What is this plane? It kept circling overhead and I managed to get a picture during one of it's passes. The only parts I could see was 4 piston engines, straight wings, and a tall tail with some obscure markings on it.

Pretty Picture of An Airplane in the sky.

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    $\begingroup$ As the answer below says, it is unmistakably a C-130 Hercules military transport. It has 4 turboprop engines, not piston engines. $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2016 at 2:23
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    $\begingroup$ This wouldn't happen to be near the Peoria Air National Guard would it? $\endgroup$
    – codedude
    Apr 26, 2016 at 4:24
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    $\begingroup$ Circling overhead? I'm slightly disappointed it wasn't an AC-130 ;-) $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2016 at 10:19
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    $\begingroup$ @RedGrittyBrick That would have been spooky... $\endgroup$
    – Steve Ives
    Apr 26, 2016 at 12:15
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    $\begingroup$ There is a horizontal stripe across the tail. So this airplane is most likely Air National Guard. Inside that stripe will be the state name but the photo is not clear enough to read. Wikipedia for the 169th Airlift Squadron says they fly C-130H3, but the photo is a J model, you can tell by the propeller blades. $\endgroup$
    – radarbob
    Jan 4, 2017 at 0:37

1 Answer 1


This looks like a C-130, as features like the bulge for the landing gear make it fairly easy to make the comparison.

For reference, here is a C-130 in flight:

image 1

image 2

The first image even appears to have the same markings as shown in the footage.

Military practices quite often will require an aircraft to hold a position, and could have just been circling for that reason. These aircraft are primarily used for lifting and aerial refueling. I do not see any refueling pods on the reference though, so it appears to be an unconverted plane.

  • $\begingroup$ that looks exactly like it - even the paint on the tail matches! $\endgroup$ Apr 26, 2016 at 2:00

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