Tag Archives: Lockheed C-130 Hercules

From the cockpit: F-16 flies in formation with a C-130J Super Hercules

This is something you don’t see every day: an F-16 flying alongside a C-130J Super Hercules.

In the last few days, the 148th Fighter Squadron, a unit of the Arizona Air National Guard, 162nd Fighter Wing, based at Tucson Air National Guard Base, Arizona, helped U.S. Air Force C-130 pilots train in developing self-defense tactics to avoid airborne threats by simulating enemy pilots.

Called to operate close to or inside contested airspaces, transport planes regularly train with fighter aircraft (performing HVAAE – High Value Air Asset Escort) as well as in low-level flying that can be useful to avoid interception by Red Air aircraft.

The 162nd FS is tasked with the training of F-16 pilots for the Royal Netherlands Air Force and other air arms which have purchased the Viper via the Foreign Military Sales program.

148FS training with C130s from Niki Luysterburg on Vimeo.

Salva

Check out this video of a paratrooper using reserve parachute to save his life during NATO airdrop

The paratrooper manages to open the reserve parachute shortly before hitting the ground.

This video was filmed during the Anakonda-16 exercise in Poland. It shows a Polish paratrooper reacting to a problem with his parachute after a jump from 400-500 mt from a C-130 Hercules: the main chute fails and the Polish Army paratrooper has to deploy the reserve canopy that saves his life.

The mishap occurred during an airdrop operation that involved U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division, British soldiers from the 16th Assault Brigade and Polish Army military from the 6th Airborne Brigade who jumped over Torun, to simulate the take over of a bridge over the Vistula river.



H/T to KaBe. for sending this over to us

Amazing footage filmed by a USCG C-130 of a small plane (saved by parachute) ditching off Hawaii

Interesting footage of a Cirrus ditching in the Pacific Ocean filmed by a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 Hercules.

On Jan. 26, a Cirrus SR-22 plane on delivery flight across the Pacific from San Francisco Bay area to a customer in Australia, was forced to perform a (successful) ditching off Hawaii, after running out of fuel.

The aircraft was supposed to perform a stopover at the Hawaii, but it failed to reach the destination because of a broken valve, which made the extra fuel tanks carried by the SR-22 to extend its endurance from 5 to 14 hours, unavailable.

The pilot tried to get as closer as possible to a ferry, about 250 from Maui, then deploy the safety parachute and come down to the surface of the sea.

A U.S. Coast Guard C-130 supporting the rescue operation filmed the Cirrus as it deployed the chute and came to a somehow gentle impact with the water.

The pilot was recovered about 20 minutes later.

 

Air Drop over Iraq as seen from a RAF Tornado’s Litening Reconnaissance Pod

A humanitarian aid air drop as you have never seen it.

The following footage was filmed by a Litening III reconnaissance pod of a British Tornado GR4 aircraft during a humanitarian aid air drop by a RAF Hercules over Mount Sinjar, Iraq on Aug. 13.

The UK has deployed a “small number” of Tornado from RAF Marham to Akrotiri airbase, in Cyprus, from where the aircraft are available to fly over the crisis area at short notice to provide intelligence and assit the air drop of UK Aid.

UK is expected to escalate its surveillance in Iraq with the commitment of the first RAF Rivet Joint ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) aircraft.

 

How the AC-130 destroyed at least 20 vehicles per night during Vietnam War

During the early days of Vietnam Conflict, the US developed a special kind of attack aircraft to stop the flow of enemy troops and supplies: the gunship.

The Gunship aircraft, born from the conversion of cargo aircraft into powerful aerial weapons armed with big guns, were based on the concept of the circling attack.

In other words, the guns were mounted on the left side of the gunship so that the plane could fly a bank circle, achieving a good accuracy in strafing the target by using high velocity guns with a caliber of at least .30.

The first two types of gunships developed by the US were the twin-engine piston powered Douglas C-47 Skytrain and Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, but the final leap was made relying on the size, speed and heft of the Lockheed C-130 Hercules which became known in the gunships world as the AC-130 Spectre.

The first AC-130As were deployed in Vietnam in 1968. They were armed with two 20 mm and two 40 mm cannons and they flew their first missions teamed with F-4s, which had the task to attack and destroy with cluster bombs the enemy AAA (Anti Aircraft Artillery) that opened fire against the gunship.

During the first missions  the Spectre was also able to achieve an aerial victory when on May 8, 1969 an AC-130 shot down an enemy helicopter, as told by Wayne Mutza in his book Gunships The Story of Spooky, Shadow, Stinger and Spectre .

But the AC-130s were best and widely used from October 1969 to April 1970, the so called dry season, during which the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) trucks transported ammunition supplies by using the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

Spectres crews, that had the task to hunt trucks, were able to destroy and damage 25 of them in one mission: among these there were also AAA vehicles and, some times, the gunships came back to the base badly damaged. In the 1969-1970 dry season the NVA moved about 68,000 tons of provisions on the Trail, 47,000 tons of which were destroyed by the 12 deployed AC-130s with their 20 mm high density rounds and 40 mm Bofors cannons.

The 1970-1971 was even busier for the gunships since American and South Vietnamese soldiers began moving into Laos: in fact, while the numbers of AC-130s increased from 12 to 18, the western part of the Trail became filled with an always increasing number of vehicles coming from east, where interdiction sorties had concentrated. Therefore, during this period a gunship could destroy more than 25 trucks per night and the 1970-1971 dry season ended with 58,500 tons of material destroyed.

By the end of the 1971, after the NVA increased the number of the armored vehicles and the caliber of guns along the Trail, the U.S. deployed the first example of AC-130E.

As explained in detail by Wayne Mutza in his book, the new Spectre model was armed with a new more potent gun, the M102 105 mm Howitzer which replaced one of the Bofors cannons on the left side of the gunship.

The first Howitzer was installed in a gunship after it was repaired from some battle damages. Since it could fire from a distance of 12,000 meters, the Howitzer highly increased Spectre stand-off capabilities: the result was a higher kill ratio against trucks, since a vehicle hit by a 105 round had only a 10% chance to be still operable.

During its first Vietnam deployment this single howitzer-mounted AC-130E destroyed 75 trucks and damaged 92 ones with the 105, and destroyed 27 vehicles and damaged 24 ones with 40 mm fire in 32 missions.

4th Special Operations Squadron

Image credit: U.S. Air Force