Fat Albert Jato Take-off

This great photo was given to me by the pilot of the Blue Angels C-130 support plane "Fat Albert" at the '94 Eau Claire WI airshow performers party.

I've only watched a full JATO take off once and it is amazing to see that huge plane levitate.

During the Iran hostage crisis, Lockheed worked on a secret, rush project to modify a Hercules, designated YMC-130H, with enough JATO bottles to allow it to land in a soccer field and take off again.  Two planes were built but one was destroyed when the pilot accidentally fired the forward-facing braking rockets while still 30' off the ground.  The plane had almost completely stopped its forward motion by the time it dropped onto the ground and was destroyed.  While the plane did perform to its specifications, it was determined to be too risky to use.  Here's a video of the crash of the YMC-130H.

The Aviation Zone web site has great info about the C-130.  Be sure to check out the Carrier Landing photo!

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