C130 Hercules aanpassingen

Gestart door Harald, 19/04/2016 | 15:59 uur


Close look at the USAF's first eight-blade C-130H

Upgraded C-130 arrives for testing

The first to cut through an unusual afternoon fog was the sound that seemed like a swarm of millions of insects angrily buzzing in unison. Then, the nose of a C-130 popped through that dense whiteness followed by 32 spinning blades creating the ominous sound.

The Air Force's first fully upgraded C-130H arrived here Jan. 11 to begin testing.

The Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing-owned aircraft will be here for several months undergoing multiple test flights. The goal of these evaluations is to collect data and confirm the increased fuel efficiency, reliability and overall performance improvements gained from the new propellers and upgraded engines.

The benefits of the upgrades include shorter take-off roll, improved climb, quieter operations, and lower operating and support costs, according to Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the program office for the test.

"With these modifications, we'll see significant improvements that are needed to ensure longevity and mission flexibility," said Maj. Leanna Thomas, 153rd AW C-130H pilot.

The flight testing will be conducted by 153rd AW and C-130 Combined Test Force aircrews. ANG Airmen will maintain the aircraft during its time here.

The Wyoming Air National Guard was chosen specifically to receive the C-130H because of its involvement in the initial testing with the new systems in 2008, when the Air Force explored the idea of upgrading the H-model.

"When we add these modifications to all of our aircraft, we will greatly increase the reliability and performance of the C-130H," said Col. Justin Walrath, 153rd AW commander.



Upgraded C-130H legacy aircraft

CHEYENNE – It was a historic day for the Wyoming Air National Guard on Saturday as a modernized C-130H Hercules aircraft flew into Cheyenne for the first time.

The H model C-130s are considered "legacy" airplanes in the Air National Guard, crafted about 30 years ago. Newer J model aircraft are still being manufactured, but cost taxpayers a pretty penny. By making three separate engine-related modifications to improve the performance of the legacy models, the military is able to make good use of its budget, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its missions and better ensure the safety of men and women in uniform.

"It's a culmination of years of effort for the (153rd Airlift Wing based in Cheyenne) and for the Wyoming Air National Guard," said Col. Paul Lyman, Wyoming Air National Guard commander. "It started as a vision of senior leadership and partnering with industry ... to improve on a plane we already had."

The upgrades include:
•Installation of four Rolls-Royce T56 series 3.5 engines to improve aircraft performance, fuel efficiency and reliability through the use of redesigned air inlet housing, updated turbine and improved compressor blades and seals.
•Implementing digitally-controlled Hamilton Sundstrand Corporation modular and composite eight-bladed propeller systems to replace four metal propellers and provide increased low-speed operational performance and decrease propeller maintenance time.
•Replacing advanced electronic propeller control systems with hydraulic controls to increase propeller acceleration response while an in-flight propeller balancing system decreases maintenance down-time.

Many airmen witnessing the modified C-130 land Saturday commented not only on the eight-blade propellers, but on how quiet the aircraft was compared to the other seven legacy models on the base.

"(Saturday) is a hugely exciting day to not only see the propellers, but also the engines behind the propellers," Lyman said. "It's a great, exciting day for Wyoming and the 153rd."

The successful modification of the legacy model demonstrates an ability to extend the life and usefulness of the decades-old aircraft by 30-40 years, Lyman said.

The H model ended production about 20 years ago, said Col. Kevin Campbell, National Guard director of plans and requirements. Around 30 years ago, the production of J models started, and continues to this day. Modifying the H models costs around 10-20 percent of the price tag for a new J model, Campbell said.

With the H model comprising the vast majority of aircraft flown in the Air National Guard, he said the cost-savings of upgrading legacy models will add up.

Campbell said the project couldn't have happened without the men and women of the 153rd Airlift Wing and Maj. Gen. Luke Reiner, adjunct general for Wyoming and Wyoming Military Department director.

"They have been an instrumental part in volunteering manpower, time and the aircraft to do all this testing," he said.

The modified aircraft flew into Cheyenne on Saturday from Kiln, Mississippi, for minor maintenance and a wash before it heads south to Florida for two years of testing.

Newer J model aircraft have higher-performance levels than the legacy models. How the upgraded H model aircraft compares to the newer aircraft will be one of the things airmen will be looking at during the upcoming testing.

"All we have now is postulated data, but we will see performance (with the H model) that is on the par with the J model," Campbell said.

