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Posted 9/24/2008 Printable Fact Sheet
109th Airlift Wing commemorates first South Pole landing
A U.S. Air Force LC-130 Hercules from the New York Air National Guard's 109th Airlift Wing touches down near McMurdo, Antarctica. The first plane landed there 50 years ago. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The LC-130 four-engine turboprop transport aircraft is the backbone of U.S. Transportation within Antarctica and also provides air service between McMurdo Station, Antarctica and New Zealand. The LC-130 fleet supports a wide range of scientific research on climate change, global warming, ozone depletion, earth history, astronomy and environmental change.

The LC-130 is the polar version of the familiar C-130 cargo plane. Its unique feature is the ski-equipped landing gear, which enables operation on snow or ice surfaces throughout Antarctica. The plane also has wheels for landing on prepared hard surfaces.

The United States is the only operator of ski-equipped LC-130 Hercules aircraft in the world.

Designated Name

Lockheed Aeronautical System Corp 

Four Allsion T-56-A-15 Turboprops 

Operating Weight
90,000 pounds 

Max. Weight

155,000 pounds 

Max. Payload
45,000 pounds 

97 feet 9 inches 

132 feet 7 inches 

Cruise Speed
350 mph 

356+ mile; with a maximum payload 

Max number of pallets

Max number of passengers

Length of skis
Nose Ski - 10' X 5' long, 6" wide
Main Skis - 12' X 5' long, 6" wide 

Basic Crew
Six (two pilots, navigator, flight engineer, two loadmasters)

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