Lockheed Martin LM-100J gets FAA type certificate

LM 100J First Flight

The Lockheed Martin LM-100J commercial freighter received its type certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration on November 15.

The aircraft was approved after 150 hours of flight testing under the supervision of the FAA, said Lockheed.

The airframer expects the first examples of the LM-100J to enter service during the first quarter of 2020 with Pallas Aviation, after the operator’s maintenance crews and pilots are trained over the course of the coming months in Marietta, Georgia. Pallas provides cargo services for the mining and oil and gas industries.

The LM-100J is based on the C-130J-30 Super Hercules, a stretched and modernised version of the original C-130 Hercules military cargo transport. The C-130J-30 received an FAA type certification in 1998, but was not sold to commercial customers.

The LM-100J is an updated version of the C-130J-30, with new avionics, a new flight-management system and carbon brakes, among other improvements for the commercial market. The manufacturer is also touting FAA-approved training through its Hercules training centre in Marietta.

It also has a FAA-certificated commercial maintenance plan, a feature not incorporated in the Super Hercules because of the lack of a market for a commercial variant in the late 1990s, says Lockheed.

The LM-100J has a slightly greater payload, 19,800kg (43,700lb), compared with its military predecessor, which carries about 1,400kg less.

The original C-130 Hercules received its type certificate in 1965. Lockheed says it sold 115 examples of that aircraft’s commercial variant, named the L-100 transport. However, production of the L-100 stopped in 1992 and there are 35 of the type still flying, says Lockheed.

The company expects operators of those aircraft to make up a large portion of the LM-100J’s future orders.

“A lot of those commercial operators are very closely watching this type design update so that they can come up with a business case to recapitalise their aging fleets,” said Marilou Franklin, director of LM-100J FAA type certification. “They do appreciate the niche capabilities of the airplane.”

Lockheed said it is targeting commercial customers in industries such as aerial firefighting, humanitarian relief operations, mining logistics, oil and gas exploration and oversized cargo transport.

However, the firm also sees a market for the aircraft with some governments.

“We do think there is a place for the LM-100J in some government-operator fleets,” said Tony Frese, vice-president of business development for air mobility and maritime missions at Lockheed. “Given the LM-100J’s commonality with the C-130J and the historic trend of some governments having both platforms, we think this could be very much the case for the LM-100J.”

The airframer says it has five LM-100Js order. Two of those orders are bound for Pallas, while the other three are for undisclosed customers. Ultimately, the company believes the programme could sell 25-45 LM-100Js.

Share this story

Related Topics

Latest airlines news

JD Airlines to lease four 737-800BCF from AerCap

AerCap has signed lease agreements for four 737-800 Boeing Converted Freighter (BCF) aircraft with JD Airlines, the cargo airline of…

Read More

Share this story

Emirates backs freighter conversion plans despite delays

Emirates SkyCargo has confirmed it is sticking with plans to convert 10 777-300ER passenger aircraft into freighters despite production delays….

Read More

Share this story

Antonov Airlines AN-124 completes US satellite flight

Antonov Airlines and charter firm Proair have transported a satellite and supporting equipment from Turkey to the US utilising one…

Read More

Share this story

Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]