01/08/2015: In a story published in The Daily Telegraph (Australia) on September 24, 2014, which highlighted the RAAF flyovers of their C-130s marking the milestone of providing 800,000 flight hours by the RAAF Hercules fleet.
Credit photos: RAAF
- In the first photo, two C-130J Hercules from No. 37 Squadron fly over Sydney Harbour on September 10 on their way to RAAF Base Richmond celebrating 800,000 flying hours for its C-130 Hercules transport fleet.
- In the second photo, three No. 37 Squadron C-130J Hercules aircraft fly over RAAF Base Richmond on September 10 celebrated 800,000 flying hours for its C-130 Hercules transport fleet.
- In the third photo, the formation of C-130J Hercules aircraft over RAAF Base Richmond.
- In the fourth photo, three No. 37 Squadron C-130J Hercules aircraft in formation over RAAF Base Richmond. Picture:
- In the final photo, a C-130J Hercules over RAAF Base Richmond. Picture: CPL DAVID SAID.Commander of Air Mobility Group Air Commodore Warren McDonald, said the milestone was a collective achievement for many thousands of Air Force personnel.
“Behind this milestone is the contribution of many talented men and women who have made these 800,000 flying hours possible,” AIRCDRE McDonald said.
“Several generations of Australians have contributed to this achievement, regardless of which Hercules they worked on.”
The first flight was in November 1958 when a RAAF crew departed in a C-130A Hercules from the Lockheed manufacturing plant in Atlanta, Georgia. Since then, Australia has operated four different models of the Hercules, conducting a variety of missions across the globe.
“The recent airdrop of aid to communities in Iraq is a good example of the service provided by the RAAF’s Hercules crews,” AIRCDRE McDonald said.
“For 56 years, they have flown people and cargo to where they’re needed, often under tough conditions, and proven a welcome sight for many.”
The fleet has supported Australian Diggers in Vietnam, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. They have also been angels of mercy to disaster-struck regions including Pakistan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and throughout the South Pacific.
They have served the Australian public too, from evacuating the injured following Cyclone Tracy in Darwin and the Bali bombings. The aircraft’s versatility has allowed it to carry cargo ranging from armoured vehicles and helicopters, to a Royal Carriage for Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II.
AIRCDRE McDonald said the Hercules’ legacy would continue, with a planned withdrawal date of 2030 for the current C-130J fleet.
“The fleet is presently undergoing a series of upgrades to increase their combat survivability and navigational awareness,” he said.
“While the cargo bay may not have changed much in these last 800,000 hours, Australia’s Hercules have come a long way in terms of performance and capability.”