If the RAF-liveried C-130J-30 on static display outside the Lockheed Martin chalet looks familiar to show-goers, it should.

ZH873 is the same aircraft which was on view at Farnborough last September.

It's scheduled to be delivered to the RAF in a few months' time. For the time being, Lockheed Martin leases the aircraft back from the RAF for display purposes.

The -30 model of the C-130J is 5m (15ft) longer than the standard aircraft giving it between 31% and 50% greater load capacity, depending on the type of cargo being carried.

For example, the extended aircraft carries 92 paratroops or 128 combat troops, compared with 64 and 92 respectively for the standard airframe. The cargo floor itself is 37% bigger at 16m in length.

Lockheed Martin's display at Le Bourget is entitled 'Hercules Relief' and it concentrates on the C-130J's ability to take heavier loads, further and more efficiently than ever before.

Demonstration pilot Arlen Rens, who is flying potential C-130J customers in the USAF Maryland Air National Guard aircraft which is also in the static park, recalls flying a 'mercy mission' to Honduras following last November's emergency when a hurricane devastated parts of Central America.

Lockheed Martin has commitments for up to 332 C-130J series aircraft.

Source: Flight Daily News