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Upgraded C-130 arrives for testing

Upgraded C-130H begins testing

A 153rd Airlift Wing maintainer plugs in a generator cable into her C-130H after arriving at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H arrives for testing

A one of a kind C-130H Hercules aircraft assigned to the Wyoming Air National Guard is seen flying, Jan. 6, 2018 at Cheyenne Regional Airport. The aircraft is the first of the legacy H-model C-130 fleet to be modified with upgraded T-56 Rolls Royce 3.5 engines, NP2000 eight-bladed propellers and electronic propeller controls. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Charles Delano)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing

A C-130H taxis through the fog upon arrival at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing

Maintainers from the 153rd Airlift Wing stand by after their C-130H arrived at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing

A C-130H taxis through the fog upon arrival at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing

A C-130H taxis past the McKinley Climatic Lab after arriving at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing

A 153rd Airlift Wing maintainer places chocks on the wheels of a C-130H after arriving at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing

A chunk of ice hangs from the bottom of the C-130H’s wing after its flight from Wyoming to Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing

Staff Sgt. Ethan Mulhern, 153rd Airlift Wing maintainer, places a cover over a C-130H engine intake after arriving at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 10 of 11

A 153rd Airlift Wing maintainer plugs in a generator cable into her C-130H after arriving at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

Upgraded C-130H begins testing
PHOTO DETAILS  /   DOWNLOAD HI-RES 11 of 11

A 153rd Airlift Wing maintainer pulls a generator cable toward a C-130H after arriving at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Jan. 11. Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H is here for test and evaluation on its new modified propeller system and engines. (U.S. Air Force photo/Samuel King Jr.)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The first to cut through an unusual afternoon fog was the sound that seemed like a swarm of millions of insects angrily buzzing in unison.  Then, the nose of a C-130 popped through that dense whiteness followed by 32 spinning blades creating the ominous sound.

The Air Force’s first fully upgraded C-130H arrived here Jan. 11 to begin testing.

The Wyoming Air National Guard's 153rd Airlift Wing-owned aircraft will be here for several months undergoing multiple test flights.  The goal of these evaluations is to collect data and confirm the increased fuel efficiency, reliability and overall performance improvements gained from the new propellers and upgraded engines.

The benefits of the upgrades include shorter take-off roll, improved climb, quieter operations, and lower operating and support costs, according to Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the program office for the test.

"With these modifications, we'll see significant improvements that are needed to ensure longevity and mission flexibility," said Maj. Leanna Thomas, 153rd AW C-130H pilot.

The flight testing will be conducted by 153rd AW and C-130 Combined Test Force aircrews.  ANG Airmen will maintain the aircraft during its time here.

The Wyoming Air National Guard was chosen specifically to receive the C-130H because of its involvement in the initial testing with the new systems in 2008, when the Air Force explored the idea of upgrading the H-model.

"When we add these modifications to all of our aircraft, we will greatly increase the reliability and performance of the C-130H," said Col. Justin Walrath, 153rd AW commander.

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