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JATO Hercules with Wheel, Float, Ski etc...

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[JATO, in C-130 Hercules, stands for "JET ASSISTED TAKE-OFF" System. In my previous Rio/Hercules post, I'd indicated that the Float variant of the C-130 Hercules, I'd displayed there, was seen to be equipped with JATO rockets, which, I'd not found suitable to deploy, on the Guanabara Bay, in the midst of the busy Rio Cityscape...🙂...So, here, I have flown the same Float (USCG livery) Hercules, with activation of its JATO system (virtually, of course, with no (implied) pretense of any resemblance to the RW event, see a RW video clip suggestion, below). In addition, for curiosity, I've also included pictures of the the Wheel (with JATO) and Ski (without JATO) Hercules variants, below. The (RW) C-130 had/has (mind-boggling) nearly 70 different variants, out of which, the CS All-in-One package simulates 18. So, I thought, it will be a worthwhile exercise, to, at least, minimally, explore the primary three Hercules variants, Wheel/Float/Ski, of this giant of a miraculous plane, thanks to this wonderful (SIM) package from CS.]

We know "Hercules is the Roman equivalent of the Greek divine hero Heracles...In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures. The Romans adapted the Greek hero's iconography and myths for their literature and art under the name Hercules..."...So, the "can-do-it-all" Lockheed C-130, here, was named after this mythical character. But, as it's said, everyone needs a helping hand sometimes, even our heavy-lifting aircraft Hercules, here...! And, regarding "JATO", first of all, it's to be noted that “Jet-Assisted” part of JATO, here, is bit of a (technical) misnomer, because, though, fundamentally similar, here are the two such systems:

  1. JATO - Jet Assisted Take Off. One or more jet (turbine) engines used to boost take off performance.
  2. RATO - Rocket Assisted Take Off. One or more solid propellant rocket motors providing additional thrust for a brief period of time to help get a heavy aircraft off a short runway.

I note also this primary distinction between "Jet" and "Rocket", "The main difference between them is that jets get the oxygen to burn fuel from the air while rockets carry their own oxygen, which allows them to operate in space. ... Jet engines have two openings (an intake and an exhaust nozzle). Rocket engines only have one opening (an exhaust nozzle)."...On record, the world's first jet-propelled airliner, the De Havilland Comet, made its maiden test-flight on July 27, 1949. The C-130 Hercules (turboprop) made its first flight, later, during the dawn of Jet-Age, in 1954. So, there’s no "Jet" involved in C-130 Hercules JATO. The system actually uses a several "rockets" (8 in case of Hercules, see images) capable of cutting the takeoff run by almost 60 percent. That kind of advantage was/is important for taking off in a heavily loaded plane on short runways, especially when, in the early decades of its use, most areas of the world had few suitable (or/and long) paved runways. Seaplanes can operate from rivers, lakes, and oceans. Therefore, since the C-130 design already had high wings, Lockheed-Martin developed a "float-plane" conversion of C-130 (= CL-130) Hercules to operate from water. This float-plane has two major disadvantages compared to seaplanes. First, the weight and drag of the large floats cut payload and range by 30%. In addition, mounting of those massive floats on a C-130, is a non-trivial matter. Lockheed-Martin designed a CL-130 (see USCG images below), but couldn't find buyers. The (similar) Ski-equipped (= LC-130) Hercules Ski planes have, however, long operated from ice for years (see "fictional" (one of my favorite Red) British Antarctic Survey (BAS) images below; btw their (Red) Twin Otters are well-known). The floats of the C-130 weigh > 13,000 lbs. In contrast, the 20 feet long Skis, in the Hercules, weigh about 2,000 pounds each.

The wheeled Fat Albert, quite a unique aircraft, of the Blue Angels (see close-up shot, below, for marking), shown with JATO, would open air shows with a Jet-Assisted Take-Off (JATO), to the delight of onlookers. Though this C-130 was the only large transport aircraft on a service-level performance team in the world, it no longer shows off its JATO capabilities (likely will never again). If you wish, please search/view this (1min:4sec) video clip, "C-130 "Fat Albert" Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO), NAS Miramar Air show" (notice the profuse black smoke, before the Rockets burn out)...Today's engines create much more thrust than earlier designs, so, JATOs are increasingly rare, but the LC-130 "Skibirds," which resupply Antarctica's U.S. McMurdo Research Station, still use JATO to depart the frozen continent.

The C-130T (modelled by CS with JATO; Fat Albert being a good example of it) was specially equipped with 8 JATO rocket cylinders (4 on each side). Each rocket was comprised of solid fuel and added about 1,000 lbs of thrust. With 8,000 lbs of extra thrust on the aircraft, the C-130 became airborne in no time, in spectacular fashion, at 45 degree nose-high climb (see the (symbolic) nose-up screenshot, below, from my virtual world). For comparison, typical C-130s climb at, one third this rate, around (10-15) degrees angles, on a normal departure.

Anyway, it was all good fun to explore, in our fantasy world of aviation, these 3 Hercules variants, all together, here, of this giant of a miraculous plane, with the sequence of (shown) shots, below, as follows, (8 for Fat Albert C-130T, 4 for (BAS) Skibird LC-130, 3 for Float (USCG) CL-130 in Juneau Harbor (no prior approval sought/needed...🙂...), and, finally, 5 also for Float USCG, this time, somewhere in the safe zone of middle North Pacific Ocean, west of Alaska...). Notice, in the 2nd shot, below, the close-up of the Pedestal, with the JATO control panel, located at the RHS edge (in this simulation, one first flips the Red "ARM" cover, clicks the (hidden) switch up, and then presses the (black) FIRE button, to activate JATO...I'm still not too proficient with this part, but, getting better...needs more practice...)

In the 20th/final shot, I leave you with an image of those four (powerful and massive) Allison T56-A-15 turboprop engine blades, cutting through the air, in the dusk light, just above the waters, in the safety of the Pacific Ocean...while in a sharp bank, deliberately executed by yours truly...🙂...

Hope you enjoy these images...! Thanks for your interest...!!

[CS(C-130T/CL-130/LC-130), Orbx(AK/PAJN), REX]





















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Nice set of shots, i loved all CS planes at my older FSX times.

Is it known whether CS also bring their planes for MSFS , didn't hear about that yet..

cheers 😉

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20 hours ago, pmplayer said:

Nice set of shots, i loved all CS planes at my older FSX times.

Is it known whether CS also bring their planes for MSFS , didn't hear about that yet..

cheers 😉

Thank you, pmplayer...! Please see exchange of comments...in my (earlier) Hercules/Rio post...Andy here is (eagerly) waiting for it too...🙂....so, you're not alone..(meanwhile, seems like, it works in P3D, though it's officially listed on the CS website for FSX only)...

14 hours ago, Alaska738 said:

Great set of pics!

Appreciated the comment, Alaska738...!

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