Replacing the Hercules

uk 75

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I remember as a boy seeing my first image of the HS681 in the 1968 RAF programme book, a drawing by John Young. I was puzzled why the RAF had ended up with the C130K Hercules instead.
In the 70s I was fascinated by the US competition to "replace" the Herk with two designs. The YC15 looked remarkably similar to the HS681.
Years later and I often go past RAF Brize Norton and see the A400s that eventually replaced the Hercules. I wonder what my 12 year old self would have made of the fact that it too has propellers.
Looking back I have always wondered what might have been? If the HS681 had been a simpler design? If Japan could have built a bigger Kawasaki C1? If the YC15 had been built as a smaller C17?
The Soviet Union managed it. As I commented in another thread they had the brilliant Il76.
 

RLBH

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The Soviet Union managed it. As I commented in another thread they had the brilliant Il76.
The Il-76 is more a C-141 equivalent than a C-130 equivalent; the An-12 is the C-130 equivalent. In fact, the Soviets were developing the An-70 to replace the An-12, which is remarkably similar to the A400.

Both AMST aircraft were smaller than the A400 and An-70, more in line with the original C-130. Of the two, I'm fairly sure it's been mentioned on here that the YC-14 turned out to have the edge.
 

uk 75

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The Soviet Union managed it. As I commented in another thread they had the brilliant Il76.
The Il-76 is more a C-141 equivalent than a C-130 equivalent; the An-12 is the C-130 equivalent. In fact, the Soviets were developing the An-70 to replace the An-12, which is remarkably similar to the A400.

Both AMST aircraft were smaller than the A400 and An-70, more in line with the original C-130. Of the two, I'm fairly sure it's been mentioned on here that the YC-14 turned out to have the edge.
Er no the Il76 replaced the An12 in Soviet/Russian service.
My point stands. No jet powered replacement for the C130 has entered service.
 

kaiserd

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The II-76 was intended to compliment and partially replace the An-12 (similar to the relationship of the C-141 to the C-130).

The II-76 is a big expensive to operate airlifter, an aircraft with a load about 3 times that of C-130 (and about 50 percent more than a A400M); far too much aircraft for a lot of lighter worker (hence retention of An-12s and the Soviet Union then Russian having multiple goes at fielding this smaller more efficient more direct An-12 replacement - all of which didn’t succeed so far).
The degree to which the Il-76 replaced the An-12 in practice speaks to the nature of Soviet “economics” and the failure of Soviet then Russian planning to field a more efficient more directly equivalent aircraft (An-70 and other failed or apparently stalled programs).

Very quick simplified overview of aircraft in this class at below:

 
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uk 75

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Sorry I understand the points but at this time the USAF and other C130 operators have not replaced their machines with a jet. The various prototypes your list shows are only slowly coming into service.
As for An12 the Russians have not built one since 1973. Saying the Il76 did not replace it is like saying the Hastings did not replace the Dakota because the RAF still used some into the 1960s.
 

drejr

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The degree to which the Il-76 replaced the An-12 in practice speaks to the nature of Soviet “economics” and the failure of Soviet then Russian planning to field a more efficient more directly equivalent aircraft (An-70 and other failed or apparently stalled programs)

Yes, sometimes certain capabilities are just lost.
 
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kaiserd

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Sorry I understand the points but at this time the USAF and other C130 operators have not replaced their machines with a jet. The various prototypes your list shows are only slowly coming into service.
As for An12 the Russians have not built one since 1973. Saying the Il76 did not replace it is like saying the Hastings did not replace the Dakota because the RAF still used some into the 1960s.
But by that logic the USAF partially replaced the C-130 with the C-141 which in turn was replaced by the C-17. And later C-130s then partially replaced some of the earlier C-130s.
And the USSR/ Russia did something similar with the Il-76 re: the An-12 but their specific circumstances meant that the remaining part of the An-12 (and An-26s, An-32s) fleet were/ are being left to decline in service rather than being replaced.

This doesn’t really speak to the suitability of the IL-76 as an An-12 or C-130 replacement. Indeed if size and cost (to buy and operate) are completely put to one side (which it would have to be done to consider the Il-76 or a direct equivalent design a genuine direct C-130 replacement) then the C-17 is the far more capable C-130 replacement.
And the C-17 did partially replace the C-130 in airforces that didn’t have an equivalent larger airlifter capacity that was being directly replaced (like in the RAF) - similar to the scenario for the Il-76 when it entered USSR service and its relationship to the An-12.
It’s very likely that a UK Il-76 equivalent would have been unaffordable and grossly inefficient for the RAF versus the C-130k the bought; the chances are it would have been a larger more consequential procurement failure than the Belfast proved to be.
 

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A C-130 replacement will be entirely defined by the user in question and will vary massively between them. Depending on a given nation's budget, threats, lifting requirements and geography, the replacement will be bigger, smaller, transformative or conservative or possibly nothing at all. Thus a C-130 replacement could be a C-390, an A400M, a next-gen BWB, a Falcon 900, a leased 767F, a C208 or a new, revitalized C-130X. Or a donkey. We still haven't replaced those yet and I suspect the Hercules replacement could take a similar timeframe!

The C-130 has had and will have many replacements but it really doesn't have any equivalents, whether in it's own OOBs or others'. It is just one of those box-breaking aircraft.
 

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In passing - 59 years after its first flight (!!) the C-160 Transall AT LEAST is going away. In both Germany and France.

Fifty-nine years. Drats. My mom was twenty when it flew. And when it dropped paratroopers in Kowelzi in 1978, I wasn't even born.
 

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Saying the Il76 did not replace it is like saying the Hastings did not replace the Dakota because the RAF still used some into the 1960s.
I'm not qualified to comment on the relationship between the Il76 and An12.

