Lockheed C-130 Hercules

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed (now Lockheed Martin). Capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft. The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. More than 40 variants of the Hercules, including civilian versions marketed as the Lockheed L-100, operate in more than 60 nations.

C-130 Hercules
A USAF C-130E
Role Military transport aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Lockheed Corporation
Lockheed Martin
First flight 23 August 1954; 67 years ago (1954-08-23)
Introduction December 1956[1]
Status In service
Primary users United States Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
United States Coast Guard
Royal Air Force
Produced 1954–present
Number built Over 2,500 as of 2015[2]
Variants Lockheed AC-130
Lockheed DC-130
Lockheed EC-130
Lockheed EC-130H Compass Call
Lockheed HC-130
Lockheed Martin KC-130
Lockheed LC-130
Lockheed MC-130
Lockheed RC-130
Lockheed WC-130
Lockheed L-100 Hercules
Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules

The C-130 entered service with the U.S. in 1956, followed by Australia and many other nations. During its years of service, the Hercules family has participated in numerous military, civilian and humanitarian aid operations. In 2007, the C-130 became the fifth aircraft[N 1] to mark 50 years of continuous service with its original primary customer, which for the C-130 is the United States Air Force. The C-130 Hercules is the longest continuously produced military aircraft at over 60 years, with the updated Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules currently being produced.[3]