April 17, 2006 (by Lockheed Martin) - The powerplant for the Lockheed Martin C 130J Super Hercules transport fleet, the Rolls-Royce AE2100D3 engine, has achieved the milestone of one million flight hours.
The AE2100D3 engine is the only powerplant used on the C-130J, and each Super Hercules aircraft is equipped with four of the high wing-mounted U.S.-built turboprop engines.
“The AE 2100 engine is proving itself day after day in the harshest environments around the world,” said David Haines, Lockheed Martin vice president of C-130 programs. “The C-130J is an aircraft that can operate out of austere strips of less than 2,000 feet, with flying ranges of over 4,000 nautical miles with payload. Considering these broad performance envelopes, the C-130J needs a tremendous propulsion system, and this engine provides it.”
The AE 2100D3 is a lightweight, modular turboprop engine flat rated at 5,300 shaft horsepower derated to 4,600 not only providing ample power to the C-130J but also higher reliability. The “common core” AE engine line is manufactured in Indianapolis, Ind. The C-130 has been the world’s primary tactical transport and special mission aircraft since 1956, and it was originally powered by Rolls-Royce (formerly Allison) T56 engines, the progenitor of the AE series of engines. The T56 series of engines also provides power for the Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime surveillance and patrol aircraft.
“This engine is maintaining unparalleled reliability and providing the men and women of the world’s air forces with the power and range needed for today’s emerging threats and new missions. Because of its reliability and flexibility, the C-130J is becoming known as the world’s first responder. The C-130J is currently operated around the world in climates ranging from the dry, hot and dusty environments of Afghanistan and Iraq to flying through hurricanes over the Gulf of Mexico,” said Haines.
With 250,000 flight hours, the worldwide C-130J fleet daily proves the tremendous change it brings to airlift operations. The C-130J can complete almost twice the lift of older C 130s during a typical crew day. Both combat delivery and tanker versions of the C-130J are achieving record reliability and availability numbers. With mission capable rates as high as 98 percent and greater mission effectiveness, the C-130J is setting new standards for intra-theater airlift.