October 26, 2016 (by SSgt. John Hillier) - The Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center conducted a demonstration flight showcasing engine upgrades to the C-130H aircraft on October 20.
A Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine is mounted on a Wyoming ANG C-130H Hercules test aircraft at the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Command Test Center at Tucson, Arizona, October 20, 2016. The test center is evaluating using the Series 3.5 engines across the Guard's legacy C-130H fleet. [USAF photo by SSgt. John E. Hillier]
This upgrade, to the Rolls-Royce T56 Series 3.5 engine, has already been approved for the LC-130s used by the New York Air National Guard in support of the National Science Foundation, and now the ANG is evaluating rolling out the upgrade to the rest of its legacy C-130H fleet.
ANG Director Lt. Gen. L. Scott Rice lauded the new engine's improvements in performance and reliability.
"The Series 3.5 engine upgrade certainly increased the performance on time and fuel flow and altitude," said Rice. "So it's a great improvement as well for the capability and reliability of the engine from a maintenance standpoint. It was really impressive."
The demonstration aircraft, assigned to the Wyoming ANG, will be used in an operational utility evaluation in order to inform the decision to push the Series 3.5 engines to the rest of the ANG's C-130H fleet.
"We're confident right now that we'll see in excess of 12 percent fuel savings and upwards of 25 percent increased time on wing, which will reduce maintenance time," said Col. Kevin Campbell, ANG director of Plans and Requirements. "Those are substantial, and would provide a fairly rapid return on investment. This upgrade would pay for itself; the real question is 'how fast?' We're pretty excited about it and think we're going to hit it at about the 5 year mark."