The aircraft was officially handed over from the Royal Air Force to the Museum today when Air Marshal North passed on the aircraft’s Log Book, or Form 700 as it is more commonly referred to within the RAF, to the Museum’s Director General. Information recorded within an aircraft’s log book includes servicing history, flight times and details of individual flights and is the only source of such records - RAF practice is to destroy this information shortly after the aircraft is struck off charge.
The C-130 Hercules has been a key component of the Royal Air Force’s frontline for over forty years and continues to provide outstanding service. A familiar sight, at home and abroad, the Hercules can rightly claim to have been the ‘first in and last out’ in numerous campaigns and operations. As a tanker, and as a transport, it has delivered vital strategic and tactical mobility – providing the platform for the Royal Air Force’s operational capabilities, through the Cold War and beyond.
RAF Museum Director General, Peter Dye, said:
“The Royal Air Force Museum is delighted that it has been able to acquire an example of this iconic and ubiquitous aircraft. Hercules XV202 will allow us not only to celebrate the achievements of this hugely important type, but also to tell the story of those thousands of individuals who operated and supported the aircraft – from the frontline to industry. We share Marshall Aerospace’s pride in their contribution to the Royal Air Force, and the Hercules in particular, and are delighted that they have been able to help us to make this official handover the significant and memorable occasion it deserves. Today also provides an opportunity to recognise just how much the Royal Air Force’s Hercules fleet, and those associated with it since 1967, have contributed to all three Services, the nation and the international community – it is a record of faultless service, dedication, sacrifice and professionalism.”
The Hercules was originally designed after experience in the Korean War revealed a need for a more capable transport aircraft. The requirement called for an aircraft capable of carrying 92 passengers, 72 combat troops or 64 paratroops. Lockheed’s design employed a high tail which allowed for an unobstructed rear loading ramp where vehicles could be driven aboard and also used for cargo dropping. The C-130 could lift its load into the air in 1/5th of the runway length that contemporary cargo carriers required and decades later, the latest variants of the type are in military service with more than 60 nations.
For more information on the Hercules and other aircraft on display at the RAF Museum Cosford, please visit the Museum’s website http://www.rafmuseum.org/ or call 01902 376200.
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