A Herculean Effort, One Wing Box at a Time

The 402nd Maintenance Wing at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center at Robins AFB, Ga., has completed center wing box replacement on 27 legacy C-130 transports so far since the fleet-wide program began several years back. Alone this year, 24 Hercules have entered the depot for this work. The CWB forms the attachment point between the fuselage and wings. Its replacement takes 300 mechanics nearly 180 days per airframe to complete. More than 300 Hercules are scheduled to cycle through Robins by 2042, eventually including USAF’s new C-130Js. Mechanics are fitting each C-130 with a re-designed wing box that effectively doubles the aircraft’s service life from 38,000 flying hours to 67,000, and potentially more. Warner Robins began a parallel C-130 avionics upgrade earlier this year to standardize C-130H2, -2.5, and -3 cockpit layouts and render these aircraft fully night-vision compatible. (Warner Robins Patriot report by Gene Rector)