For the First Time: Hercules J takes Flight Another step towards the destined arrival: The first Hercules J airplane was officially marked with an IAF symbol only a few weeks ago and recently conducted its first flight in United States territory. The Hercules J is promised to arrive in Israel during the year of 2014 when Israeli systems will be installed in it

Shani Poms

The IAF continues preparing for the scheduled arrival of the Hercules J in 2014, but in the meantime, the young airplane took flight for the first time in United States territory, where it is also manufactured. The flight which was conducted last week and lasted three hours is considered the opening shot to the other takeoffs yet to come in the next few days. “The flight was a success” said Lieutenant Colonel Uri, Commander of the Hercules J establishing team. “This was a symbolic and important action in the process of receiving the aircraft and establishing its formation”.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Uri the purpose of this first flight was to test the current systems of the plane and their intactness. “This is a very advanced airplane with progressive computerized control systems”, he explained. “After this flight, Israeli systems will be installed in it. The IAF is interested in matching the airplane’s abilities to its missions”.

The first flight of the new cargo airplane was operated by American pilots, although in the next few months a small delegacy of Israeli pilots and navigators will be sent to the United States and will receive a few Hercules J instruction courses. Training the delegation will take a few months and will aspire to train other units that will be involved in managing the aircraft in the future. “The Hercules J is much like the ‘Hercules’ but bigger”, he said. “Some of their missions will correspond but in the future they’ll have different and separate operations”.