to build two prototypes that were to undergo trials at the Edwards Base. The contract for serial machines was signed on 1952-09-19, and Lockheed bought the Marietta plant in Georgia for the production of this model. Two prototypes were designated YC-130, and the first of them made the first flight on 1954-08-23, in Burbank, California. During the tests it turned out that the machine's performance is about 30% better than declared. The silent plane immediately became a new direction in the transport aircraft department.

Series production of aircraft began in 1954 and included five basic transport versions and about 70 special-purpose vehicles. In 1977, 1,500 copies were put into operation. In total, over 2,200 machines were built by 2000 and nearly 2,400 by 2010.

Lockheed C-130 A USAF on the fly. Highly visible nose without a radar and three-blade propellers. 1959. Photo by LAC.
Lockheed C-130 A USAF on the fly. Highly visible nose without a radar and three-blade propellers. 1959. Photo by LAC.

Lockheed C-130 Hercules for Poland.

The first offer to transfer Hercules for Poland appeared in the first half of the 1990s, when the Air and Air Defense Forces presented a proposal to transfer four C-130 B previously used by the US Air Force. This proposal was not used.

Attempts to acquire C-130 aircraft began in the years 2002–2003. Talks aimed at acquiring six C-130 K Hercules aircraft withdrawn from British service at the Royal Air Force were then initiated. At the same time, taking into account budget constraints, actions were taken to obtain a non-repayable loan from the US government FMF (Foreign Military Financing). Among these six machines were; 4 basic C-130 K and 2 C-130 K-30 with extended fuselage.

C-130 K at the airport. 2000. Photo by LAC
C-130 K at the airport. 2000. Photo by LAC

C-130 K-30 in flight. 2000. Photo by LAC
C-130 K-30 in flight. 2000. Photo by LAC

Due to the high consumption of C-130 K aircraft, the program was canceled.

New offer to acquire C-130 aircraft. 2005.

The US side was as strong as Poland's interest in acquiring C-130 medium transport aircraft. Therefore, at the end of 2005, a new proposal appeared. Five C-130 E machines from USAF were offered to Poland. Negotiations began again.

Polish future C-130 E nb 1505 No. 70-127763 preserved. 2007. Photo by LAC
Polish future C-130 E nb 1505 No. 70-127763 preserved. 2007. Photo by LAC

Training of personnel flying C-130 E Hercules aircraft.

Staff training began in Poland from improving English to ECL 80-85 for pilots and ECL 70-75 for ground personnel. Technical language training was conducted in the USA. Technical training in the USA and Poland. This training was already started in 2005.

In 2008, the first flying personnel were sent to the US. Recruitment was carried out among pilots of the An-26, C-295 M and M-28 aircraft. The training was conducted at the 118th National Aviation Transport Wing of Nashville.

On November 11, 2008, after 11 weeks of intensive flight training in Nashville, USA, the first two crews of Polish C-130 E Hercules passed appropriate exams and became able to pilot these machines. Polish pilots, under the watchful eye of instructors from the 118th Wing of the National Guard Transport Aviation, gained theoretical knowledge during this time, they trained on flight simulators and aircraft.

The first group of Polish pilots trained on C-130 E Hercules planes. 2008. Photo by PSP
The first group of Polish pilots trained on C-130 E Hercules planes. 2008. Photo by PSP

By February 2009, two complete crews had been trained in the US; 4 pilots, 2 navigators, 2 deck technicians, 2 loading technicians and 25 ground personnel. Another three trained crews returned to the country in March 2009. This way the training package was closed. Poland has conducted further talks, as a result of which 5 crews are to be trained. It will then be optimum, i.e. two crews per aircraft. To fully utilize the capabilities of the aircraft, there is a need to train 3 crews per aircraft and to direct flying personnel twice a year for training on simulators in the USA for a period of 3-5 days (no such simulator in Europe).

Delivery of C-130 E to Poland. 2009.

On 2009-03-24, the C-130 E launched from the USAF base airport in Germany, which appeared over the airport in Powidz in the company of two F-16 Jastrząb. He made a circle over the airport and at 12; 25 he was down. In this way, the PSP began operating the C-130 Hercules.

The first C-130 E Hercules nb 1501 in the Polish Army. Among the guests is the US Ambassador. Powidz 2009-03-24. Photo by PSP
The first C-130 E Hercules nb 1501 in the Polish Army. Among the guests is the US Ambassador. Powidz 2009-03-24. Photo by PSP

The first C-130 E Hercules nb 1501 in the Polish Army. Dedication. Powidz 2009-03-24. Photo by PSP
The first C-130 E Hercules nb 1501 in the Polish Army. Dedication. Powidz 2009-03-24. Photo by PSP

The first C-130 E Hercules nb 1501 in the Polish Army. Powidz 2009-03-24. Photo by PSP
The first C-130 E Hercules nb 1501 in the Polish Army. Powidz 2009-03-24. Photo by PSP

Written by Karol Placha Hetman