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US Air Pressure Begins Avionics Revamp for C-130H Hercules Fleet

The US Air Pressure has began the transition of its C-130H Hercules avionics from an analog to a digital configuration.

The improve replaces the tactical transport plane fleet’s avionics and navigation techniques which were operational for almost six a long time.

It additionally helps necessities stipulated underneath the US Nationwide Protection Technique to revamp the C-130H legacy capabilities.

Alongside the combination of superior applied sciences, the transition consists of aircrew coaching for the brand new avionics.

The US Air Nationwide Guard and Air Pressure Reserve Command Take a look at Middle will then facilitate operational checks following the avionics replace in Little Rock, Arkansas.

From Analog to Digital

Methods coated by the transition embrace flight administration techniques, engine devices, massive glass multifunctional shows, autopilot, terrain consciousness, and warning techniques.

Work for the trouble is led by the 417th Flight Take a look at Squadron (FLTS) at Eglin Air Pressure Base, Florida.

Greater than 50 US Air Nationwide Guard and 20 Air Pressure Reserve models are anticipated to obtain the updates over the subsequent 5 years.

Every modernization per plane will price roughly $7 million, in keeping with the air drive.

The all-digital C-130H cockpit. Photograph: Samuel King Jr./US Air Pressure

“This modification utterly modifications the interface for the crew to make use of the C-130H,” 417th FLTS Experimental Take a look at Pilot Maj. Jacob Duede said.

“Aircrew basically needed to print the instructions earlier than flying after which kind the data in utilizing latitude and longitude or use ground-based navigation aids.”

“This new mod is the latest GPS navigation with a by-name search perform and autopilot, all constructed into the plane.”

Improved Flight Plans, Accessibility

Among the many benefits of the brand new C-130H digital avionics are the fast flight plan changes and coordination with air visitors management.

“Relying on the proficiency of the crew, this might take 30-45 seconds or two to 3 minutes,” the pilot defined concerning the older avionics setup. “Both of which is a very long time when within the air shifting at 4 miles per minute.”

“The brand new course of is as fast as step one of the outdated course of. You simply determine the purpose on the shifting map, seize it and execute the flight plan,” Duede added.

Aircrew test out the C-130H’s all new digital displays for the first time Aug. 2 on a flight to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The major upgrade, called Avionics Modernization Program Increment 2, is a significant improvement to the almost 60-year-old aircraft’s avionics and navigation systems. (Courtesy photo)
Aircrew take a look at out the C-130H’s all new digital shows for the primary time. Photograph: US Air Pressure

One other key advantage of the digitization program is the on-screen availability of situational consciousness instruments that have been beforehand accessible by way of exterior computer systems.

“That is a lot bigger than only a software program or {hardware} improve. It’s reconstructing and modernizing the plane’s complete cockpit space,” Duede mentioned.