Super Hercules receives type certificate update


The civilian version of Lockheed Martin’s Super Hercules military freighter has been certified by the USA’s Federal Aviation Administration to operate from any commercial airfield in the world.

The LM-100J is a  modernized version of the Lockheed Martin L-100 freighter, which was produced between 1964 and 1992 by Lockheed Martin. According to the aerospace and defence company, many of the 100 L-100s produced are still in service today.

Lockheed Martin announced in 2014 it intended to update its existing FAA A1SO type certificate for the aircraft so it can  be marketed as the LM-100J – a civil-certified production variant of the military proven C-130J Super Hercules.

The first two LM-100J aircraft are due to be delivered to Fort Worth, Texas-based aviation services company Pallas Aviation next year.

Rod McLean, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin’s Air Mobility and Maritime Missions  business said, “Like its military counterparts, the worldwide L-100 fleet is  much relied upon. As this fleet reaches the end of its operating life, customers told us the only replacement for the L-100 is an LM-100J.

“This updated FAA certification enables the LM-100J to go anywhere in the world to fulfil the  demanding requirements it was built to support. As the LM-100J enters into service, it will continue to exemplify and expand the already unmatched capabilities of the C-130J Super Hercules family.”

The LM-100J incorporates technological developments and improvements over the existing legacy L-100 freighters and builds on more than two decades of C-130J operational experience. The aircraft features carbon brakes, digital avionics and a dual HUD, automated maintenance fault reporting and is 14% more fuel efficient with a 20% improvement in payload/range capability.

“We had an opportunity to design and build a completely new commercial airlifter with insights from a proven airframe,” said Marilou Franklin, director of the LM-100J Program at Lockheed Martin. “Our goal was to produce an airlifter that was as safe as it was capable as it was advanced. In partnering with our existing L-100 operators, our network of suppliers and the FAA, we did that ― and more ― with the LM-100J.”


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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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