C-130 Hercules releases its flares to make smoke angel in incredible footage

  • The C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft
  • This footage of it releasing its flares is visually impressive
  • However, releasing the flares also has an important function

Published on May 13, 2024 at 3:54 PM (UTC+4)
by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

Last updated on May 13, 2024 at 3:54 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

This footage of the C-130 Hercules releasing its flares might be visually impressive – but it turns out they also perform an important function.

The flares are an aerial infrared countermeasure for incoming heat-seeking surface-to-air or air-to-air missiles.

They are released in an ‘angel’ pattern from the SUU-42A/A ejector pods.

The C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft.

READ MORE! Perfect perspective of The Blue Angels diamond take-off will leave you awestruck

It was designed and built by Lockheed Martin, with its first flight in 1954.

It entered service in 1956.

Per LM’s website: “It can be said without fear of contradiction that the C-130 Hercules is one of the most important aircraft in aviation history.”

The main tactical airlifter is capable of using unprepared runways for takeoffs and landings.

It’s been said that the C-130 Hercules ‘Fat Albert’ rocket takeoff looks like an explosion.

This allows it to partake in military, civilian, and humanitarian aid missions

These include airdropping troops, medevac, and cargo transport aircraft, a gunship for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting.

The C-130 Hercules has a range of top speed for its models.

The Hercules C-130E can reach 345 mph/300 ktas (Mach 0.49) at 20,000 feet (6,060 meters).

For the C-130H, it’s 366 mph/318 ktas (Mach 0.52) at 20,000 feet (6,060 meters).

The C-130J reaches 417 mph/362 ktas (Mach 0.59) at 22,000 feet (6,706 meters).

Meanwhile, the C-130J-30 can get to 410 mph/356 ktas (Mach 0.58) at 22,000 feet (6,706 meters).

To put that into perspective, this mesmerizing video of planes crossing shows the blistering pace at which they fly.

Currently, the C-130 Hercules is the main aircraft for Australia and other global military forces.

In 2007, the transport became the fifth aircraft to mark 50 years of continuous service with the United States Air Force (USAF).

In addition, the Hercules C-130 is also the longest continuously produced military aircraft, racking up over 60 years.

The updated Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules went into production in 2023.

And you can check out the C-130J Super Hercules making its historic first flight with external fuel tanks under its wings here.


Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

London-based Amelia cut her journalistic teeth covering all things lifestyle, wellness and luxury in the UK capital. Fast-forward a decade and the experienced content creator and editor has put pen to paper for glossy magazines, busy newsrooms and coveted brands. When her OOO is on you can find her spending quality time with her young family, in the gym or exploring the city she loves.