Braking with Tradition

Evaluators with the 418th Flight Test Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., are testing new carbon brakes and a digital anti-skid system for potential retrofit to the legacy C-130 fleet. Using a soon-to-be-retired C-130E from Little Rock AFB, Ark., 418th FTS testers have completed baseline testing of the current steel brake and analogue control system and about 75 percent of comparative tests with the new system. Tests include minimum-distance braking and wet- and dry-skid trials and with different cargo loads. The steel brakes used on legacy Hercules are no longer manufactured and pose a logistical problem for maintainers. The new carbon brakes and digital system are already installed on C-130Js and are designed to last six times as long as their legacy counterparts. The testing at Edwards began in March. (Edward report by Kenji Thuloweit)