Third C-130 AMP Test Aircraft Finished

Boeing announced yesterday that it has completed the 10-month process of installing the avionics upgrades on the third and final C-130 test aircraft under the Air Force’s C-130 avionics modernization program. The company expects this aircraft, a C-130H3 model, to take its first test flight in February now that the fully integrated, night-vision-goggle compatible, digital glass cockpit is resident on it. On Oct. 1, the aircraft passed a “power-up” drill at Boeing’s facility in San Antonio when company employees turned on its electrical systems. “Power up is always an important milestone,” said Mark Angelo, Boeing’s C-130 AMP program manager. The Air Force is awaiting Office of the Secretary of Defense approval to move the C-130 AMP into low-rate initial production, during which Boeing will build 26 upgrade kits and share in their installation. This approval may come soon, as OSD was expected to review the program this month. Boeing said it is already under contract as of Sept. 30 to supply the first two upgrade kits.