The RAF Museum at Cosford received their latest addition in August 2011, the C-130 has been the work horse of forces throughout the world and early August marked the end for the RAF’s XV202.  Steve Smith was there for AeroResource…

The latest addition to Cosford’s inventory is unusually a type that is still in service – the C-130, known in RAF service as the Hercules. The aircraft – XV202 – is a C-130K, which are currently being slowly phased out of service to leave only the C-130J at Brize Norton, until the arrival of the replacement Airbus A400M.  At the time of writing there are eight C130Ks left in service.

She arrived in somewhat dark and muggy conditions,  announcing her presence with a low and fast wheels up pass along the runway, followed by a touch and go, before she came to earth for the final time.  The aircraft will be displayed externally at the museum, as there seems to be a shortage of hangar space at present – a tribute to the number of aircraft at Cosford.  Hopefully, this is something Cosford will be able to address, as the condition of the displayed aircraft is usually far better if not left out in the open.

It was only three weeks ago that this particular airframe was para-dropping over the south of England and practising natural surface landing on the beach at Pembrey Sands Air Weapons Range in South Wales.

The C130 is a venerable workhorse, being employed by numerous Air Forces and civilian firms (as the Lockheed L-100 Hercules) throughout the globe.  She was introduced to service in 1957, with the United States Air Force, following a first flight in 1954.  A tribute to the hardiness and design of this aircraft, it has been redeveloped numerous times, with the latest C130J “Super” Hercules also being present in the RAF fleet.

She will join the Dominie XS709, coded M, which arrived earlier this year.

Thanks must go to Michelle Worthington at RAFM Cosford and the crew for posing for photographs, despite an obvious twinge of sadness that this was the airframes final flight. 

Full details of the museums exhibits are available on their website (, although we recommend Cosford as one of the UKs premier aviation museums, which combined with the no entry fee policy, make the museum an excellent day out.