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            may 21, 2018

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New Super Hercules freighter is to target e-commerce sector


A rollout ceremony for the first LM-100J commercial freighter - the latest member of the C-130J Super Hercules family - saw employees involved in the design and build of the aircraft walk it out of its hanger.
Final preparations are now being made so that the aircraft can make its first flight, which is scheduled for this spring. Thereafter, the aircraft will process through a US Federal Aviation Authority civil type aircraft certification update before being delivered to the unnamed first customer next year, reported London's Air Cargo News.
Director Tom Wetherall of LM-100J business development, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, said the aircraft, which has a payload of 23 tonnes, has been upgraded to six-propeller engines, compared with four propellers on the previous model, and has a new Rolls Royce engine, making it more fuel efficient to fly.
Mr Wetherall said the new model would continue to operate in the military, humanitarian and oil and gas markets, but it would also look to new sectors, such as e-commerce.
The fact that the aircraft can reach remote areas makes it ideal for e-commerce businesses that need to reach markets that do not have well developed overland transport infrastructure and airports, such as certain places in India.
He said that at the moment many of these places are even difficult to reach by truck or train and when you take into account the cost of flying to a major airport and then the overland leg to the final destination, it is actually cheaper to fly the cargo directly to destination on a LM-100J.
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.

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