An all-Marine Corps crew of three officers and five enlisted personnel operate the Lockheed-Martin C-130T Hercules, affectionately known as Fat Albert Airlines. Fat Albert joined the team in 1970 and flies more than 140,000 miles each season. It carries more than 40 maintenance and support personnel, their gear and enough spare parts and communication equipment to complete a successful air show.
Fat Albert cruises at a speed of more than 320 knots (approximately 360 miles per hour) at 27,000 feet. Four Allison turboprop engines, which produce more than 16,000 shaft-horsepower, provide Fat Albert Airlines with the power to land and depart on runways as short as 2,500 feet.
At select show sites, Fat Albert demonstrates its jet-assisted takeoff (JATO) capability. Eight solid-fuel rocket bottles, four on each side, attached near the rear paratrooper doors thrust the Hercules skyward. Fired simultaneously, the JATO bottles allow the mammoth transport aircraft to takeoff within 1,500 feet, climb at a 45-degree angle, and propel it to an altitude of 1,000 feet in approximately 15 seconds. Getting Fat Albert airborne in minimal time and distance simulates conditions in hostile environments or on short, unprepared runways.
Why is the C-130 called "Fat Albert?"
"Fat Albert" is a nickname given to the plane by Marine Corps Blue Angel pilots in the 1970s because of its size and shape and is a reference to the popular children's cartoon of the same era.
How much fuel does Fat Albert hold?
Fat Albert holds 46,000 pounds of fuel.
What is the normal cruising speed and shaft horsepower per motor of Fat Albert?
Fat Albert's cruising speed is 360 mph and shaft horsepower is about 4,500 per engine.
What is the maximum takeoff weight of Fat Albert? The maximum takeoff weight of Fat Albert is 155,000 pounds.
What is the distance under Fat Albert's propellers to the ground? The distance under Fat Albert's propellers to the ground is approximately six feet.
How many crewmembers are assigned to fly Fat Albert, and what are their positions? Eight Marines are assigned to operate Fat Albert Airlines: three pilots, two flight engineers, a navigator, a flight mechanic and a loadmaster.
How long has the team had the C-130? The team has been flying the C-130 since 1970.