During the development of aircraft construction in the world was built a huge number of different aircraft, and among them, of course, were very, very successful models. An example is the An-2, which took off for the first time after the war and still works in the celestial expanses of different countries (although already withdrawn from production). But if we talk about the most durable aircraft, it will be the C-130 Hercules, developed by Lockheed.
The fact is that the C-130 Hercules, having risen for the first time in the air in 1954, is still produced! For 66 years, these planes have been coming off the assembly line without interruption, and Lockheed’s plans do not yet have any intention of replacing them with something else.
Of course, during these 66 years the C-130 Hercules has changed a lot internally, more than fifty modifications have been released. But the characteristic appearance of this handsome man carried almost unchanged through its entire history.
The C-130 Hercules military transport aircraft was commissioned by the U.S. Air Force to replace the outdated C-46, C-47 and C-119. The Korean War showed that the conditions of engagement had changed significantly, and new equipment had to be adapted to them. The most important requirements for the new aircraft are taking off from unprepared field airfields.
Subsequently, this aircraft was used in a variety of areas. In addition to the main military transport purpose, it was used as a fuel tanker, as a firefighting aircraft, as a marine rescuer, as an electronic reconnaissance and command center, as a bomber and as a passenger plane.
In total, more than 2,500 Hercules were produced during the whole time, and about half were delivered to other countries (this aircraft is operated in 65 countries). And so far the demand for Hercules is not falling, and there are always orders for it.
In 1963, the C-130 Hercules set a record by becoming the heaviest and largest aircraft ever to land and take off from an aircraft carrier.
There are also two cases of Hercules hijacking in the world. In 1969, Sergeant Paul Meyer, while intoxicated, was able to hijack a plane from the British base of Mindelhall. Four fighter jets flew to intercept, Hercules was shot down and Meyer was killed.
The second case occurred in 1987, when the Libyan Hercules was hijacked by a crew to Egypt, where the pilots sought political asylum (the request was granted).
C-130 Hercules can be seen in a huge number of films (more than 250), among them the most famous – “The Fall of Olympus”, “The Incredible Hulk”, “Team A”, “The Dark Knight: The Revival of the Legend”.