Backstory: The US Army needed an aeroplane capable of taking off without much runway, could take a heavy load and was reasonably light. Lockheed, a major aircraft manufacturer at the time, took on the challenge, creating the amazing C-130, which earned the nickname Hercules.
Maiden flight: 23 August 1954
Top speed: 580 kilometres (360 miles) per hour
Maximum load weight: 18,143 kilograms (40,000 pounds)
Minimum required runway length: 260.6 metres (855 feet)
Notable achievements: The required runway for the C-130 was less than a fifth of that for other planes of a similar size. It was perfectly designed for dropping off supplies to US Army troops during the Vietnam War, providing an incredible 90 per cent of all supplies to troops.
If you want to know what it’s like to fly a WWII plane, then you’ll have to try it. We did and it was awesome! Find out all about the Harvard T-6 and other incredible fighter planes in How It Works issue 63.