Take-off: C-130H Takes Maiden Flight

Washington Report

(January 9, 2018) The C-130H that landed in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Saturday was the first to fly with the Rolls-Royce engine upgrade, and the new electronic-propeller-control system and eight-bladed propeller from United Technologies Aerospace Systems, all long-sought enhancements.

It made the journey to join the 153rd Airlift Wing of the Wyoming Air National Guard from Kiln, Mississippi, where the upgrades were made at the Tyonek Services Contractor Facility.

All three new pieces have been tested independently, but this flight marked the first time they have been flown together.

“This is a momentous occasion,” said Col. Kevin Campbell, the deputy director for plans and requirements at the National Guard Bureau.

Campbell said the Air Guard, Air Force Reserve, Air Mobility Command and others have been working for four years to make possible this maiden flight of the upgraded C-130H.

“It’s nice to see those efforts pay off,” he said.

The upgrades will make the aircraft more fuel-efficient and reliable, and allow it to fly faster, climb higher and carry more cargo. It also will be able to take off in shorter distances and at higher altitudes.

Matt Pincus, the NGAUS deputy legislative director, said C-130 upgrades have been a major association priority for some time.

“This is a direct result of a prolonged effort by dozens of members of Congress to fund these critical components,” he said. “It also validates the ongoing collaboration of the Air Guard, Congress, NGAUS and industry to provide Guardsmen with the most up-to-date capabilities despite budgetary challenges.”

Col. Paul Lyman, the Wyoming Air Guard commander, told KGWN TV in Cheyenne, “It’s the first of it’s kind. . . . The future success of the nation is kind of hinged right here in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and we are leading the nation, which is very cool.”

Other Air Guard wings that will receive the newly upgraded aircraft are the 189th Airlift Wing in Arkansas, the 103rd Airlift Wing in Connecticut, the 139th Airlift Wing in Missouri, the 120th Airlift Wing in Montana, the 152nd Airlift Wing in Nevada, and the 109th Airlift Wing in New York.

“These modifications are vital to keep our ANG combat-delivery fleet relevant and ready for both our federal wartime and local state domestic response missions,” Campbell said.

The ambitious project will require another four years to complete.