LM-100J Super Hercules Goes Inverted at Farnborough 2018
Lockheed Martin’s LM-100J Super Hercules flight demonstration from the Farnborough International Air Show 2018 literally stole the show when Chief Pilot Wayne Robert pulled off maneuvers which literally made the Super Hercules mimic a Tom Cat out of “Top Gun”. You see “Old pilots” or you end up seeing “Bold Pilots”, but rarely you come across an “Old and Bold” pilot like Wayne Robert. Captain Wayne Robert’s behind the wheel was apparently pulling off his last air show display before retiring, so he clearly seems to be taking all the leverage he needed to pull off stunts which would make people forget “fighters” at Farnborough.
Despite spectators having glanced the LM-100J’s air display profile (see below), what revealed physically before them was absolutely spectacular and mesmerizing.
The Plane Itself
The LM-100J is primarily designed as a modern replacement for the aging 115 L-100 freighters which Lockheed delivered in the years 1964 to 1992.
Lockheed first flew the Super Hercules LM-100Js with the more powerful RR AE 2100D3-powered type engines on 25 May, and is already well on the way to wrapping up its test effort, with the US Federal Aviation Administration becoming involved “by August”, says LM-100J chief test pilot Wayne Roberts. All test flights should be “done by year-end”, he says, leading to FAA certification early next year, followed by delivery to an undisclosed launch customer. However, without EASA certification, the LM-100J may face some minor snags for sales across Europe.
Wayne Roberts, on LM-100J stated, “It flies as wonderfully as it always has. For 60 years, it has operated into some of the shortest runways in the world. “It still does that extremely well, but it now has new avionics and engines too.” Essentially a tweaked version of the C-130J tactical transport, the civil freighter benefits from the over 20 years and 1.5 million flight hours of the military model.
In addition, features such as night-vision-goggle and air-drop capability will be transferred across to the LM-100J, although these will not be certificated initially. And although the C-130J is offered in both long- and short-fuselage variants, the freighter will only be sold in its longer, 34.37m (112ft 9in) guise. As well as cargo transport, Lockheed sees potential for the LM-100J to perform a number of missions including aerial firefighting, search and rescue, and VIP transport.