"There are going to be areas where the J model will still outperform and there are areas where this airplane might show more capability. But the goal was getting J model-like performance without having the money to go out and buy 172 more J models."


Not SOFt on C-130J

Lockheed Martin is positioning its C-130J-SOF export variant as the go-to aircraft for special operation forces helicopter and fixed-wing refuelling needs.

Pushing hard on the international market, the tanker is poised for sales opportunities as the Airbus Defence and Space A400M loses further ground as it deals with gear box, crack issues and engine problems.

Furthermore, the A400M programme has struggled to meet objectives on time, with several issues being identified including the inability to launch paratroopers through both rear doors and refuelling helicopters.

However, as of April of this year France had received 11 A400M aircraft; Germany nine; Malaysia four; Spain one; Turkey three; and the UK totalling 14.

With this uncertainty in mind, Lockheed Martin officials at the Dubai Airshow commented that the C-130 and the J Model is the only platform able to refuel fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft.

'Back in Paris [Airshow 2017], we launched the C-130J special operations forces aircraft. Now, the important thing to note about this aircraft is frankly we have taken already proven capabilities which were spread across many different international customers,' a spokesperson commented.

'This [aircraft] is more geared towards the international market... The primary elements of this aircraft are its air refuelling, so it is a tanker, it can refuel fixed-wing as well as helicopters.'

Helicopter operators prefer to refuel at 110-115kt which is met by the platform, the spokesperson added.

The C-130J-SOF armament options include wing mounted Hellfire missiles and an internal 30mm GAU-23 Bushmaster gun using an Orbital ATK roll-on/roll-off pallet allowing installation in less than four hours.

Regarding the Orbital ATK gun, the spokesperson confirmed that it would be fired out of the left-hand side of the aircraft.

'We have put an EO/IR sensor on the nose and we could also put Hellfire missiles off of the hardpoints on the outer wing... We are quite convinced by the armed capabilities of the C-130J SOF.'

'[In relation to the] forward air refuelling point -  we've added some technology to the aircraft so when it lands it can refuel anything on the ground that uses jet fuel. We put single port refuelling receptacles on the outer air refuelling pod – so you can attach hoses and refuel directly from the pods on the outer wing,' said the spokesperson.

The tanker has been qualified to refuel a number of military rotorcraft including the Sikorsky CH-53 and UH-60 Black Hawk and the Boeing CH-47 Chinook. When asked about future platforms and existing platforms not yet qualified the spokesperson confirmed, 'as long as it has a pod we can refuel it.'



Citaat van: Harald op 21/06/2017 | 09:30 uur
Paris Air Show 2017: LM launches production SOF variant of C-130J for export


Depending on the configuration, the cost per aircraft would run anywhere from the mid-$70 million to mid-$80 million mark. A C-130J-SOF equipped for aerial refueling would sell for upward of that, Frese said.

The aircraft can be configured for a variety of missions, including ISR, inserting and extracting special operations personnel, airdrop resupply, and armed overwatch.

Frese was hesitant to compare the C-130J-SOF with U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command's AC-130 and MC-130, citing customer sensitivities. But compared to a baseline C-130J, the special operations version has more powerful generators and comes equipped with several sensors and communications systems — like an electro-optical/infrared sensor, satellite communications, and wideband data link — which would not normally come already installed. The aircraft is also constructed with additional armoring and provisions for aerial refueling, he said.



Paris Air Show 2017: LM launches production SOF variant of C-130J for export

Lockheed Martin officials launched the C-130J-SOF at the Paris Air Show on 20 June, the first ever special operations forces (SOF)-configured production variant of the Super Hercules transport aircraft to be offered for export.

The baseline C-130J-SOF comes in an ISR configuration that features an electro-optic/infrared imaging system in a turret under the nose, upgraded 60/90 KVA generators and 400 amp regulated transformer rectifier units that double the original electrical capacity of the C-130J, an armour protection system and lower fuselage protection for improved survivability under hostile fire, added crew stations for mission systems, automatic dependent surveillance - broadcast (ADS-B) out positioning technology, microvanes to increase fuel efficiency, and external fuel tanks for increased range and mission loiter time.


The new multi-mission aircraft is designed to meet the unique demands of special operations forces (SOF) around the world, said Tony Frese, company vice president of business development for air mobility and maritime missions.

