Earlier today, the commercial variant of Lockheed’s popular C-130J “Super Hercules” completed its first test flight, following the same flight path over North Georgia, and Alabama that test pilots usually chart for its military counterpart.
Like the Super Hercules, the LM-100J will be capable of operating in rugged terrain unsuitable for other commercial freighters. As an updated version of the L-100 cargo aircraft, the LM-100J will likely be deployed on humanitarian missions supporting aid delivery and accident response, firefighting, and of course, remote cargo transport.
Once initial production flight tests are completed, Lockheed will begin FAA-specific flight tests to meet the requirements for the aircraft’s type certification.
Although Lockheed has not outlined a delivery timeline, it has identified a few of its customers. At last year’s Farnborough Air Show, Brazil-based Bravo Industries became the launch customer for the LM-100J, with a ten-unit order. This followed a 2014 LOI from Ireland-based ASL Aviation Group for ten units – no surprise given ASL is a major shareholder in South Africa-based Safair, which currently operates six L-100s.
Now for a video of the LM-100Js first flight: