C-130 Hercules

USAF FACT SHEET 92-34

Mission

The C-130 Hercules primarily performs the intratheater portion of the airlift mission. The aircraft is capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and is the prime transport for paradropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.


Background

Four decades have elapsed since the Air Force issued its original design specification, yet the remarkable C-130 remains in production. The initial production model was the C-130A, with four Allison T56-A-11 or -9 turboprops. A total of 219 were ordered and deliveries began in December 1956. Two DC-130A's (originally GC-130A's) were built as drone launchers/directors, carrying up to four drones on underwing pylons. All special equipment was removable, permitting the aircraft to be used as freighters, assault transports, or ambulances. The C-130B introduced Allison T56-A-7 turboprops and the first of 134 entered Air Force service in April 1959. C-130B's are used in aerial fire fighting missions by Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units. Six C-130B's were modified in 1961 for snatch recovery of classified U.S. Air Force satellites by the 6593rd Test Squadron at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

Features

In its personnel carrier role, the C-130 can accommodate 92 combat troops or 64 fully equipped paratroops on side-facing seats. For medical evacuations, it carries 74 litter patients and two medical attendants. Paratroopers exit the aircraft through two doors on either side of the aircraft behind the landing-gear fairings. Another exit is off the rear ramp for airdrops.
The C-130 Hercules joins on mercy flights throughout the world, bringing in food, clothing, shelter, doctors, nurses and medical supplies and moving victims to safety.
C-130 Hercules have served other nations, airlifting heavy equipment into remote areas to build airports and roads, search for oil ,and transport local goods.
As a partial response to the overwhelming role played by the tactical airlift fleet in Operation Just Cause and in the Persian Gulf War, Congress has approved the procurement of more C-130H's to replace the aging E models.

General Characteristics

Primary Function:

Intratheater airlift.
Contractor: Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company.
Power Plant: Four Allison T56-A-15 turboprops; 4,300 horsepower, each engine.
Length: 97 feet, 9 inches (29.3 meters).
Height: 38 feet, 3 inches (11.4 meters).
Wingspan: 132 feet, 7 inches (39.7 meters).
Speed: 374 mph (Mach 0.57) at 20,000 feet (6,060 meters).
Ceiling: 33,000 feet (10,000 meters) with 100,000 pounds (45,000 kilograms) payload.
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 155,000 pounds (69,750 kilograms).
Range:
2,356 miles (2,049 nautical miles) with maximum payload;
2,500 miles (2,174 nautical miles) with 25,000 pounds (11,250 kilograms) cargo
5,200 miles (4,522 nautical miles) with no cargo.
Unit Cost: $22.9 million (1992 dollars).
Crew Five (two pilots, a navigator, flight engineer and loadmaster)
Load Options 92 troops or or or
  64 paratroops
  74 litter patients
  five standard freight pallets.
Date Deployed: April 1955.
Inventory : Active force, 98; ANG, 20 Bs, 60 E's and 93 H's; Reserve, 606.
  October 1992


This picture shows the A C-130 as the Gun model. A slow flying, deadly plane.

 

F-16 Fighting Falcon

USAF FACT SHEET 92-34

Mission

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact, multirole fighter aircraft. It is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air combat and air-to-surface attack. It provides a relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system for the United States and allied nations.

 

Background

The F-16A, a single-seat model, first flew in December 1976. The first operational F-16A was delivered in January 1979 to the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
The F-16B, a two-seat model, has tandem cockpits that are about the same size as the one in the A model. Its bubble canopy extends to cover the second cockpit. To make room for the second cockpit, the forward fuselage fuel tank and avionics growth space were reduced. During training, the forward cockpit is used by a student pilot with an instructor pilot in the rear cockpit.
All F-16s delivered since November 1981 have built-in structural and wiring provisions and systems architecture that permit expansion of the multirole flexibility to perform precision strike, night attack and beyond-visual-range interception missions. This improvement program led to the F-16C and F-16D aircraft, which are the single- and two-place counterparts to the F-16A/B, and incorporate the latest cockpit control and display technology. All active units and many Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve units have converted to the F-16C/D.
The F-16 is being built under an unusual agreement creating a consortium between the United States and four NATO countries: Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway. These countries jointly produced with the United States an initial 348 F-16s for their air forces. Final airframe assembly lines were located in Belgium and the Netherlands. The consortium's F-16s are assembled from components manufactured in all five countries. Belgium also provides final assembly of the F100 engine used in the European F-16s. The long-term benefits of this program will be technology transfer among the nations producing the F-16, and a common-use aircraft for NATO nations. This program increases the supply and availability of repair parts in Europe and improves the F-16's combat readiness.
USAF F-16 multi-mission fighters were deployed to the Persian Gulf in 1991 in support of Operation Desert Storm, where more sorties were flown than with any other aircraft. These fighters were used to attack airfields, military production facilities, Scud missiles sites and a variety of other targets.

