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Flight Craft 32: Lockheed C-130 Hercules (Paperback)

Aviation > Pilots

By Ben Skipper
Imprint: Air World
Series: Flight Craft
Pages: 96
Illustrations: 50 colour illustrations, 50 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399080378
Published: 30th September 2024

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Known as ‘Fat Albert’, Lockheed’s ubiquitous C-130 Hercules was a product of combat experiences gained during the Korean War, a conflict that highlighted the need for a rugged transport aircraft designed with a do-anything, go-anywhere ethos in mind. First flown in August 1954, the C-130, powered by four turboprop engines mounted underneath a high wing which allowed for effortless loading via a rear ramp, soon proved its worth as a highly versatile aircraft.

The easily configured cargo area helped the C-130 stand out from the crowd, and soon variants began to appear, with the first being a ski-equipped resupply aircraft. It was this type of tasking the C-130 excelled at, and soon air movement staff was developing new ways to deploy cargo. This included low-level drops, proving invaluable in aiding isolated disaster-struck areas. Other variants included air-to-air tankers, electronic reconnaissance platforms and weather reconnaissance aircraft.

Now produced by Lockheed Martin, the C-130 has become synonymous with tactical airlifting and is the longest continuously produced military aircraft since the first one rolled off the production line in 1954. In fact, since its introduction into service the C-130 has produced over seventy variants, including gunships, search-and-rescue and scientific research aircraft, and is currently in service with some seventy nations. As well as the military C-130, Lockheed has also produced a commercial variant of their famous aircraft, the L-100.

Not for nothing do Lockheed Martin claim that there is at least one C-130 airborne somewhere in the world at any given moment in time. With over 2,500 produced, and some almost thirty years old, that's more than plausible.

This Flight Craft title offers the aviation enthusiast, historian and modeller an exciting selection of C-130-related resources through photographs, illustrations and excellent showcase examples to help build their own versions of this hugely successful, highly flexible aircraft.

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About Ben Skipper

Ben Skipper is a freelance writer with over 100 articles on art, military and field sports subjects. He’s a member of the Society of Authors, the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists and the NUJ as well as being an Honorary Member of the Pen and Sword Club (military journalists and writers).

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