Illustration for article titled Did You Know Airlines Once Flew C-130s?

Friday night, I came across this intriguing piece about vanished planes and how some are used for drug runs and then intentionally burned or hidden, never to be seen again. But within that, I learned that there was once a plane called the Lockheed L-100 — a civilian version of the C-130 Hercules.


This was news to me! Check out the photo at the top, a Delta Air Lines L-100. They weren't used for passengers, but for cargo haulers. It turns out that in 1967, Delta operated three of these planes, according to In a military sense, the C-130 is one of the most badass and longest-serving planes planes, along with the B-52.

The L-100 first flew in 1964, and during its 28-year production, 114 of the planes were delivered. But earlier this year, Lockheed announced plans to resurrect the civilian C-130, to be called the LM-100J. It's a modern derivative of the C-130J Super Hercules. And in July of this year, a South African company called ASL Aviation Group has agreed to buy up to 10 of the new LM-100J. An ASL associated company called Safair operates one of the world's largest L-100 fleets. ASL uses the planes for a variety of missions, including moving large freight around Europe, to humanitarian missions within Africa.


Top image by Bill Larkins (Flickr, CC Commercial License)

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