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View Diary: Air-Minded: the C-130 Replacement that Wasn't (114 comments)

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  •  Like the DC-3, the C-130 is one of those brilliant (5+ / 0-)

    ...designs that subsequent efforts have never managed to significantly improve upon despite sixty (yes, sixty) years of advancing technology.

    My understanding is that the AMST contenders failed to improve upon the C-130 in most domains, while adding the major drawback of much greater vulnerability to FOD to their huge turbofan compressors at the kind of crude dirt forward strips these aircraft sometimes use.

    •  WWII glider roots? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaveinBremerton, Gordon20024, lazybum

      These type aircraft seem to have evolved from the troop gliders, pulled by DC-3s in WWII. The gliders had no engines, of course. After the war, the C-123 cargo aircraft appeared, seemingly that glider with two engines, high lift wings, capable of short field and rough field landings and takeoffs. There's a lot of (exterior at least) similarity between all these craft, IMO. In 'Nam, we used to see the C-133s, which looked like C-130s on steroids. They carried larger and longer cargo, like helicopter blades, etc, I think

      •  Best example ever of 'clean sheet of paper' design (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mad Season, Simplify, lazybum, xaxnar

        The C-130 was designed by a team of Lockheed engineers starting around 1950 (yes, more than sixty years ago) from scratch to create the ideal medium lift transport aircraft. The high wing kept the engines away from dirt and permitted the crew to walk under it. The hideously ugly barn-door fuselage maximized cargo volume efficiency. The huge tailgate permitted jeeps and light trucks to be driven on board, or palettes of cargo to be pushed out in mid air. The cockpit included a huge glass area with windows down near the pilots' feet to see that dirt strip you're landing on. And everything was designed to be simple and unbreakable.

        The aircraft has literally never been improved upon. It has been in continuous production from the early 1950s to this very year. That's like Sopwith "camels" still in production in 1976, or P-51 Mustangs still being produced in 2004. It's mind-blowing how good this design was.

      •  The XC-123 and XC-123A Were Developed ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lazybum

        by Chase Aircraft in the early 1950's from its XCG-20 glider.
        The XC-123 was piston-engined and the AC-123 had turbojet engines in pods. Fairchild won the production contract for the C-123B, which was an improved version of the C-123.  As noted, the C-130 was a much larger, unrelated Lockheed design with turboprop engines. Only a few of the even larger Douglas C-133's were built, and they had a checkered history.

        "Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything even remotely true." -- H. Simpson

        by midnight lurker on Fri Nov 16, 2012 at 01:29:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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