However, the RAF squadron patterns documents that I found in the National Archives and the RAF squadrons spreadsheets that I compiled have given me some knowledge of the relationship between the Hastings and the Dakota. That makes me confident enough to say that the Hastings didn't replace the Dakota.

The Vickers Valetta replaced the Dakota in the RAF's medium range transport force. The last Dakota MRT squadron (No. 110) converted to the Valetta in August 1951.

The Hastings replaced the Avro York in the RAF's long range transport force. The Hastings also replaced the Halifax in some of the airborne forces squadrons which became LRT squadrons upon converting to the Hastings. The last York squadron was No. 24 and it converted to the Hastings in November 1950.
 

uk 75

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As ever thanks to everyone who has commented and corrected my observations and assertions. This is the value of this site.
I still think it interesting that neither the USAF nor the RAF found a jet powered replacement for their C130s.
Similarly the C160 Transall served the French and German air forces also without jets replacing them.
Looking at the still modern looking AW681 I wish it had been simpler and with straightforward engines.
 

Hood

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Perhaps turbofans just weren't really economical enough for a loadlifter of C-130 size and capacity and perhaps not so well suited to STOL?
Turboprops could do the job easily enough so why complicate things?
Sure the YC-14 and YC-15 looked good but didn't offer enough to put nails in the C-130 coffin and the C-17 and A400M are a whole new ballgame in terms of payload.

The closest Soviet analogue would be the An-72 rather than the Il-76. And that wasn't built in large numbers either.
 

dumpster4

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After the failure of Operation Eagle Claw (the Iran hostage rescue mission) the USAF decided they wanted a new transport with VTOL capability (the "Credible Sport" concept of putting rockets on the C-130 didn't work out), and even stealth features for Special Ops missions. But for normal day-to-day cargo hauling, it probably wouldn't be anywhere near as cost-effective as the C-130.

"In testing, the first Credible Sport prototype was able to get airborne within 150 feet. After traveling the maximum 600 feet distance that the soccer field in Tehran would have allowed for, it was able to hit an altitude of 30 feet and reach a speed of more than 130 miles per hour.

The aircraft never made it to Iran, though. On Oct. 29, 1980, the first prototype crashed and burned spectacularly during a test flight at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Thankfully no one was hurt."

"The Credible Sport design was anything but stealthy with its dozens of rocket boosters bolted on externally to an already non-stealthy design. Between 1980 and 1982, the Air Force did pursue a follow-on to this aircraft, known as Credible Sport II, but ultimately abandoned the idea. The service used the prototype, known as the YMC-130H, to support the development of the next special operations-specific C-130, the MC-130H Combat Talon II."


The Mysterious Saga Of America’s Hunt For A Stealth Special Operations Transport, Part 1:




The Mysterious Saga Of America’s Hunt For A Stealth Special Operations Transport, Part 2:

 

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The only good replacement for a Herc, is another Herc is what I have heard from many an Herc aircrew and groundy. The Embraer C390 looked good until Boeing shafted their deal with Embraer back in 2020. There's a lot I like about the C390, but without a major US Prime behind it, it isn't going to go anywhere in the US market. Airbus wouldn't be the ideal Prime either because it would be in competition with the A400M.
 

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After the failure of Operation Eagle Claw (the Iran hostage rescue mission) the USAF decided they wanted a new transport with VTOL capability (the "Credible Sport" concept of putting rockets on the C-130 didn't work out), and even stealth features for Special Ops missions. But for normal day-to-day cargo hauling, it probably wouldn't be anywhere near as cost-effective as the C-130.

"In testing, the first Credible Sport prototype was able to get airborne within 150 feet. After traveling the maximum 600 feet distance that the soccer field in Tehran would have allowed for, it was able to hit an altitude of 30 feet and reach a speed of more than 130 miles per hour.

The aircraft never made it to Iran, though. On Oct. 29, 1980, the first prototype crashed and burned spectacularly during a test flight at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. Thankfully no one was hurt."

"The Credible Sport design was anything but stealthy with its dozens of rocket boosters bolted on externally to an already non-stealthy design. Between 1980 and 1982, the Air Force did pursue a follow-on to this aircraft, known as Credible Sport II, but ultimately abandoned the idea. The service used the prototype, known as the YMC-130H, to support the development of the next special operations-specific C-130, the MC-130H Combat Talon II."


The Mysterious Saga Of America’s Hunt For A Stealth Special Operations Transport, Part 1:




The Mysterious Saga Of America’s Hunt For A Stealth Special Operations Transport, Part 2:

Interesting!
 

riggerrob

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The concept of a floating C-130 dates back to the 1960s when Lockheed proposed it, but the USAF did not bite.
Now that China is risking a war over the South China Sea, the USAF needs a medium-range transport that can serve those tiny man-made islands. Since many of those islands are too small for C-130 sized runways, China is building massive flying-boats.
 

kaiserbill

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In passing - 59 years after its first flight (!!) the C-160 Transall AT LEAST is going away. In both Germany and France.

Fifty-nine years. Drats. My mom was twenty when it flew. And when it dropped paratroopers in Kowelzi in 1978, I wasn't even born.
Interesting tidbit...
The C-160 Transall actually had a larger freight hold (wider, higher, longer) than the C-130.
It could also lower its undercarriage to "kneel", facilitating loading of vehicles or driving of vehicles into the hold.

These two above features is why the South African Air Force in the 1980's used the C-160 instead of their C-130's to transport the Sa-8 Osa system they captured in Angola for study.
This was the first time a complete Sa-8 had been captured outside a Warsaw Pact country.
 

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