Hercules C 130 Life Extension Program

Students1: M. Braakenburg, C. Braun, K. Custers, A. Keizer, S. Libot, A. Figueroa Mayordomo, A. Shahbazkhani, T. Verspecht, C. Vinke, . Weghs

Project tutor: dr.ir. R.C. Alderliesten

Coaches: dr.ir. C. Rans, ir. R.J. de Boer

The Hercules C-130, in production by Lockheed Martin since 1956, is a large four propeller driven transport aircraft.
More than 2,350 C-130's have been built so far, of which about 600 are operated by the US Air Force. The average age of this fleet is about 32 years. As the intended service life was only 25 years, a huge retirement wave is on the way. If the current pace of withdrawals is maintained, the fleet will begin to lose airworthiness by 2013.
Replacing all 600 aircraft is not an option, because a new C-130J costs $69 million and thus replacing the entire Hercules fleet would result in a total cost of $41.4 billion. Furthermore, Lockheed Martin will not be able to deliver 600 aircraft by 2013. That is why a life extension program, to lengthen the operational life of the current fleet is the only viable option.

The paper of this project is available as a PDF-document here.

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