C-130 Hercules

C130 Hercules

Both New Zealand and US C-130s are flown between Christchurch and the Antarctic. As a versatile cargo aircraft, it is not built for passenger comfort and has a similar seating arrangement to that in a C17. Passengers sit on either side of the plane shoulder to shoulder in lines of webbed seats facing the centre of the aircraft. Cargo is strapped in throughout the rest of the fuselage.

As the largest aircraft to be fitted with retractable ski-wheels, the Hercules is vital to Antarctic operations. It is necessary as a means of supplying and supporting inland research stations and research teams very distant from permanent stations. The Hercules is both smaller and slower than the C17, making it a less popular option to those travelling between New Zealand and Scott Base; however, making the long trip from Christchurch to Antarctica in a Hercules is a right of passage to many heading to the ice and an experience that they never forget

Hercules Stats File

Crew: 2 pilots, 1 navigator, 1 flight engineer, 1 load master

Passengers: up to 92

Lifting Capacity: 20,000 kg

Powerplant: 4 Allison T56-A-15 turboprops

Length: 29.3 m

Cruising Speed: 555kmh

Range: 3800 km with maximum payload