Sunday, 4 May 2014

Polish Hercules over Jeziorki

Truly the workhorse of Western armed forces, the Lockheed C-130 Hercules has had an amazingly long-lived career as a military transport aircraft. The prototype flew almost 60 years ago (August 1954), while the C-130E variant (of which Poland has five) entered service over half a century ago (1962). In use with 71 air forces around the world of which 15 are European, the C-130 is a hugely successful and long-lived design.

This one (below, serial number 1504) was in use with the USAF since 1971. With the USAF serial number 70-1276, it saw service in the UK, based in Mildenhall in the late 1970s. Good to see the szachownica (red-and-white chequerboard) gracing it today, coming into land over Jeziorki.

Last week Warsaw's Okęcie airport celebrated its 80th birthday; the C-130 has been around for three-quarters of that period! Makes you appreciate the huge leap forward in aviation between 1934 (Douglas DC-2, forerunner of the famous Dakota first flew in that year) and 1954 (B-52, C-130 still in active service).

This time last year:
Looking for The Zone, in and around Jeziorki

This time three years ago:
I awake to snow, on 4 May

This time seven years ago:
This is not America. No?

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