Air Transportation: September 2, 2001


The U.S. Air Force has long been forced by congress to buy C-130 (also known as Hercules, Herc, Herkybird) aircraft it didn't need, and keep them operational. Congressmen from districts where C-130s are built and stationed saw to this. But now senior air force generals are openly complaining about the situation, especially since some one hundred of these C-130s are quite old and expensive to maintain. Ever alert to political needs, the air force says it still wants the new C-130Js that are being built. While the older C-130s can't quite make it across the Atlantic safely, the new C-130J model can. Moreover, the C-130J requires only a three man crew, two less than previous models and one version (C-130J-30) is 15 feet longer. 


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