On Jul. 15, 2020 the 317th and 19th Airlift Wings launched dozens of C-130s for what is set to be the largest C-130J interfly formation today.
On Jul. 15, 2020 in fact the 317th and 19th Airlift Wings launched dozens of C-130s for what is set to be the largest C-130J interfly formation.
The C-130J is the latest addition to the US Air Force C-130 fleet and has replaced aging C-130Es and some of the high time C-130Hs. The C-130J incorporates state-of-the-art technology, which reduces manpower requirements, lowers operating and support costs, and provides life-cycle cost savings over earlier C-130 models.
Compared to older C-130s, the J model climbs faster and higher, flies farther at a higher cruise speed, and takes off and lands in a shorter distance. The C-130J-30 is a stretch version, adding 15 feet to the fuselage, increasing usable space in the cargo compartment.
In April 2010, the 317 AW at Dyess AFB, began a 40-month long transition from 33 1974 C-130H1 models to 28 brand new C-130J-30 “Super Hercules,” which are 15 feet longer than the outgoing H models with eight pallet positions to the H’s six pallet capacity. This 40-month long transition was completed in July 2013.
The 19th AW at Little Rock AFB began transitioning from older C-130H cargo aircraft to newer C-130J models in 2004. A last C-130J Super Hercules was delivered to Little Rock on May 27, 2020 marking the last C-130J delivery for the 19th Airlift Wing and Air Mobility Command. Little Rock now boasts a C-130J fleet of 47 aircraft between both the 19th Airlift Wing and 314th Airlift Wing.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force