Original plans by Lockheed Martin to bring the C-130J Hercules 2 to Farnborough had to be scrapped because the programme is behind schedule - but the company has shown the aircraft at the flight-test base in Marietta, Georgia, via a live satellite hook-up.

Lockheed Martin is saying only that the aircraft is unable to be here because of a very aggressive schedule which is now heavily into the flight-testing programme. It is understood, however, that the company had hoped originally to bring the C-130J to Farnborough.

The Royal Air Force is among the first customers for the J, the newest variant of the Hercules.

Lockheed Martin is developing the J as a commercial venture. Other customers for the aircraft are the US Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force.

The aircraft is in flight testing now, and Lockheed Martin's Aeronautics president and chief operating officer Micky Blackwell says: "The results over the past few months have been spectacular." Earlier problems with avionics integration, however, have put the programme about six months behind schedule. As more aircraft are introduced to the flight-test programme, Lockheed Martin hopes to close that gap.

Lockheed Martin has set up a special live report via satellite to Farnborough directly from the flight-line in Georgia to a large screen in its exhibition pavilion.

From there, Lockheed Martin test pilot Wayne Roberts showed journalists around a J, and briefed them on some of the major aspects of the aircraft.



Compared to earlier models of the Hercules, the J has 40% more range and can climb 40% higher at a rate of climb that is 50% faster. Its maximum speed is 21% higher and take-off roll is 41% shorter.

Chief test pilot Bob Price says the aircraft's Flight Dynamics head-up display is particularly liked by the pilots.





Source: Flight Daily News