The Belgian Royal Family has always displayed a keen interest for military aviation and it came as no surprise when the Government acquired an Aero Commander for the personal use of King Baudouin in 1961. The Belgian King obtained his military wings on this aircraft and used it from its homebase at Melsbroek. The aircraft was integrated and operated by the 15th Wing. In April 1973 the Aero Commander was sold in France.
OT-CWB c/n 560F-1069-25
• 100961: Taken on Charge by the Belgian Air Force (21 Sq/15W)
• 180961: Arrived at Melsbroek
• ..1161: Undercarriage damaged in landing accoident at Zurich (CH)
• 200473: Withdrawn from use with the Belgian Air Force
• 000473: Sold and registered F-BTYZ to SA Tranchant Electronique at Le Bourget (F.).
10. C-130 H
The C-130H, the unit’s new workhorse, arrived at 15 Wing in 1972 and replaced the C-119 fleet. The first flight of YC-130 took place on Aug. 23, 1954, at Lockheed’s Burbank, California, plant. Its four turboprop engines enabled the YC-130 to take off in only 800 feet. In addition to its tremendous lift capability, the aircraft also proved to be far more maneuverable than expected while meeting or exceeding all of the other U.S. Air Force performance requirements.
From the beginning, the C-130 has featured a large, unobstructed, fully-pressurized cargo hold that can rapidly be reconfigured for the carriage of troops, stretchers, passengers or airdrops of troops and/or equipment into battle zones. The C-130’s high-wing design places the cargo floor at truck-bed height above the ground. The C-130 also features an integral “roll-on/roll-off” rear-loading ramp Coupled with its tremendous lift capacity, long range, and austere landing field capabilities, it is a true tactical airlifter.
In 1991, the aircraft underwent a first “midlife update”, followed by an avionics update at the end of the 1990s, with a view to being able to be maintained in service until 2018, when the first Airbus A-400Ms will replace the venerable C-130H.
Wing span 40.41 m
Length 29.78 m
Height 11.66 m
Engine 4 Allison T56 – A 15 of 4.910 HP each
Maximum speed 618 Km / h
Economy cruising speed: 547 Km / h
Autonomy with full load: 3,950 km; 9 tons: 7,560 Km
Ceiling 10,000 m
Empty weight 33.063 Kg
Maximum load 20.412 Kg
Maximum takeoff weight 70.310 Kg
Capacity 92 Paps or 64 paratroopers or 74 berths (Sanevac)
Number in service 12 *
Registration CH-01 to CH-12
In service since July 25, 1972
* Losses: July 15, 96: CH-06 collapses in Eindhoven;
May 5, 2006: CH-02 set on fire in the SABENA Technics hangar