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RELEASE #97-131 Aug. 18, 1997

C-130 Float Plane C-130 Float Plane
Artist rendition of the float plane, you can click on the pictures for a full screen image

Aircraft Division Officials Unveil Latest Version of C-130

NAVAL AIR STATION PATUXENT RIVER, MD - - - Officials at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division recently announced the latest variant of the ubiquitous C-130 Hercules, the C-130 Floatplane. The C-130 Floatplane is proposed as a low-cost modification to existing aircraft which would add considerable flexibility to logistic, special forces, and other missions.

It would have field installable amphibian floats replacing the landing gear on C-130E/H/J models allowing open ocean, beaching, and hard surface operation without the need for a dedicated seaplane.

For the last two years, the warfare centerĂ­s aircraft division has contracted to Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems to perform a feasibility study and a technology risk reduction effort. These were done to identify and quantify the risk areas: hydrodynamic drag and impact loads, spray patterns, and aerodynamic stability.

To mitigate this risk, a subscale model with a radical split float design was built and tested. The split float eliminates inboard spray, deflects outboard spray clear of the props and wings, reduces water impact loads, retains full cargo ramp operation, and has excellent sea-keeping qualities. Tow tank tests showed that water impact loads were lower than expected allowing sea state three operation. Drag was acceptable and spray patterns were excellent. Computational Fluid Dynamic Analysis indicated that aerodynamic stability degradation is within acceptable limits. Payloads up to 27,000 pounds and ranges more than 2,200 nautical miles with 10,000 pounds of cargo are possible. The C-130 Floatplane opens vast new missions that were formerly not feasible.


Click on the zipped file to download a Power Point slide with some specs and a performance graph sent to me by Bill Horn, an engineer working on the above project: c130fp.zip

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