The Special Mission Aircraft That The Government Doesn’t Want Us To Know About

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: Tim Felce (Airwolfhound)

Lockheed Air Services started work on the first of the MC-130 special aircraft at its Ontario, California facility in December 1964. This first modified Hercules was given the moniker “Combat Talon,” and two testbed machines were built in conditions of strict secrecy. The developers even went as far as to remove identifying serial numbers from the planes.

Image: Dan R. Boyd, PH3, USCG

And the U.S. Air Force needed this new model in order to better carry out covert operations in Vietnam. In particular, the top brass wanted a craft that could operate at low altitudes during special missions after another plane – the Fairchild C-123 Provider – had failed to perform to expectations.

ADVERTISEMENT
Image: DoD photo by Vernon Pugh, U.S. Navy.

Indeed, AFSOC has used a variety of different planes over the years – such as the CV-22 Osprey. The CV-22 is based on the innovative V-22 tilt-rotor machine and combines a short take-off ability with the option to use the rotors so that it ascends in a vertical manner – much like a helicopter.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT