It was an historic moment at 8 Wing CFB Trenton on Tuesday for the last CC-130 E Hercules Legacy still in service. Following 50 years service, the aircraft made its final flight – from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron, Trenton to the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
Donated by the Department of National Defence, the Hercules will become part of the museum’s permanent exhibition. The donation commemorates the significant role of the aircraft, called a true workhorse of the Royal Canadian Air Force.
Rugged and versatile, the Hercules has participated in numerous search and rescue operations and helped provide disaster relief.
“The CC-130 Hercules is the mainstay of the RCAF’s tactical air mobility fleet. Since we acquired our first B-model Hercules in October 1960, this rugged transport aircraft has provided stellar service in times of peace and conflict,” said Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force. “The Hercules is so integral to our mission success that we recently acquired the latest version, the J-model Hercules. Along with our legacy H models, the J-model is providing unparalleled service to Canada and Canadians.”
The Hercules offered to the museum is the oldest Canadian example of the type, entering service in 1965. It was used as a transport, navigation training and search and rescue airplane. The Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Armed Forces received 24 CC-130Es between December 1964 and August 1968. The Hercules offered to the museum was the third CC-130E acquired by the Canadian military.
“As we mark the final flight of the last remaining CC-130 E Hercules Legacy in service, we are reminded of the Canadian Armed Forces’ diligent efforts in responding to and preventing Search and Rescue emergencies,” said Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister. “Today, let’s take a moment to honour this reliable flying giant that has served us well for more than five decades.”
“As a former Commanding Officer of 429 Transport Squadron in Trenton, it’s an honour to be here today to mark an important milestone in our military history: the last flight of the CC-130E fleet,” said Karen McCrimmon, now MP for Kanata-Carleton. “I encourage all Canadians to take a moment to pay a visit to this loyal workhorse, and reflect on the importance it had for Royal Canadian Air Force, Canada and Canadians.”
“The Canada Aviation and Space Museum prides itself in charting not only Canada’s rich aviation heritage but also the important milestones in the history and technology of flight,” said Alex Benay, president and CEO of the museum. “We appreciate the Department of National Defence’s understanding of the usefulness of the aircraft beyond its active life span in the Royal Canadian Air Force and gratefully accept the guardianship of this significant aircraft for future generations.”
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