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Herculean airplane to touch down in Riverton

Jul 21, 2014 - By Eric Blom, Staff Writer

Fans of big airplanes are in for a treat Tuesday when the Wyoming Air National Guard plans to fly a Lockheed C130 Hercules into Riverton Regional Airport.

Airport director Paul Griffin announced the spectacle at an airport board meeting Friday and invited residents to come watch it Tuesday. The big plane is scheduled to land between 6:45 a.m. and 7 a.m.

The four-engine turbojet cargo airplane is coming to Fremont County to pick up a rocket launcher mounted on a medium-sized truck called a 142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System. The HIMARS, as it is called, is stationed at the National Guard base in Lander.

"It's not going to have any rockets on it," Griffin said.

After the plane lands, it will load the rocket launcher and take off.

The C130 is bringing the weapon system to take part in Cheyenne's Frontier Days, and it is scheduled to return Friday.

With the HIMARS loaded, the C130 will be so heavy it will require a waiver from Riverton Regional Airport's normal weight restrictions, Griffin said.

On Thursday, the four-engine turbo prop is scheduled to return the HIMARS, landing at about 10 a.m.

C130s have an old , flexible design that has been able to adapt to changing needs over nearly six decades. The first version of the C130 entered service with the armed forces in 1956, according to the Air Force. They are about 98 feet long, 38 feet tall, have a wingspan of 132 feet and can carry up to 42,000 pounds of cargo.

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