On Monday, July 16, attendees of the Farnborough airshow in the United Kingdom will have been astonished to see the maneuvers carried out by a famous transport plane.
The aircraft in question is a Lockheed LM-100J, the civilian version of the Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules, which is the most recent variant of one of the most famous tactical transport aircraft, whose initial version made its first flight in the 1950s. Competition in this sector has increased with the appearance of the Airbus A-400M Atlas, and the veteran Hercules had to demonstrate what he is capable of facing his European rival. And what better way to do it than with an inverted flight? No, no kidding, you can see it in this video published by Lockheed Martin on its Youtube channel:
In case you think it’s a Lockheed publicity stunt, here you can see another video of the same show published by Youtube channel C-130 MRO:
Those who have seen fighter planes doing this type of maneuvers will think, perhaps, that this video has nothing special, but it does. A transport aircraft such as the C-130 is usually not prepared to withstand the structural loads involved in an inverted flight maneuver. In fact, in November 2015, an airplane of the gun version of the Super Hercules, an AC-130J Ghostrider of the USAF, then still in the testing phase, suffered serious structural damage after making an inverted flight for a few moments, to such an extent that the plane lost control and suddenly dropped about 5,000 feet high. Fortunately, the crew arrived safely at their base, but the plane was unusable. Despite the incident, the Special Operations Command of the US Air Force (AFSOC) has requested 37 AC-130J Ghostriders, to replace the more veteran AC-130H/U Spectre.
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