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C-130J Pilots’ Flight Deck (photo courtesy of Lockheed-Martin)

it doesn’t weigh each pallet as it is loaded. But it is quite a leap in technology from the old Dash-1 and Form F calculations. Best of all, like Capt Joey Sullivan said during a speech at the roll-out ceremony, “at 164,000 pounds [operating weight], nine thousand pounds more than a typi- cal P-model, its takeoff-roll distance is 1300 feet less…with six versus five pal- let positions.” The ECHS cargo floor is also unique

to the MC-130J compared to its older sibling. The floor rollers simply flip over to create a number of configurations, seats are ready to fold down, and the side-rail locks are centrally controlled by the computer. It can be reconfigured to nearly any set-up (slick floor or rails/ rollers) in about five minutes compared to a minimum of 25 minutes for the leg- acy dual-rail system (that, incidentally, was only added to the MC-130P starting

in 2008!). Even the high-tech, weight- sensing (crews can’t overload it) winch is installed in the cargo floor. The flight deck…is almost too

“clean” for a Herk! First, there is a noticeable absence of one seat that was critical in the MC-130P; the Flight Engineer (FE). Originally developed as a commercial variant C-130, Lockheed computerized the J-model Flight Management System to the point of taking over the FE’s job. Systems man- agement tasks are “digitally” presented, circuit breakers are electronic, and there are few actions for a crewmember to take when something goes wrong. Second, there are also no condition levers, few circuit breakers or flight instruments, and mostly rectangular glass screens on the instrument panel. Regardless of these advances, we will miss our high- ly-professional FEs and the enhanced

situation awareness they provided to the crew. We hope they can stay in AFSOC in other weapon systems as we value their SOF spirit and warrior mentality. Another noticeable feature is the

Heads-Up Display (HUD) at both pilots’ stations. This is not just an attempt to emulate a fighter-pilot; otherwise there would be a “stick” for the flight controls like the C-17! To reduce heads-down pilot workload, relevant flight infor- mation is presented holographically while pilots continue to scan through the windscreen. Other than standard flight parameters, the HUD projects threat indications/reactions, and air- craft flight limitations. Cross-checks of the instrument panel are almost a thing of the past. When the HUD is in-use, the Avalex® monitors don’t normally display an ADI or HSI. Pilots only go heads-down to look at the radar, moving


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