NASA and the C-130

Roamy here.  XBradTC has written about the venerable C-130  in the form of the AC-130 gunship here and here and also the MC-130.  On the NASA side of the blog, there are Air Force C-130’s supporting every shuttle launch if search and rescue is needed.  There are C-130’s used in earth science research.

C-130 used as a platform for experiments, such as meteorology, oceanography, and land use analysis

We tend to forget that the first A in NASA is “aeronautics”.  The NASA aeronautics centers – Ames, Dryden, Langley, and Glenn – contributed research into composite wings, advanced avionics, flight simulation, and prop design for the C-130J (old press release). 

The LC-130 variant, with skis for landing gear, is used to ferry scientists and equipment between McMurdo Station and the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station and other places in Antarctica.

Scientists from the Johnson Space Center hunt meteorites at the South Pole.  When everything is ice and snow, it’s easier to find meteorites, and the JSC crew has found over 16,000.

3 thoughts on “NASA and the C-130”

  1. All 4 props turn the same way! I didn’t know that! I would have though the wings would have engines that turn in opposition, to reduce torque steering of the plane. I bet they sure can turn left!

    1. Makes for simpler engine replacement. There may be others, but the later versions Piper Commanche twin, and the Piper Seneca are the only multis I know of that use counter rotating engines on opposite wings. It does mean there is no critical engine, but it also makes for more trouble in replacing engines. Not critical for GA, but for the military it could be a pain if we are at war.

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