The RAF operate the C-130K (C1/C3) and the newer C-130J (C4/C5) Hercules from RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire. The newer 'J' model features more powerful Rolls-Royce Allison turboprop engines and more efficient propellers then the 'K' model. It also has a modern all glass cockpit, head up displays, integrated navigation, communication and defensive systems. The way to tell the two versions apart is that the 'J' version has six bladed propellers compared to the four bladed propellers of the 'K' version. Also the newer 'J' version has the refuelling probe fitted to the left-hand side above the cockpit rather then the right on the 'K' version. The older 'K' version is actually 15ft longer and carries external fuel tanks under the wings while the more efficient 'J' version does not need them. The 'K' model is operated by 47 and 70 Sqns and the 'J' model is flown by 24 and 30 Sqns.
The Hercules usually has three crew: pilot, co-pilot and an air loadmaster. The aircraft has many roles including cargo and troop transport, air drop of personnel and stores, aeromedical evacuation, and famine relief. It also has the ability to land in a short distance and on poor quality runways. The Hercules has recently been involved in the earthquake relief in Pakistan and is still on deployment in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The 2006 display Hercules will be the newer 'J' version. There will be 2 crews splitting the shows throughout the 2006 season. First crew are: 30 Sqn - Captain: Trev Waller, Co-Pilot: Dave Kirby, Air Loadmaster: 'Spud' Simpson. Second crew are: 24 Sqn - Captain: Ben Brandon, Co-Pilot: Phil O'Brien, Air Loadmaster: Sgt Daz Addison. The C-130J Hercules is also used for dropping the RAF Falcons parachute team using a different crew.
RAF C-130J Herules at RAF Waddington Airshow.
2006 C-130J Hercules First Crew
C-130J Hercules Display PilotFlt Lt Trev Waller was born in Cheshire in January 1969 before moving to Scotland. He was educated at the High School of Stirling Secondary school, Richmond-upon-Thames Tertiary College and the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Trev was a member of the Air Training Corps before joining Manchester and Salford University Air Squadron. He joined the RAF in September 1987 as a University Cadet and after completing Initial Officer Training at RAFC Cranwell went on to flying training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse in North Yorkshire then RAF Finningley in South Yorkshire. He graduated as a Pilot in September 1994 and was posted to the C-130K Hercules at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire. He completed several tours of duty on different Squadrons at RAF Lyneham and was one of the first crews to convert to the new J model Hercules. During his time at Lyneham Trev has flown on both marks of Hercules and completed operational sorties in Iraq, Sierra Leone, the Balkans and Afghanistan. He is now an Instructor on the J model Training Flight where he undertakes continuation training and checks for all Squadron pilots as well as coordinating Night Vision Goggle airland training. Flt Lt Trev Waller is the 30 Sqn Display Pilot for this year's RAF C-130 display.
C-130J Hercules Display Co-PilotFlt Lt Dave Kirby was born in Leicester in Sep 1971, He was schooled in Leicester, at Rowley Fields Community College and Wyggeston & Queen Elizabeth Ist VI th form college. Dave joined the RAF in May 1990 as a Navigator and after completing Initial Officer Training at RAFC Cranwell went on to Navigator Training at RAF Finningley in South Yorkshire. 'Kirbs' graduated as a Navigator in June 1992 and was posted to the Tornado GR1. He completed a tour of duty at RAF Bruggen in Germany during which he flew operational sorties over Iraq on Operation Southern Watch. In Mar 1997 Dave was posted to XV(R) Sqn at RAF Lossiemouth as an Instructor Navigator and completed the Qualified Weapons Instructor (QWI) course, winning the trophy for best crew. He continued to instruct on XV Sqn until Aug 1999. Dave started his second career in the RAF in Sep 1999 when he was posted to RAF Linton-on-Ouse to undertake pilot training. He completed the basic phase of flying training, during which he won the Navigation & Leadership Trophies, and was posted to RAF Valley. Dave withdrew from training at Valley in May 2001 and was posted to 3 FTS RAF Cranwell to undergo Multi Engine Conversion. Dave was posted to the C130J as one of the first pilots to fly the C130J with no previous Hercules experience. During his tour as a Co-pilot Dave was on the first TacAT course and was qualified to drop the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team. Dave attained Captaincy after 3 years on the C130, and now is an Instructor on J Tactical Training Flight, where he takes qualified crews and trains them in air drop and Low Level flying. Dave is the 30 Sqn Copilot for this years C130 display.
C-130J Hercules Display LoadmasterFlight Sergeant 'Spud' Simpson was born in Dundee in July 1970. He finished his education at Kingdown School in Warminster, Wilts. before joining the RAF in May 1988 as an Airloadmaster. Following basic training at RAF Swinderby he completed the Airmen Aircrew Initial Training Course and Airloadmaster training at RAF Finningley. Spud was posted to RAF Shawbury, graduated as a helicopter crewman in 1989 and was posted to 72 Sqn, RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland as a Wessex Crewman before moving to the Hercules in 1990. After a tour on 30 Sqn operating the C-130K (including a four-month detachment to the Falkland Islands) he was posted to LXX Sqn and undertook a Tactical Air Transport course. After two tours on LXX Sqn Spud was posted to the C-130J and graduated from the 4th "J" course in 2001. After a posting to 24 Sqn he took up an instructional postion. During his tours on both marks of C-130 Neil has flown operational sorties in Bosnia, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. Spud is now a member of the C 130J training flight where he trains and examines Loadmasters on the C-130J. FS 'Spud' Simpson is the 30 Sqn loadmaster for this years C-130J display.
RAF C-130J & C-130K at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2005.