Modernised C-130 takes flight

Boeing today announced the successful first flight of the C-130 Avionics Modernisation Program aircraft. The flight took place yesterday as part of the most comprehensive C-130 avionics modification ever conducted.


Boeing today announced the successful first flight of the C-130 Avionics Modernisation Program (AMP) aircraft. The flight took place yesterday as part of the most comprehensive C-130 avionics modification ever conducted.



Boeing said in a statement that the first C-130 AMP aircraft, designated H2, successfully completed its maiden flight from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. Boeing test pilot Mike Leone and US Air Force pilot Major Frank Delsing conducted the flight, which lasted approximately three hours.



The aircraft is the first C-130 to undergo trial installations. Boeing inducted the aircraft in January 2005, after accepting it from Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Boeing has inducted the second aircraft, H2.5, and has initiated the modification process.



The aircraft’s new avionics system features digital displays and the 737 commercial airliner’s flight management system, which provide navigation, safety and communication improvements to meet Communication Navigation Surveillance/Air Traffic Management (CNS/ATM) requirements. The CNS/ATM upgrade will allow the C-130 fleet to be deployed worldwide.



The C-130 AMP provides enhanced digital avionics that increase situational awareness for the military tenfold over old analogue cockpits, increasing information available to aircrews at a glance, simplifying tasks and decreasing workload. Upgrade commonality brought by the AMP offers additional flexibility in assigning aircrews regardless of the model design type.



The Air Force initiated the C-130 AMP program to reduce the number of C-130 configurations in the fleet, including highly specialised versions in service with the Air Force Special Operations Command.