C-130 Hercules Landing on AIRCRAFT CARRIER. On October 1963 U.S. Navy decided to try to land a Hercules on an aircraft carrier. Who would believe that the big, four-engine C-130 with its bulky fuselage and 132-foot wingspan could land on the deck of a carrier?
C-130 is a legendary cargo plane and has a long list of accomplishments. More than 70 Air forces in the world use C-130 for a different purposes. Today we will tell you about one of the records of C-130 that still holds up to this day
When Lt. James H. Flatley III was told about his new assignment, he thought somebody was pulling his leg but he realized its no joke when the Chief of Naval Operations himself had ordered a feasibility study on operating the big prop-jet aboard the Norfolk-based U.S.S. Forrestal.
The Navy was trying to find out whether they could use the Hercules as a “Super COD” – a “Carrier Onboard Delivery” aircraft.
The aircraft, a KC-130F refueler transport (Bu No 149798), on loan from the U.S. Marines, was delivered on 8 October. Lockheed’s only modifications to the original plane included installing a smaller nose-landing gear orifice, an improved anti-skid braking system, and the removal of the underwing refueling pods. “The big worry was whether we could meet the maximum sink rate of nine feet per second,” Flatley said. As it turned out, the Navy was amazed to find they were able to better this mark by a substantial margin.
Pilot : Lt. James H. Flatley III
Copilot: Lt.Cmdr. W.W. Stovall
Flight Engineer : ADR-1 E.F. Brennan
Lockheed Engineering flight test pilot: Ted H. Limmer Jr
The initial sea-born landings on 30 October 1963 were made into a 40-knot wind.
The crew successfully negotiated 29 touch-and-go landings, 21 unarrested full-stop landings, and 21 unassisted takeoffs at gross weights of 85,000 pounds up to 121,000 pounds.
At 85,000 pounds, the KC-130F came to a complete stop within 267 feet, about twice the aircraft’s wing span! The Navy was delighted to discover that even with a maximum payload, the plane used only 745 feet for takeoff and 460 feet for landing roll.
From the accumulated test data, the Navy concluded that with the C-130 Hercules, it would be possible to lift 25,000 pounds of cargo 2,500 miles and land it on a carrier.
Even so, the idea was considered a bit too risky for the C-130 and the Navy elected to use a smaller COD aircraft. For his effort, the Navy awarded Flatley the Distinguished Flying Cross.