C-130E Hercules

The C-130 is a four-engine, turboprop-powered, tactical airlift aircraft capable of operating from austere airfields. The U.S. Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, Marines, Air National Guard, and over 40 foreign countries operate C-130s. The 50th anniversary of the first flight of the aircraft was celebrated in 2004, and new models are still rolling off the assembly lines today. C-130s have been flown on every continent, landed and taken off from an aircraft carrier, operated with skis, and have been used to haul every conceivable type of cargo.

The C-130 on display was retired from active duty on 2 February 2004 and flew its final flight to the Air Mobility Command Museum.


The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the tactical portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for air dropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. The C-130 operates throughout the U.S. Air Force, serving with Air Mobility Command (stateside based), Air Force Special Operations Command, theater commands, Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve Commands, fulfilling a wide range of operational missions in both peace and war situations. Basic and specialized versions of the aircraft airframe perform a diverse number of roles including airlift support, Antarctic ice resupply, aeromedical missions, weather reconnaissance, aerial spray missions, fire-fighting duties for the U.S. Forest Service, and natural disaster relief missions. The AC-130H/U Hercules gunships provide close air support, air interdiction, and force protection.

Video Tour

Serial Number: 69-6580
Lockheed Martin
First Flight:
23 August 1954
Still in service
Crew: Two pilots, navigator, flight engineer, loadmaster
Payload: 45,000 lbs
Powerplant: 4x Allison T56-A-15 turboprops
97 ft 9 in
132 ft 7 in
38 ft 3 in
Empty Weight:
75,800 lbs
Loaded Weight:
155,000 lbs
Maximum Speed:
366 mph
Cruise Speed:
336 mph
Range: 2,360 mi
Service Ceiling: 33,000 ft

Assignment History

The assignment history for the Air Mobility Command Museum's C-130E Hercules, serial number 69-6580:

Date Location
1 Dec 1969 Delivered to the USAF
Dec 1969 to 61st Tactical Airlift Squadron (TAS), 64th Tactical Airlift Wing (TAW), Tactical Air Command (TAC), Sewart AFB, Tennessee
Mar 1970 64th Tactical Airlift Wing assigned to Little Rock AFB, Arkansas (deployments to RAF Mildenhall, UK, and Rhein Main AB, Germany)
May 1971 to 314th Tactical Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB, Arkansas (deployments to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, and Howard AFB, Panama)
Dec 1974 314th Tactical Airlift Wing assigned to Military Airlift Command (deployments to Rhein Main AFB, Germany; Clark AB, Philippines; and RAF Mildenhall, UK)
Feb 1983 to 317th Tactical Airlift Wing (MAC), Pope AFB, North Carolina (deployments to RAF Mildenhall and Rhein Main AB)
1 Jun 1992 317th Tactical Airlift Wing (TAC) becomes 317th Tactical Airlift Group, assigned to the 23rd Composite Wing, Air Combat Command (ACC)
Apr 1997 317th Tactical Airlift Group (ACC) deactivated, assigned to 43rd Airlift Wing (AW), Air Mobility Command (AMC), Pope AFB, North Carolina
2 Feb 2004 Retired from Pope AFB, North Carolina, and flown to Air Mobility Command Museum, Dover AFB, Delaware, for display
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I don’t see any mention of AWADS but all the 61st TAS C-130’s had Adverse Weather Aerial Delivery System in the early 70s. I was assigned to the 61st when I arrived (from tech school) in November of 1970 but at some point they moved all the Avionics people (I was Instruments) to the 314 AMS where I remained until February 1974 when my 4 years was up. I don’t know if this plane went to Viet Nam in May of 1972 but most of the 61st planes deployed to South Vietnam (Tan Son Nhut AB) in the summer of 1972 to test the Adverse Weather Aerial Delivery System (AWADS) in combat for the first time and we returned to LRAFB in September. Also in Oct.1971 the 61st went to Mildenhall and then on to Incirlik AB, Turkey to participate in a NATO exercise called “Exercise Deep Furrow”.

I remember being disappointed when we left the Flying Tigers, and joined the 43rd. I found the eyes and gaping mouth on the C-130’s entertaining. When I left Pope AFB in 1999, I believe there were still approximately 33 of these aircraft operating there. I have very fond memories of the airmen I worked with.

I worked on this plane, and many like it at Pope, in ISO DOCK. They are good planes. I think a Mr. Harrison may have been among our supervision? I seem to remember him beating us at pool, and getting the drinks anyway. I have fond memories of “no hope Pope”. I also ran C-130s up after maintenance, and thoroughly enjoyed it every time.

6580, been all over the globe on this aircraft. I believe AJ R. Was the DCC in the 90s. I have pics in the desert with this acft.

Steve Kreppein 07 September 2019 at 11:32 am

I was assigned to the 463rd OMS at Dyess AFB out of Tech School in 1973. I was an APG mechanic. The C-130E was a great plane to work on and were very reliable on it’s many missions. Pulled rotations to Mildenhall and Rhein Main during my time at Dyess. Also worked the DC-130’s both A and E models at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1976. Really enjoyed crewing and working the C-130’s. I believe they will be in the active and Reserve Air Force well into the 21st century.

Looking for Steve Kreppein my old buddy from Davis Monthan. Worked the DC-130E together

John Duncan 61st. TAS 1968–1972 Sewart & Little Rock AFB. C-130 hydraulic tech. Probably worked and flew on that plane to England & Germany.

Tom Nothwehr 61st TAS 1968-1972 Sewart & LRAFB …I was crew chief on 6581 so was probably parked right next to this C-130E. I went to Vietnam in ’70 after about a month + of training on the OV-10 Bronco and spent my year there as crew chief on that plane ! I got orders for LRAFB after Nam and went right back to good old 61st TAS and good old C-130E’s again! We probably even talked at one time or another John Duncan !!! As crew chief I know we hated to see those hydraulic leaks….LOL Really do miss working on the C-130E….I remember when the 61st got all new planes with that black SKE radar bubble on top. Lots of good memories of Tenn and Arkansas. Wish there was a way of getting in touch with some of those good buddies !

I worked on the B&E model C-130s and occasional H. I was an engine mechanic and also had a license to run engines. I found the 130s to be a superb aircraft to work and fly on. I missed working on them, and after my discharge, I always regret not going to engineer school. This was back in 1963-1967 at McGuire AFB, N.J.