The U.S. Air Force Thought About Bringing Back This Crazy C-130 | War Is Boring

While V-22 Ospreys can fly as fast as an normal airplane and land like a helicopter, the unique tilt-rotor aircraft have relatively little space for troops, cargo and fuel. Which led the U.S. Air Force to think about reviving plans for a radically modified C-130 Hercules transport.A C-130 that blasts into the air with rockets.WIB iconIn January 2013, the Air Force’s top special operations headquarters cooked up a set of requirements for a new specialized cargo plane. The Mobility Requirements Branch proposed an all new aircraft, as well as a modified Hercules.“The proposal … stemmed from the desire to have an enhanced short take-off/landing (STOL) capable … platform capable of carrying larger loads then the CV-22,” the Air Force Special Operations Command’s annual history for 2013 stated.War Is Boring obtained a heavily redacted copy of the historical review via the Freedom of Information Act.First nicknamed New Magic and then Super Sport, the project borrowed heavily from a design — codenamed Credible Sport — that the Air Force developed more than three decades earlier.

Source: The U.S. Air Force Thought About Bringing Back This Crazy C-130 | War Is Boring

This sounds like mostly a paper “what if” study. There *are* times and places where the USAF and SOCOM would like to use something bigger than the CV-22. But for the most part, aerial refueling an Osprey is good enough.

And operating MC-130s in the wild isn’t without its own risks. See Desert One during Operation Eagle Claw. We’ve come a long way in special operations aviation since those days, but risks are risks.

3 thoughts on “The U.S. Air Force Thought About Bringing Back This Crazy C-130 | War Is Boring”

  1. A large number of these C-130’s were built by my father’s company.
    His specialty was the landing gear but over the years he worked on just about every other system and part of the aircraft he helped build, he also serviced a great many that came back for repairs by the factory.
    Every flight I took in one made me warmly reflect that at some time before My Dad had been inside working somewhere on that air frame possibly only days or weeks before.

  2. “While V-22 Ospreys can fly as fast as an normal airplane and land like a helicopter, the unique tilt-rotor aircraft have relatively little space for troops, cargo and fuel.”

    Let me do some “truthful” translating:

    “Okay, we [AFSOC] let the USMC and the fixed wing mafia at Hurlburt talk us into replacing our MH-53s with an unpressurized hybrid airframe that can fly almost as fast as a Herc, has less cabin space than a CH-46, and has problems landing on anything besides a concrete pad. So now we’re exploring the revolutionary “new” idea of operating C-130s out of soccer field-sized LZs. Welcome back to 1980…”

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