FAB says Goodbye to C-130 after nearly 59 years

Gepubliceerd op 13 maart 2024 om 15:45

© Sebastian Fernandez G

On 29 February 2024 and with due ceremony, the Força Aérea Brasileira (FAB, Brazilian Air Force) said goodbye to their faithful workhorse, the C-130 Hercules.

During its service life that started in November 1965, it enabled FAB to support its Antarctic mission, air bases spread around the vast country, relief flights throughout the world, paratroopers and aerial refuelling. In all, FAB received 29 different airframes.

The first ones were nine C-130Es followed by three SC-130 SAR variants (originally RC-130Es). Five of these E-models were upgraded to H standard. 

In the early years the SAR aircraft were painted in an attractive white/grey colour scheme with large yellow dayglowmarkings.

Later, brown/green/green camouflage was used. Lately, the Herks were either green/grey camouflaged, or grey. Eight H-variants followed in the mid-seventies including two KC-130 tankers. The last to be inducted were ten former Aeronautica Militare (ItAF, Italian Air Force) C-130H models.

The fleet was kept up to date by various upgrade programmes, most important was the C-130M programme that saw fourteen airframes equipped with, among other things, a glass cockpit. During its service lives, seven aircraft were lost due to accidents.

© Vicente Quezada Duran

Over the last decade, more and more aircraft were being withdrawn from use and auctioned off. As far as we know, only three aircraft remained operational in 2024, KC-130M 2362 and C-130M 2472 and 2473.

New pride of the FAB is the KC-390 and that has been gradually, or should we say slowly ..., replacing the Hercules. To date, seven were delivered and with a scheduled entry of one each year until 2033 and two in 2034 to bring the total to nineteen, the transport tasks will be fullfilled by both the C-105 (CASA 295) and KC-390 together.

Overview of the Hercules fleet

2450 C-130 (C-130E) 382-4091 1°/1°GT w/o 21dec69

2451 C-130 (C-130E) 382-4092 preserved Cantagalo, RJ l/n dec22

2452 C-130 (C-130E) 382-4093 1°/1°GT w/o 26oct66

2453 C-130 (C-130H) 382-4113 preserved Dos Afonsos, RJ l/n mar23

2454 C-130 (C-130E) 382-4114 stored Dos Afonsos, RJ l/n dec02

2455 C-130 (C-130H) 382-4202 1°/1°GT w/o 27sep01

2456 C-130 (C-130H) 382-4287 preserved Cantagalo, RJ l/n mar23

2457 C-130 (C-130E) 382-4290 1°/1°GT w/o 24jun85

2458 C-130 (SC-130) 382-4291 sold for scrap oct15

2459 C-130 (SC-130) 382-4292 sold for scrap may17 

2460 SC-130 (RC-130) 382-4293 1°/1°GT w/o 14nov94

2461 KC-130M (KC-130H) 382-4625 1°/1°GT wfu mar22

2462 KC-130M (KC-130H) 382-4636 1°/1°GT 

2463 C-130 (C-130H) 382-4570 preserved Cantagalo, RJ l/n aug22

2464 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4602 sold for scrap jan18 

2465 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4630 stored Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, RJ l/n oct22

2466 C-130M (C-130H-2) 382-4990 stored Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, RJ l/n oct22

2467 C-130M (C-130H-2) 382-4991 stored Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, RJ l/n feb24

2468 C-130 (C-130H) 382-4998 1°/1°GT w/o 14dec87

2470 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4441 V Força Aerea w/o jan17

2471 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4446 stored Galeão, RJ l/n mar23

2472 C-130 (C-130H) 382-4452 PAMA-GL 

2473 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4451 1°/1°GT 

2474 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4494 stored Galeão, RJ l/n oct22

2475 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4491 stored Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, RJ l/n apr23

2476 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4493 1°/1°GT wfu mar23

2477 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4495 stored Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, RJ l/n feb24

2478 C-130 (C-130H) 382-4443 scrapped Rio de Janeiro-Galeão, RJ 

2479 C-130M (C-130H) 382-4449 stored Galeão, RJ l/n oct22

The succesor of the FAB C-130, the KC-390 on static display at RIAT 2022 (© Giovanni van Erven)

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