What Is the Fuel Consumption of a C-130 Per Hour?

The fuel consumption of a C-130 per hour is a crucial aspect to consider in the world of aviation, as it directly influences the overall operational costs and efficiency of the aircraft. This estimation is based on the presumption of regular flight conditions, primarily maintaining a steady cruise altitude of approximately 25,000 feet.

How Much Fuel Does an AC 130 Use?

The AC-130, a heavily armed ground-attack aircraft, is a modified version of the C-130E/H Hercules transport aircraft. It’s renowned for it’s versatility and ability to carry out precision bombing and close air support missions. With such a wide range of capabilities, it’s important to understand the amount of fuel it consumes during it’s operations.

The C-130E/H, which serves as the AC-130s base aircraft, is equipped with six integral wing tanks that collectively hold 6,700 gallons of fuel. These tanks are strategically located within the wings to maintain stability and evenly distribute the weight of the aircraft. However, the C-130E/Hs fuel capacity can be further augmented with external pylon fuel tanks, with each wing accommodating one tank capable of holding an additional 1,300 gallons of fuel.

The inclusion of external pylon fuel tanks is advantageous for the AC-130, as it allows for extended flight durations and operational ranges. These additional fuel tanks can significantly supplement the aircrafts primary fuel reservoirs, enabling it to undertake longer flights without the need for refueling. This expanded capacity is particularly critical for the AC-130, which often conducts prolonged missions involving high-intensity airstrikes or covert operations.

The actual fuel consumption of the AC-130 would depend on several factors such as it’s payload, operational altitude, speed, and mission profile. The efficient fuel management on board the AC-130 is crucial for ensuring mission success and the ability to accomplish it’s objectives effectively. While exact fuel consumption rates may vary, the capacity provided by both the internal and external fuel tanks guarantees a substantial amount of fuel availability to support the AC-130s complex and demanding missions.

By maintaining proper fuel management and taking advantage of the augmentable fuel tanks, the AC-130 maximizes it’s operational endurance and range, ensuring it remains a potent weapon in the arsenal of the US Air Force.

The range of the C-130 is 2,360 miles, which means that flying without refueling would have been impossible for an extended journey. Therefore, if the aircraft used for the mission was not equipped with mid-air refueling capabilities, it would have required numerous zigzag routes with multiple refueling stops, greatly elongating the flight time to over 20 hours or more.

How Far Can AC 130 Go Without Refueling?

The AC-130 is known for it’s extraordinary capabilities, but it’s range without refueling is a question worth exploring. The C-130, which the AC-130 is derived from, has a range of approximately 2,360 miles. However, given the unique mission requirements of the AC-130, it would have required at least two mid-air refueling operations to extend it’s endurance.

If the AC-130 being used was not equipped for mid-air refueling, an alternative approach would have been necessary. In such cases, the plane would have been forced to follow a more zigzag route with multiple refueling stops along the way. This indirect path would increase the overall flight time to roughly 20 hours or even more, depending on the exact route and number of stops required.

However, during extended missions or when swift response times are crucial, mid-air refueling capabilities become essential. By allowing the aircraft to refuel in-flight, it ensures that the AC-130 can maintain it’s presence in the battlefield for extended periods of time.

Knowing the limitations of the AC-130s range helps us understand the complexities involved in planning and executing missions requiring long-distance travel.

Source: Lockheed C-130 Hercules

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules, a versatile military transport aircraft, is known for it’s ability to use unprepared runways. In terms of fuel consumption, the AC-130 variant of the C-130 typically uses around 5,000 pounds per hour or 740 gallons. This estimation is based on regular flight conditions, primarily cruising at an altitude of approximately 25,000 feet.

How Much Fuel Does AC-130 Use Per Hour?

However, the fuel consumption of an AC-130 gunship is significantly higher due to it’s additional firepower and equipment. The AC-130 variant of the C-130 is heavily modified to serve as a ground-attack aircraft, providing close air support to ground forces.

It’s important to note that fuel consumption can vary depending on the mission profile, payload, and flight conditions.

Furthermore, the weight of the ammunition carried by the AC-130 can also impact it’s fuel efficiency. The more ammunition and weaponry onboard, the higher the fuel consumption will be. Therefore, the fuel usage of an AC-130 can fluctuate based on the specific operational requirements of each mission.

It’s high fuel consumption is a necessary trade-off to maintain it’s offensive capabilities and ensure the safety and success of military operations.

The C-130J, a versatile military aircraft with impressive dimensions, is capable of carrying significant payloads and accommodating large numbers of troops. With a maximum range of 2,729 miles and a top speed of 417 miles per hour, the C-130J is designed to execute a wide range of missions with efficiency and effectiveness.

How Many Miles Can a C-130 Fly?

The C-130, known as a workhorse of the skies, is a versatile military transport aircraft capable of impressive feats. With it’s solid dimensions, the C-130J measures 97 feet in length and boasts a wingspan of 132 feet. Utilizing it’s strength and power, this aircraft can carry a substantial payload of up to 46,631 pounds, ensuring efficient transportation of troops, supplies, and equipment.

When it comes to troop transport, the C-130J can accommodate a commendable number of personnel. In a troop transport configuration, this aircraft has the capacity to house 92 combat troops or 64 paratroopers, demonstrating it’s ability to swiftly and securely transport a significant number of personnel for military operations or humanitarian missions.

The C-130Js impressive capabilities extend to it’s range and speed. This aircraft is capable of traversing considerable distances, with a maximum flying range of around 2,729 miles. With this range, the C-130J can cover substantial distances, facilitating long-haul missions, strategic deployments, and a wide range of operational scenarios.

Notable Achievements and Records Set by the C-130 in It’s Long Service History.

