Monday, 9 April 2018

Hats off to the Herc - Lockheed C-130 Hercules

Every now and then, an aircraft design is so successful that it spans generations. The Douglas DC-3; the Bell UH-1 Iroquois; the Boeing CH-47 Chinook, the Boeing 737... the list goes on.

One of my favourites is the C-130 Hercules which entered Australian service in 1958 making the Royal Australian Air Force the second nation outside the United States to operate this marvelous aircraft. No 36 Squadron accepted the aircraft as a replacement for its DC-3s which must have been a quantum leap in capability back then.

Today, the RAAF operates the C-130J (J model) after having operated the A model, E model and H model.

Like many of my ADF colleagues, I have had the pleasure of being transported in a Herc and during my time as Official RAAF War Artist after my stint as a drone pilot with the RAAF, I wanted to do a tribute to the Herc crews.

Above is my pastel painting of a Herc crew called "C-130 into Tarin Kot" showing the pilot and co-pilot of a J model Herc passing the mountains as it does its resup run into this base in Afghanistan.

Below is a picture from the Australian War Memorial of an Aeromedical Evacuation out of South Vietnam in an A model back in the '60s with a RAAF AME nurse looking after wounded Australian soldiers as they RTA (Return to Australia).

Long live the Herc!

RAAF Aeromedical Evacuation Nurse on C-130A returning from South Vietnam (AWM MAL/66/004/01)

RAAF Hercules at RAAF Museum. C-130A in the foreground then an E Model, H Model and J Model in the rear. For more info go to

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No 1 Squadron's F/A-18F.