The C-130J-SOF will provide international partners the capability to do crucial SOF missions such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); airdrop resupply; personnel recovery; humanitarian relief; infiltration; exfiltration; and resupply of SOF personnel, said Frese. The new variant can also be configured for armed overwatch by adding special mission equipment options such as a 30-mm gun and Hellfire missiles, helicopter/fighter/vertical lift aerial refueling, and Forward Area Refueling Point operations.



Tamarack Aerospace Group pitches winglets for C-130

Tamarack Aerospace Group is offering to work with Lockheed Martin to equip the US Air Force's (USAF's) fleet of C-130 Hercules transport aircraft with its ATLAS active winglets which, the company claims, reduce fuel consumption at the same time as extending the service life of the wing.

The Idaho-based based company is looking to present its technology to Lockheed Martin in the hope of launching a collaborative effort to help solve the fuel reduction mandates required by the USAF, IHS Jane's was told.

"We have confidence in our models that we can give the C-130 a 10% improvement in fuel savings. Other benefits include an extension of the wing life, better hot and high performance, a potential to increase gross weight and maximum zero fuel weights, slower stall speeds, and shorter landing and take-off requirements," company spokesperson Bill Mitchell said on 26 September.

Tamarack Aerospace Group's interest in a potential collaboration with Lockheed Martin stems from the news earlier in the year that the USAF had commenced winglet trials with its MC-130J Commando II special mission aircraft. Engineers from the 413th Flight Test Squadron modified an MC-130J with winglets in April as part of a trial to ascertain possible fuel efficiencies Martin in accordance with contracted research and design (CRAD) funding granted by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in September 2014. Eight test sorties of the winglet-equipped MC-130J were flown out of at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, though the findings have not been disclosed.

According to Mitchell, the winglets developed by Tamarack Aerospace Group differ from those developed elsewhere to reduce wing loading also, and thereby increase the wing's service life. "We have patented a load alleviation device that 'aerodynamically turns off the winglets' during those rare moments when 'g' forces are high. The system is constantly monitoring and predicting gusts and/or manoeuvres, and 'positions' the Tamarack Active Camber Surface (TACS) as necessary to eliminate the additional loads that a static winglet would normally affect.



8 bladige propellers NP2000 (onderzoek uit 2010, welke wel toegepast is bij de E-2C/D Hawkeye, de huidige C-130J heeft een 6 bladige propellor)

"The NP2000 propeller system provides shorter take-off roll, improved climb, fuel savings with improved cruise performance, quieter operations, and lower operating and support costs for C-130 users",

Double the blades means more power, efficiency

Engineers testing eight-blade prop for C-130

Testresulaten :


USAF picks up C-130 winglet trials after Lockheed Martin abandoned them

The US Air Force (USAF) is trialling the use of winglets on its MC-130J Commando II special mission aircraft, three years after Lockheed Martin abandoned the concept for the baseline transport variant.

Engineers from the 413th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) in Florida have modified an MC-130J with winglets and performed eight test flights to investigate their effect on fuel efficiency, it was announced on 19 April.

The USAF has not released findings from the experiment.

The USAF trial comes three years after Lockheed Martin abandoned its own efforts to integrate winglets onto the baseline C-130J, saying they had failed to deliver the substantial fuel savings it had hoped for.

Company officials said in 2013 that the technology didn't fit the geometry of the C-130's straight wing. "We have a design, but we have not convinced ourselves through wind tunnel testing that it provides enough economies to warrant the expense of modifying the aircraft," said Jack Crisler, Lockheed Martin's then vice-president for the C-130J programme.

Lockheed Martin had earlier anticipated winglets would cut fuel consumption by between 5% and 7%.

The company also examined the use of fuselage-mounted guide vanes and strakes to cut drag and save fuel. Tests of these on both a legacy C-130H and the C-130J had more positive results, according to Lockheed Martin.

Despite abandoning winglets after the unsuccessful trials, Lockheed Martin said at the time it would revisit the concept should the technology advance to become viable for the C-130.



Extra info, over de wijzigingen


Interessante wijzigingen, welke brandstof besparing en vergroting van vliegduur en range in combinatie van belading kan betekenen.

Zijn dit de voorlopers van de aanpassingen naar de nieuwe C-130NG


Lockheed flight tests C-130 airframe mods

Lockheed Martin has begun flight testing several aerodynamic modifications – including winglets – for the C-130 Hercules in a bid to increase the efficiency of the aircraft and potentially save millions of dollars in annual fuel bills.

The modifications include 5ft winglets and 3D-printed 'microvanes', which are small fibre-glass strips