Features

In an air combat role, the F-16's maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. It can locate targets in all weather conditions and detect low flying aircraft in radar ground clutter. In an air-to-surface role, the F-16 can fly more than 500 miles (860 kilometers), deliver its weapons with superior accuracy, defend itself against enemy aircraft, and return to its starting point. An all-weather capability allows it to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.
In designing the F-16, advanced aerospace science and proven reliable systems from other aircraft such as the F-15 and F-111 were selected. These were combined to simplify the airplane and reduce its size, purchase price, maintenance costs and weight. The light weight of the fuselage is achieved without reducing its strength. With a full load of internal fuel, the F-16 can withstand up to nine G's -- nine times the force of gravity -- which exceeds the capability of other current fighter aircraft.
The cockpit and its bubble canopy give the pilot unobstructed forward and upward vision, and greatly improved vision over the side and to the rear. The seat-back angle was expanded from the usual 13 degrees to 30 degrees, increasing pilot comfort and gravity force tolerance. The pilot has excellent flight control of the F-16 through its "fly-by-wire" system. Electrical wires relay commands, replacing the usual cables and linkage controls. For easy and accurate control of the aircraft during high G-force combat maneuvers, a side stick controller is used instead of the conventional center-mounted stick. Hand pressure on the side stick controller sends electrical signals to actuators of flight control surfaces such as ailerons and rudder.
Avionics systems include a highly accurate inertial navigation system in which a computer provides steering information to the pilot. The plane has UHF and VHF radios plus an instrument landing system. It also has a warning system and modular countermeasure pods to be used against airborne or surface electronic threats. The fuselage has space for additional avionics systems.

General Characteristics

 

Primary Function:

Multirole fighter.
Contractor: Lockheed Martin Corp.
Power Plant: F-16C/D: one Pratt and Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or General Electric F110-GE-100/129
Thrust: F-16C/D, 27,000 pounds(12,150 kilograms)
Length: 49 feet, 5 inches (14.8 meters)
Height: 16 feet (4.8 meters)
Wingspan: 32 feet, 8 inches (9.8 meters)
Speed: 1,500 mph (Mach 2 at altitude)
Ceiling: Above 50,000 feet (15 kilometers)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 37,500 pounds (16,875 kilograms)
Range:
More than 2,000 miles ferry range (1,740 nautical miles)
Armament One M-61A1 20mm multibarrel cannon with 500 rounds; external stations can carry up to six air-to-air missiles, conventional air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions and electronic countermeasure pods.
Unit Cost: F-16C/D, $20 million plus
Crew F-16C: one; F-16D: one or two
Load Options 92 troops or or or
  64 paratroops
  74 litter patients
  five standard freight pallets.
Date Deployed: January 1979
Inventory Active force, 444; Air National Guard, 305; Reserve, 60
  June 1997


This picture shows the F-16, firing a missile.

 

SR-71 Blackbird

USAF FACT SHEET 92-34

My opinion: The first time I ever saw this plane, I was lost. It was big, black, fast, and a record breaker. Could you ask for more? I couldn't.
The baby was my dream to fly, but then I realized that:
1. I wasn't an American
2. It was a spy plane.
3. I was a Danish kid, in the age of 10
4. Woops, they stopped to use the plane, due to economical cost

When USAF stop to use an aero plane, due to their wallet size, that means that the cost are major!

Mission

Short and sweet: Fly for 8 hours, and spy on the enemy, at Mach 3, at an altitude, where missiles and no other plane would be able to intercept it.

