Farewell to Spanish Air Force Lockheed Hercules

On 31 December 2020, the Ejército del Aire (EdA, Spanish Air Force) will officially cease operations with the Lockheed Hercules. The tanker/transporter has been operated by Ala de Transporte 31 (Ala 31) at Zaragoza air base since 1974.

According to the Spanish Air Force, the unit has made more than 178,052 flight hours, transporting nearly 1 million passengers, 141,865,206 kg of cargo and 37,036,330 litres of fuel have been transferred in in-flight refuelling missions. The oldest Hercules in the fleet, C-130H serial T.10-03/31-03 (construction number 382-4531) has made 46 years of service with almost 18,000 flight hours.

The retirement party for the Hercules was celebrated at Ala 31's home base on Monday 21 December 2020.

The Spanish Air Force operated thirteen Hercules tanker/transporters, of which seven C-130Hs, one C-130H-30 and five KC-130Hs. One aircraft was lost in an accident on 28 May 1980.

C-130H: T.10-01/311-01 (w/o 28may80), T.10-02/31-02, T.10-03/31-03, T.10-04/31-04, T.10-08/31-05, T.10-09/31-06, and T.10-10/31-07
C-130H-30: TL.10-01/31-01
KC-130H: TK.10-05/31-50, TK.10-06/31-51, TK.10-07/31-52, TK.10-11/31-53, and TK.10-12/31-54

The successor for the Hercules is the Airbus A400M, of which already nine aircraft have been delivered. The ninth one was delivered to Ala 31 moments after the farewell act of the Hercules on Monday 21 December 2020.

On 17 December 2020, two KC-130Hs, serials TK.10-05 and TK.10-06, were delivered to the Fuerza Aérea Uruguaya (FAU, Uruguayan Air Force). They arrived in Montevideo (Uruguay) on 19 December respectively 21 December 2020.

Another two KC-130Hs, serials TK.10-11 and TK.10-12, will go to the Fuerza Aerea del Perú (FAP, Peruvian Air Force). They are scheduled to be flown to Lima-Callao/Intl Jorge Chavez (Peru) in the period 12 to 15 January 2021.

Photo: Jorge Guerra, kindly provided by Jetphotos.net

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