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C-130 Aircraft Propeller and Engine System Safety

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,744 Words (11 Pages)  •  2,307 Views

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The mighty C-130 Hercules has been around for almost fifty years now. It is one of the most versatile aircraft used in military and civil aviation today. It is a go anywhere, do anything aircraft and was developed to replace the aging C-47 Gooney Bird. The Hercules performs many operations other than cargo transportation. Such operations include weather surveillance, medical, fire fighting, rescue and recovery, gunship operations, in-flight refueling and humanitarian missions. Overtime, the C-130 has been modified many, many times and has seen numerous improvements as a result of these modifications. On the outside, the C-130 Hercules looks relatively the same as it did almost fifty years ago. However, on the inside, there have been many changes to it regarding system safety. Some systems which were engineered on earlier models, were in fact retained on later models due to the effectiveness of the system safety.

C-130 Aircraft Propeller and Engine System Safety

In July, 1951 Lockheed received a new Air Force contract for its YC-130 transport aircraft. The first service test prototype flew on 23 August, 1954 and the C-130 Hercules aircraft has been in continuous production since 1955 (Yenne, 1989). Manufactured by the Lockheed Corporation, it has evolved as probably the most reliable aircraft the world has ever seen. To date, there have been over 2300 C-130 aircraft made and there has been no sign of a slow down in production. Sixty-five nations have included the C-130 Hercules in their inventory of aircraft. Lockheed has a very simple philosophy, "When you have something good, go with it" (Morris, 1989, p. 125).

Although there are only five basic models, C-130A, B, E, H and J, there are over seventy variations of the aircraft and it can operate in numerous environments such as mountain terrain, arctic regions, jungles and deserts (Boyne, 1998). As we know, fuel efficiency is one of the most important elements of an aircraft's direct operating costs. Powered by four fuel efficient Allison Turboprop engines, the C-130 is known around the world as the workhorse of the sky (Laming, 1992). Over the years the Lockheed aircraft company retained the same basic size and shape of the aircraft and improved on its internal systems, power and performance. Virtually every part of the aircraft has been strengthened, improved and modernized, especially the propeller and engine.


Engine operation is controlled by mechanical and electrical control systems. Engine controls consist of power levers or throttles, which provide power inputs to the engine and condition levers which provide for starting and shutting down the engine. They are connected through a series of cables, rods and pulleys running from the flight deck to the engines. The throttles have two ranges,


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