Wyoming Air National Guard C-130s get an upgrade
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - The Wyoming Air National Guard upgraded its 30-year-old, C-130s on Tuesday.
The 153rd Airlift Wing helped outfit C-130s with new engines, propellers and glass cockpits, all in preparation for fire season.
Mechanical teams from Texas and Aircraft from Nevada came to get their 30-year-old engines replaced with new modified engines that provide more power, quicker climb and better fuel efficiency.
The added fuel benefit will help these planes fly from 8 to 12 hours.
”Huge, absolutely huge. We can go a little bit further on the same fuel load. Of course, we’re going to be saving the government money. Oil is a huge thing right now, of course, we know, so just trying to do our part to help take care, ease that a little bit,” said TSgt. Matthew Dobbins, Propulsions Airman, Wyoming Air National Guard.
This collective effort from the team out of Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, along with the Nevada Air Guard unit and 153D, are working together to swap out all 4 engines.
These planes fly MAFFS fire fighting missions and are used in deployments.
“Now, the most important part of this is getting their aircraft ready for fire season. Most of their airplanes are not upgraded. Wyoming and the Nevada Air National Guard are dependent on getting these done for them well before fire season. So they’ve got time to train as well as implement the new system on the MAFFS 2 birds,” said Rusty Lindfors, Site Leader, Strategic Technology Institute.
Eight total, C-130s will also get upgraded with modular 8 bladed propellers and eventually get glass cockpits.
These additions will help pilots maneuver better during firefighting missions when flying low over mountainous terrain in smoky conditions.
”In the fire fighting missions with MAFFS, it’s awesome where you’re flying 150 feet above the terrain a lot of times, and so if you ended up having uhh lose an engine or an aircraft emergency, you have this extra power that can help you climb away quickly and get to safety. So as far as the most dangerous mission we do, MAFFS al the crew are very excited,” said Lt. Col. Leanna Thomas, C-130 Pilot- Operations Dire, 187th Airlift Squadron.
Increased power and fuel-efficient engines will make take-offs quicker and they can travel longer means more troops and supplies can be transported in or out of austere locations.
”One of the biggest differences you notice right away is the sound inside. It’s a lot quieter that helps with fatigue for long missions and vibrations so your health overall. Then you have a lot more power for initial take off. You have shorter take off roles and that allows us to have more payload in teh back or equipemnt or patients that we’d be able to take out of auster locations,” said Thomas.
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