  • The C-130 has been in continuous production for over 60 years, making it one of the longest-serving military aircraft.
  • It holds the record for the largest and heaviest aircraft to ever land and take off from an aircraft carrier.
  • The C-130 has a maximum payload capacity of up to 45,000 pounds and can operate in various weather conditions and terrains.
  • It’s set multiple world records for endurance, including a non-stop flight of over 20 hours.
  • The C-130 has served in numerous humanitarian missions, providing relief and support during natural disasters and crises around the world.
  • It’s been utilized by various military branches and countries for a wide range of missions, including troop transport, cargo delivery, aerial refueling, and airborne assault.
  • The C-130 has been modified and adapted for various specialized roles, including electronic warfare, surveillance, search and rescue, and firefighting.
  • It’s played a crucial role in military operations, including the Vietnam War, Gulf War, and ongoing conflicts in the Middle East.
  • The C-130 has been recognized for it’s exceptional reliability, versatility, and performance, earning the nickname “Hercules” for it’s legendary strength.
  • It’s received numerous awards and accolades for it’s contributions to military aviation and it’s impact on global operations.

The KC-130J, a versatile military aircraft, boasts an impressive fuel offload capacity. Equipped with wing fuel and external tanks, it can hold up to 57,500 pounds or approximately 8,455 U.S. gallons of fuel in the air. However, this capacity can be further augmented by attaching a removable fuselage tank, which adds an additional 3,600 gallons or 24,392 pounds of fuel. Interestingly, the option to remove this tank enhances the aircraft’s adaptability, allowing for greater mission flexibility.

How Many Gallons of Fuel Does a C130 Hold?

The C-130 Hercules, a versatile military transport aircraft, has impressive fuel-holding capabilities. In terms of the air-to-air fuel transfer capacity, the KC-130J variant of the Hercules holds approximately 57,500 pounds of fuel or 8,455 U.S. gallons. This fuel offload capacity is achieved through the use of wing fuel and external tanks, providing the aircraft with sufficient energy reserves for extended missions or in-flight refueling operations.

Moreover, the fuel capacity of the KC-130J can be further augmented with the inclusion of a removable fuselage tank. This additional tank can hold up to 3,600 gallons of fuel, weighing approximately 24,392 pounds. Importantly, this fuselage tank offers enhanced mission flexibility, as it can be easily removed when not required, allowing the aircraft to adapt to varying operational needs efficiently.

As a massively successful tactical airlifter, the aircraft often operates in austere environments, remote locations, and demanding theaters of operation. The fuel-holding capacity ensures that the Hercules can efficiently deliver supplies, equipment, and personnel to these areas while maintaining it’s range and endurance.

Additionally, the fuel capabilities of the KC-130J enable it to fulfill crucial aerial refueling operations. This means that the aircraft can serve as a vital support asset in providing fuel to other aircraft in mid-flight, extending their range and endurance as required.

In addition to it’s enhanced propulsion systems, the C-130J-SOF also brings improved capabilities in aerial refueling. With the ability to refuel in flight, this aircraft offers increased range and time-on-station, providing a significant advantage for fighter refueling.

Can C-130 Refuel in Flight?

Can the C-130 refuel in flight? Absolutely. Aerial refueling plays a crucial role in extending the range and endurance of the receiving aircraft, allowing it to stay on station for longer periods. The C-130J-SOF, with it’s advanced propulsion systems, offers the added advantage of aerial refueling at speeds 15 kts higher than it’s predecessors. This capability proves particularly beneficial when it comes to refueling fighter aircraft, ensuring efficient and timely operations.

By receiving fuel in-flight, the C-130J-SOF can venture further and remain in the air for longer durations, opening up new possibilities for tactical and strategic missions. This capability greatly increases the aircrafts versatility and effectiveness in a wide range of operational scenarios.

This collaborative feature strengthens coordination and interoperability among different aircraft, enabling seamless joint operations.

It’s enhanced speed and endurance enable it to perform efficient refueling operations, ensuring maximum mission effectiveness and contributing to successful joint operations.

How Does Aerial Refueling Work?

Aerial refueling, also known as air-to-air refueling, is a technique used to transfer fuel from one aircraft to another while they’re in flight. This process allows aircraft to extend their range, stay in the air for longer periods of time, or carry additional cargo without the need to land.

During aerial refueling, a tanker aircraft and a receiver aircraft fly in close proximity to each other. The tanker aircraft is typically equipped with a flexible hose and a drogue, which is a cone-shaped device. The receiver aircraft has a probe or a receptacle on it’s nose or wings, which is designed to connect with the drogue.

To initiate the refueling process, the tanker extends it’s hose with the drogue attached, and the receiver aircraft aligns it’s probe or receptacle with the drogue. Once the connection is made, fuel is pumped from the tanker to the receiver aircraft through the hose and into the receiver’s fuel tanks.

Aerial refueling can be done in several ways. One method is called “probe and drogue,” which is commonly used by many countries. Another method is the “flying boom” technique, where a rigid pipe is extended from the tanker aircraft, and the receiver aircraft connects to it via a receptacle on it’s rear.

The coordination and precision involved in aerial refueling are critical. Pilots of both aircraft must maintain a steady flight path and speed, while the boom operator or pilot in the tanker aircraft manages the refueling process. Communication between the two aircraft is crucial, ensuring safe and efficient fuel transfer.

Overall, aerial refueling plays a significant role in military operations, allowing aircraft to operate at extended ranges and increasing their mission capabilities. It provides strategic advantages and enhances operational flexibility for various types of aircraft.


It should be noted that this estimation is based on typical flight conditions, characterized by a predominant cruse altitude of approximately 25,000 feet. These figures provide valuable insight into the operational demands and efficiency considerations associated with this aircraft, enabling the aviation industry and related stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding fuel management, logistical planning, and environmental impact.

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