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What is this plane spotted from Outer Banks, North Carolina?

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ Looks like a C-130 $\endgroup$
    – jamesbtate
    Oct 17, 2017 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ Why is the rear door open? Marines jumping out? $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2023 at 1:53

3 Answers 3

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enter image description here
(USAF)

Judging by the single pair of pylon tanks, DIRCM (Directed InfraRed Counter Measure) heads near the tail and lack of armament on left side, and what looks like 4 bladed props, it is likely an MC-130H.

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    $\begingroup$ I added photo/link, but why is the nose different? New clue? If you can edit the answer to add more info, please do. $\endgroup$
    – user14897
    Oct 17, 2017 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ @ymb1 - I think the noses look similar enough considering the fairly rough condition of the pic in the OP. i.e. it's pixley enough that we're probably looking at that same squared off nose bump but it just looks rounder due to low resolution and blurry focus. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Oct 18, 2017 at 15:16
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    $\begingroup$ There are a couple of extra pods on the variant in your answer, I'm not sure this is correct. $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2023 at 21:15
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    $\begingroup$ @MichaelHall the outboard refueling pods are detachable. thedrive.com/content-b/… $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2023 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ I see, thanks! The USMC KC-130s I crewed on had a more permanent refueling pod. $\endgroup$ Jan 24, 2023 at 23:24
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It matches a Lockheed C-130 Hercules from that point of view.

3-view diagram of C-130
(source: wikimedia.org)

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  • $\begingroup$ This is the only indisputably correct answer at this point. Were you looking for detail on what specific variant it might be? $\endgroup$ Jan 23, 2023 at 21:22
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I can tell you without a doubt it is a MC-130H TALON II. The nose radome, electrically operated IFR pods on outboard wings, uhf rail antenna as opposed to long wire, DIRCM pods on aft fuselage, and the subdued paint with no readily identifiable tail numbers or base identifiers on the aircraft are key points of identification of aircraft. That and the fact I was DFCC in the Air Force on these aircraft and they hold a special place in my heart. If you zoom in on the nose section you'll notice 4 numbers (1803). Those are part of the tail numbers for their aircraft and if you look up either 87-1803 or 88-1803 can't remember which one it should come back as MC-130H. Last time I saw this particular plane was at Kirkland AFB acceptance inspection from Mildenhall AFB as part of a 3 tail plane swap, but that was a long time ago and it very possibly is gone on to one of 3 SOCOM bases Kadena, Hurlburt Field, or Mildenhall, Kirkland is AETC aircrew training base for those 3 locations.

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    $\begingroup$ Hi, and welcome to aviation.stackexchange. You seem to be identifying the aircraft in picture in the answer given by swordfish45. The aircraft in the picture of the question is a different aircraft. $\endgroup$
    – DeltaLima
    Jul 11, 2022 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ Can you see the UHF rail antenna on the airplane in the question, or the answer? $\endgroup$ Jul 12, 2022 at 0:45

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