Does the AC-130 have de-ice or anti-ice protection for wings and surfaces? Can it fly in icing conditions? Looking at many pictures I see no sign of a shiny "hot wing" leading edge nor any boots. Does anyone have more information on this?


1 Answer 1


The C-130 uses pressurized bleed air for leading-edge and window anti-ice. The props are deiced with electric heaters in the prop.


The C-130 is very often used in places that experience icing. For example, the US Air Force flies the C-130 as a cargo/transport aircraft for Antarctic and Greenland operations:

enter image description here (Source: Popular Science)

  • $\begingroup$ Alright, I didn't figure that it had enough spare compressed air to use bleed air for that, being a turboprop and not a jet (usually much higher volume at higher compression). Is that just extremely high temperature paint on the leading edges? It's not polished like civilian aircraft that use bleed air for deicing. $\endgroup$
    – Pugz
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure of the temperature, it is probably somewhere around 250° where it starts out. All 4 engines are capable of supplying bleed air I believe. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 20:21
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Bleed air in the Herk is both really hot & also quite plentiful. All 4 motors turn at 100% RPM the whole time, and compressor stage where it is bled from (used to know that offhand, but haven't flown the Herk in quite a while) was hot as well, 600 degrees comes to mind. In jets, power to idle reduces your bleed pressure quite a bit; in the Herk, it doesn't matter. (My experience was on E and H model Herks, the J model has different motors & may not be the same.) $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 20:56
  • $\begingroup$ As someone who had a very brief stint working on the AC-130 in Iraq (helped with some tricky troubleshooting problems), with the rest of my experience being on "regular" C-130's, the gunships often had creative alternative systems to their "regular" counterparts. While it's been too long since I've worked on them, and I can't remember specifics, I wouldn't outright assume that what is normal on a C-130 is normal on an AC-130. It most likely is the same setup, but even if I could remember specifics, they try to keep details classified. $\endgroup$
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 20:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Frank -- it'd be weird if the de-ice got ripped out/changed drastically though (as that's a rather basic system for just getting the plane from point A to point B in many parts of this world). $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 21, 2017 at 23:04

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