“The combined efforts of everyone involved has allowed for concurrent accomplishment of both developmental and operational test objectives,” said Dave Fedors, Boeing’s lead test pilot in the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program.
“The test team could not accomplish all of the planned test points without everyone’s expertise and cooperation,” he noted. “From the maintenance personnel to the engineering experts to the combined aircrew, everyone is working toward one common goal, providing a good product to the warfighter.”
C-130 Avionics Modernization Program testing will start soon at the Boeing facility in San Antonio, Texas and will continue at Edwards.
The main purpose of this testing will be to verify the functionality of the new avionics hardware and software.
One MC-130E Combat Talon is currently here executing Terrain Following risk reduction testing down to 250 feet above the ground utilizing the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program Terrain Following system.
This testing has involved several flights over rugged terrain to determine how well the Terrain Following system can function during a low altitude, special operations flight in order to avoid enemy defenses and detection.
“A major milestone achieved in this test effort is that the aircraft has been able to successfully follow and hug the earth in both active and passive modes of operation,” said Bill Spencer, Boeing system engineer.
In the active mode of operation, the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program radar transmits and receives low power signals to identify and avoid terrain. In the passive mode, the mission computers use a software terrain database to identify and avoid terrain.
“These efforts are indicative of the talented people we have working together as a team in order to support the user,” said Lt. Col. Chris Dobb, 418th Flight Test Squadron commander.
The 418th Flight Test Squadron plans to test several different versions of the C-130 Avionics Modernization Program aircraft over the next several years.