Fact file: Lockheed Martin C130BZ Hercules

2370

Designation:
Lockheed Martin C130BZ Hercules
Type:    
Medium tactical transport.
Country of origin:               
United States.
First flight:                            
August 23, 1954.
Delivered to the SAAF:      
January 1963 (#401-407).
Associated project name(s):
Ebb (21st Century upgrade).
Number:
9. 
Cost:     
US11.9 million (1998 constant dollars) for similar C130E.
Crew:    
Pilot, co-pilot, navigator, flight engineer & loadmaster.  
Major dimensions & weights
·         Wingspan:    
·         Length:         
·         Height:                          
·         Wing area:                   
·         Cabin length:
·         Cabin width:                
·         Cabin height:
·         Basic empty weight:   
·         Max take-off weight:
·         Max landing weight:  
·         Max internal fuel:      
·         Max external fuel:     
·         Max cargo weight:     
·         Cargo capacity:          
·         Passengers:                  
·         39.7m (132ft 7in).
·         29.78m (about 97ft).
·         11.9m (38ft 10in).
·         –
·         12.31m (40ft).
·         3.12m (119in).
·         2.74m (9ft)
·         35.5mt.
·         77.5mt.
·         –
·         –
·         –
·         19mt.
·         6 standard pallets
·         90 troops, 64 paratroops, 74 stretchers.
Performance
·         Take-off to clear 15m:
·         Landing from 15m:   
·         Rate of climb:             
·         Service ceiling:            
·         Max operating speed:        
·         Max cruise speed:        
·         Max range at cruise speed:           
·         Stall speed:   
·         G-loads:        
·         Wing loading:
·         Thrust:          
·         Bypass ratio:    
·         Thrust/weight ratio:
·         –
·         –
·         –
·         9150m.
·         –
·         - 
·          
·         3539km with max payload, 7803km (4850 miles) with max fuel.
·         –
·         –
·         –
·         –
·         –
·         –
Engine Specifications
·         Make:                           
·         Model:                          
·         Type:                            
·         Number:                       
·         Compression ratio:     
·         Engine diameter:        
·         Engine length:             
·         Dry weight:                  
·         Power turbine rotor speed:
·         Shaft horsepower:      
Propeller:                              
·         Allison.
·         T56-A-7A.
·         Turboprop.
·         4.
·         –
·         –
·         –
·         –
·         –
·         4200.
·         –
Hard points:        
Some models can accommodate under-wing hard-points for fuel tanks.
Armament:                          
None usually fitted, although the US operates a heavily armed gunship version code-named Spectre.   
Other attachments:            
None.
Comment:           
The SAAF C-130 fleet consists of seven platforms (401 – 407) purchased in 1963 before a US arms embargo was imposed on South Africa’s apartheid government and five received in 1997/8 from the US (two ex-USAF C-130B’s, #408 and 409, and three ex-USN C-130F’s, #410 – 412) as part of their Excess Defence Articles programme. The two ex-US C-130Bs and a C-130F (411) were subsequently put in service, but the C-130F was retired soon thereafter.
The nine-strong fleet underwent a major refit from December 1996, when Marshall Aerospace of Cambridge in the UK and Denel was contracted to upgrade the aircraft as part of Project Ebb, fitting inter alia digital avionics in the place of the electromechanical. The upgrade was not without delay and infighting between Marshalls and Denel and ran at least three years over its expected date of completion, set for June 2002.
The last aircraft, two former US platforms, were scheduled to rejoin the SAAF in June 2007 and March 2008 respectively.
The fate of one of the aircraft is still in dispute. Its brakes caught fire during a landing after a test flight in early 2005 at the then-Johannesburg International Airport. Damage estimated in the millions of rand was inflicted on the aircraft and an equally damaging dispute then erupted between Denel and Marshalls as to whom had to carry the cost of the repairs. The other aircraft was also damaged while undergoing testing after upgrading – its fuel tanks were over-pressurised.
Seven of the nine were grounded in 2005 on the recommendation of the manufacturer after metal fatigue was discovered on the main spars and outer wing structures of several US C130Bs.
Lockheed Martin subsequently allowed three to resume flying, but in May 2006 the remaining four had to undergo a further battery of tests. The SAAF plans to use the aircraft until 2015. The average SAAF C130 now has 10,000 hours on log (after 40 years of flying); while in the US it is 60,000[1]. The Chief of the Air Force in March 2007[2] said Lockheed Martin had assured him this target would be reached. 
 


[1] By simple calculus South Africa’s C130BZ fleet needs to fly another 200 years before encountering the same problem. The calculus, of course, is not really that simple… The formula to determine wing wear includes variables such as hours flown, the weight loading of the aircraft, the type of surface landed or taken off from, etc. 
[2] CAF briefing, AFB Makhado, March 9, 2007.