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Originating in the 1950's when the USAF needed an aircraft with heavy cargo lifting ability, troop-carrying capacity, and the ability to operate safely from the most primitive of runways, the Hercules has appeared wherever there has been a crisis, war, or emergency. In combat, no matter whether in tropical jungle, desert landing strips, or almost-impassable terrain, the C-130's homely and familiar profile has arterialized where she was most needed. From the icy wastes of Antarctica to the earthquake-stricken island of Haiti in January 2010, the aircraft has arrived on the scene laden with medical and emergency supplies, aid teams, and heavy lifting gear.
This is the full story of the Hercules and a faithful record of all her exploits over half-a-century, in her many guises, from gunship in Vietnam, to flying hospital in Arabia, and is fully illustrated with many original color and black-and-white photographs. All Hercules types and many foreign air forces and civilian operators are covered, including their varied uses and multiple roles. This complete aircraft history also contains a type listing, details of sub-contractors, exhibits and museums, together with color aircraft profiles which combine to make The Lockheed Martin Hercules essential reading for the aviation enthusiast or historian.