 

Background

Originally designated SR-71, the Skunk Works was forced to change about 29,000 blueprints to SR-71 when Lyndon Johnson accidentally turned the letters around during his 1964 announcement acknowledging the existence of the airplane.
Called the Blackbird, the SR-71 was so far ahead of its time that to this day very few (such as the X-15 and the Space Shuttle) airplanes can outperform it. Everything about this airplane's creation was gigantic: the technical problems that had to be overcome, the political complexities surrounding its funding, even the ability of the Air Force's most skilled pilots to master this "incredible wild horse of the stratosphere." It was a gigantic leap over the U-2 in every way. In the words of Kelly Johnson, "It makes no sense to just take this one or two steps ahead, because we'd be buying only a couple of years before the Russians would be able to nail us again. No, I want us to come up with an airplane that can rule the skies for a decade or more." He wanted to design an airplane that used conventional engines and fuel, but still be able to outrace any missile.
The Blackbird, code-named Oxcart during its development, flies on a tremendous 65,000 lbs. of thrust at an altitude of 100,000+ feet at Mach 3.5, and has a range of four thousand miles. That is not only four times faster than the U-2 but seven miles higher - and the U-2 was then the current high-altitude champion.
For a long time the Air Force claimed a maximum speed of Mach 3.2 and an operational ceiling of 85,000 feet, but we now know that the SR-71 can soar above 100,000 feet. Some military pilots claim altitudes in excess of 125,000 feet but this is probably stretching it a bit. Compared to the fastest jet fighter America had at the time, the SR-71 flew at least 60 percent faster than its maximum speed on afterburner. Experimental rocket engines had flown this fast for only two or three minutes at a time before running out of fuel.
But the Blackbird can cruise at more than three times the speed of sound, and fly coast to coast in less than an hour on one tank of gas. The aircraft can also survey more than 100,000 square miles of the Earth's surface in one hour. The Blackbird actually stretches a few inches during flight, due to the massive temperatures on its titanium hull. To many, the Blackbird is the epitome of grace and power, not to mention blinding speed.
Two other planes, the A-12 and the YF-12, could easily be mistaken for the SR-71. The A-12 was the first plane developed out of the three. It is actually a host plane for the smaller, faster, and higher-flying D-21 drone, code-named Tag board, which sat piggyback on the A-12 and used a ramjet engine once released for flight. The project was soon cancelled, however, due to a fatal accident, and the D-21 went on to use the B-52 as a transport host. The YF-12 was an SR-71 with an internal bay carrying three Hughes GAR-9/ AIM-47A air to air radar guided missiles, designed to shoot enemy airplanes flying at lower altitudes. Only three YF-12s were ever built.

Features

Date of test Altitude of YF-12 Speed of YF-12 Altitude of target Results
March, 1965 65,000 feet Mach 2.19 40,000 feet Target destroyed
May, 1965 4,800 feet Mach 2.18 20,000 feet Missile gyro failure
September, 1965 5,200 feet Mach 3.22 20,000 feet Target destroyed
March, 1966 4,000 feet Mach 3.16 1,700 feet Target destroyed
April, 1966 75,200 feet Mach 3.20 1,100 feet Target destroyed
May, 1966 76,000 feet Mach 3.20 20,000 feet Target destroyed
September, 1966 74,400 feet Mach 3.20 500 feet Target destroyed

This chart "borrowed" from John Stone's Lockheed Blackbird Information As of January 1st, 1997, two SR-71 air crews and planes were declared mission ready for the first time since the plane's retirement, seven years ago. In 1994, Congress appropriated funds to put two aircraft back into service, and these airplanes were taken out of storage, refurbished, and delivered to the USAF. (One was located at NASA's Dryden research facility and the other at the Skunk Works.) These two Blackbirds and their crews are now based at Edwards Air Force Base, though administratively, they are part of the 9th Recon Wing at Beale. These SR-71s are equipped with reconnaissance sensors, including the Advanced Synthetic Aperture Radar system that provides near real-time, all-weather, day or night imagery. "My goal was to bring the SR-71 back quickly, within budget, and most importantly, in a safe manner," said Brig. Gen. Robert Behler, 9th Reconnaissance Wing commander at Beale. "I'm proud to say we've accomplished this goal and we look forward to demonstrating a mobility capability later this year." Remember that A-10 Thunderbolt that crashed into a Colorado mountain in April? Well, guess what two planes were involved in the search . . .

General Characteristics

 

Primary Function:

Spyplane
Contractor: Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Company.
Power Plant:  
Length:  
Height:  
Wingspan:  
Speed: Mach 3,5
Ceiling: 100.000+
Maximum  
Range:
 
 
 
Unit Cost:  
Crew 2
Load Options  
Date Deployed:  
Inventory