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Honeywell & Kellstrom Defense Help Hercules Improve with Age

Honeywell & Kellstrom Defense Help Hercules Improve with Age

You can add the C-130 Hercules to the short list of things that improve with age. The four-engine turboprop multi-mission transport has been around a lot longer than most of the people who fly and maintain it. But today’s Hercules is more capable and reliable than the first C-130s that first rolled off the Lockheed assembly line in the mid-Fifties, thanks to companies like Honeywell and channel partner Kellstrom Defense. 

“I love supporting the technicians who work on the C-130,” said Engineer Sergio Jimenez, who works at Kellstrom Defense’s Global Distribution, Repair Services and Program Management hub in Miramar, Fla.  “It’s a beautiful aircraft with a lot of history and it’s still being flown by a lot of operators. They need us to help maintain their aircraft, find the right parts, and make older C-130s more capable and mission-effective with upgraded products and systems.”

For example, Kellstrom Defense has replaced the older C-130 auxiliary power unit with an upgraded Honeywell 85-series APU on about 85 aircraft over the last decade. The new APU, which provides electric power when the aircraft is on the ground and can be used to start the main engines, expands generator capability from 20 to 40 kilovolt amps and is four times more reliable than the previous system.  

In all, Honeywell provides about a dozen systems and components for the C-130. Kellstrom Defense sells upgrade programs to C-130 operators, puts together kits and installs many Honeywell systems in customers’ aircraft. In addition to the APU, the companies install new environmental control systems, air turbine starters, pneumatic components, flight controls, electromechanical displays, and other products to enhance the capabilities of 3-5 older C-130s each year.

The Miramar engineering team supports the frontline technicians handling upgrades and maintaining aircraft for customers. “We support operations at all levels,” Sergio said. “We’re constantly innovating with new capabilities, designing and upgrading existing test equipment, troubleshooting and providing technical support to the technicians working in our Repair Services segment. It’s all about helping them deliver a high-quality product to keep the C-130 ready and flying for our customers.”

Sergio is 35, so he wasn’t even born when the Hercules made its first flight 65 years ago this month. But nobody’s talking about retiring the C-130. It’s still on active duty with air forces and reserve units throughout the world and the latest variant, the C-130J Super Hercules, is still being built by Lockheed Martin.

Honeywell and Kellstrom Defense partner on retrofits, modifications, and upgrades for earlier models, many of which are flown by operators outside the U.S.

“We’ve been working with Honeywell for more than 10 years and we have a multifaceted relationship when it comes to the C-130,” said Melissa Orr, Kellstrom Defense’s Director of OEM relationships. “We handle C-130 upgrades using Honeywell original parts, we’re a distributor of parts and materials, and we’re a maintenance, repair and overhaul provider. Honeywell and Kellstrom Defense are true strategic partners and we present a unified face to our customers.”

Kathryn Kearney
Content Marketing Specialist
Katie Kearney is the global content marketing specialist for Honeywell Aerospace.


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