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  • Writer's pictureDavid Connolly

Spooky, Spectre, Hercules: The Most Versatile—and Feared—Aircraft in American History

The C-130 has an impressive resume of preposterous accomplishments. Need to land a massive cargo plane on an aircraft carrier? No problem. Have an issue with a landing gear in the Arctic and need to swap for snow skis with a rocket boost? No big deal. Have a special operation where the troops on the ground require aerial superiority with coverage overhead from the biggest weapon ever mounted on a combat aircraft? Send it.

The evolution of one of the most versatile aerial platforms in modern history came, as the majority of military technological advancements do, at a time of war. When the US Air Force entered the Korean War, officials recognized gross limitations in their airlift operations. In collaboration with Lockheed Martin, the US Air Force Tactical Air Command produced two prototype YC-130 aircraft with the capabilities of conducting medium-range airlift missions in remote and austere environments.

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