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Hrcules C-130: this is the plane that disappeared in Chile towards Antarctica with 38 people on board

A plane Hrcules C -130 of the Chilean Area Force as the one that disappeared towards Antarctica Credit: Europa Press

Whenever an airplane disappears,
Like that of the Chilean Area Force (Fach) on Monday with 38 people on board, questions arise about the characteristics of the aircraft.

The de la Fach, who with 17 crew and 21 passengers was on his way to the Antarctic when he lost his track,
It was a Hrcules C-130. It is the main model of tactical aviation of many of the world forces.

Created by the aeronautical company Lockheed (today Lockheed Martin), it was designed so that it could
carry a large load in a pressurized cabin and that, despite the weight, it could take off without complications.

And so solve a technological need that slows the transport of cargo and soldiers during World War II.

An Argentine Air Force Hercules aircraft refurbished at the Argentine Aircraft Factory (Fadea)


Since then, more than 2000 aircraft of this type have been produced, whose
Official name is Lockheed C-130 Hercules.

Its main client, the US Army, has been using it for more than 50 years, and is also one of the few aircraft that continue to be produced five decades after its creation.

No load is too heavy.

It was 2:45 in the afternoon of August 23, 1954 when the prototype of the aircraft in question flew over the sky of Burbank, in California, as wrote by Walter J. Boyne, retired colonel and director of the Museum of Aeronautics and Space. Washington DC, in August 2004 in the Air Force Magazine, the magazine of the United States Area Force Association.

It had the peculiarity that it could take off with an external engine, and fly with a full load, a challenge that previous aircraft had not achieved.

Credit: Shutterstock

His critics see him aesthetically ugly, but his engineers insist that they sacrificed the stylized appearance of the other Lockheed creations and prioritized functionality.

Its creators hoped that the US Area Force will buy about 100 units.

Fifty years later, it is still the main means of transportation of cargo in the world's largest Army.

Despite the modifications, five decades after his first flight, the plane
powered by four turbohlice engines It still has an exterior design very similar to the original.