A Herculean Christmas Gift Arrives at Cosford

A Hercules C130K Mk.3 has just become the latest aircraft to go on display at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, arriving just in time for Christmas. The aircraft was moved from the airfield to the Museum’s site yesterday and placed in its new permanent display space, outside overlooking the Museum site. This supersized Christmas present took a team of fifteen Museum Technicians and RAF Personnel three hours to safely move the aircraft into position, once the aircraft had been defueled.

Now one of the largest aircraft in the Museum’s extensive collection, the Hercules C130K Mk.3 made its final flight into RAF Cosford in August courtesy of No 47 Squadron, RAF Brize Norton. Since its arrival earlier this year, the aircraft has undergone a short period of maintenance carried out on the airfield.

The XV202 Hercules C130K Mk. 3 was an American aircraft built by Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia and acquired by the RAF in 1966, used mainly on longer routes and for paratrooping. This particular aircraft was one of 30 Hercules modified during the early 1980’s, with the fuselage being lengthened by 15ft. Work was carried out by Marshall of Cambridge (Engineering) Ltd, using fuselage plugs in front of and behind of the wing.

RAF Museum Curator, Al McLean says:

“We are very pleased to have this iconic aircraft, particularly as it has such a long record of service with the Royal Air Force and it makes a fine addition to the Cosford site.”

Visitors wishing to see the Hercules can now do so on a daily basis and over the Christmas period. The Museum will be open daily throughout December from 10am apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. The Museum will then close again on New Year’s Day and will reopen on Monday 2nd January 2012 from 10am. Admission is FREE. For more information on the Museum please call 01902 376200 or visit www.rafmuseum.org

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