First Hercules flight from Australia to our Antarctic ice runway
An icy first for the Australian Antarctic Program.
Project Lead, Matt Filipowski; “It’s very exciting because it’s the first time that a RAAF C130J has operated to Antarctica and to the Wilkins Aerodrome.”
RAAF Commander Air Mobility Group Carl Newman; “Hercules are fantastic aircraft and can carry up to 20 tonnes of cargo. It can carry that cargo approximately 3000 nautical miles.”
The plane flew the 6,900 kilometre trip from Hobart in 13 hours. It was specially modified for this Antarctic mission.
Project Lead, Matt Filipowski; “Recently the Airforce has put external fuel tanks onto the aircraft and that’s given it increased endurance, or it can fly further and longer, which it needs to be able to do to operate to Antarctica.”
The Hercules had a crew of 8 on board for one of its longest ever flights.
RAAF Commander Air Mobility Group Carl Newman; “This is one of the most challenging environments for aviation in the world. The weather will be of great interest to the crew, the conditions of the runways, the ability to operate aircrafts on the ground in very cold temperatures.
Once on the ground at Wilkins they delivered cargo and refueled.
Project Lead, Matt Filipowski; “The Hercules primarily carried its own fuel down, but we had a small amount of cargo on there and they were also able to return a small amount cargo back to Australia for us as well.”