Original news was published on 12 June, 2017
The first Lockheed Martin LM-100J 'Super Hercules' commercial freighter took to the skies for the first time at the end of May.
The test flight took place on May 25 and the aircraft followed the same test flight route over North Georgia and Alabama that is used for all C-130J Super Hercules military transport version of the aircraft, which provides the basis for the commercial model.
"I was proud to fly the first flight of our LM-100J. It performed flawlessly, as is typical of our military C‑130J new production aircraft," said Wayne Roberts, chief test pilot for the LM-100J programme.
The LM-100J will complete initial production flight tests and then begin Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certificate update flight test requirements.
"This first flight is a source of pride for Lockheed Martin and serves as a proof-point to the ongoing versatility of the Super Hercules aircraft," said George Shultz, vice president and general manager, air mobility & maritime missions, and Marietta site general manager.
The LM-100J is the 17th different mission capability developed for the C-130J Super Hercules and it is an updated version of the L-100 cargo aircraft, which Lockheed Martin produced from 1964-1992.
The L-100s are now starting to come to the end of their working life and customers have been asking for a replacement.
The company said the aircraft will perform as a commercial multi-purpose freighter capable of rapid and efficient cargo transport.
"The LM-100J is an ideal airlift solution for delivering bulk and oversize cargo, particularly to austere locations worldwide. Like its military counterpart, the LM-100J will be able to support multiple missions, ranging from firefighting to medevac to VIP transport," Lockheed Martin said.
In 2014 ASL Aviation signed a letter of intent for 10 of the aircraft, while in 2016 a further 10 were ordered by Bravo. At least one unnamed customer has also placed an order.