[Avionics Today July 11, 2014] Lockheed Martin is anticipating its forthcoming LM-100J aircraft to garner demand for some unique missions, including oil spill clean-ups among other roles. The aerospace and defense manufacturer will also make a major announcement regarding its latest non-military aircraft program at next week's Farnborough International Airshow.
In February, Lockheed announced
it will be pursuing an amended type certification from the FAA
for the LM-100J. The aircraft is a modern version of the L-382J—which was a commercial variant of the C-130J Super Hercules that went out of production in 1992.
Now, the company is ready to re-enter the commercial airframe market, and is working closely with the FAA
on a project-specific certification plan, according to Ray Fajay, director of air mobility business development at Lockheed Martin.
"Following the type design update, we envision the LM-100J serving a range of customers as broad as the aircraft’s multi-role capabilities," Fajay said in an interview with Avionics Magazine. "Growth provisions built into the LM-100J enable it to support a variety of operations that include: oil spill clean-up, oil exploration logistics, mining logistics, aerial firefighting and delivery, humanitarian relief and aerial spray for oil spill response."
According to Fajay, the military components and capabilities of the C-130J "are removed for this civil variant." If Lockheed keeps the latest glass cockpit avionics setup from the C-130 for the LM-100J, it will feature flight management systems, displays, autopilot, weather radar, and a Traffic Alert Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) from Rockwell Collins
The LM-100J will also be in the "stretched" configuration of the C-130J with a cargo floor measuring 55 feet in total length. That could lead to the most demand for the aircraft coming from air cargo operators, Fajay said.
"We anticipate the demand for the LM-100J to exist in the air cargo market," said Fajay. "The LM-100J is designed to support - with minimal material handling equipment — rapid on-load and off-load of cargo at truck-bed height."
Lockheed expects flight testing of the LM-100J to begin in 2017, followed by entry into service in early 2018.