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National Science Foundation HomeNational Science Foundation - Directorate for Geological Sciences (GEO)
Polar Programs (PLR)
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Division of Polar Programs

Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics (AIL)
Frequently Asked Question about the U.S. Antarctic Program
U.S. Antarctic Environmental Policy
President's Memordanum Regarding Antarctica (Memorandum 6646, February 1982)
U.S. Policy on Private Expeditions to Antarctica
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bullet McMurdo Station
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GEO Organizations
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Polar Programs (POLAR)
Polar Programs Organizations
Antarctic Sciences (ANT)
Arctic Sciences (ARC)
Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics (AIL)
Polar Environment, Safety and Health (PESH)
U.S. Antarctic Program sites
USAP.gov — The U.S. Antarctic Program web portal
PolarIce (USAP Science Support Website)
USAP Marine Operations Services
Antarctic Treaty sites
U.S. Annual Report to the Antarctic Treaty
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LC-130 Hercules

LC-130 airplanes near McMurdo Station

LC-130 airplanes near McMurdo Station.
more pictures of LC-130 Hercules

This four-engine turboprop transport airplane, the backbone of U.S. transportation within Antarctica, provides much of the air service between McMurdo Station and New Zealand. The LC-130 is the polar version of the familiar C-130 cargo plane; its major unique feature is the ski-equipped landing gear, which enables operation on snow or ice surfaces throughout Antarctica. The plane also has wheels for landings on prepared hard surfaces. It was introduced to the Antarctic program in 1960; the National Science Foundation's fleet numbers six, operated by the U.S. Air National Guard.

The plane has a cargo area of 12 by 3 by 3 meters. It can, as an example, carry 12,200 kilograms of people and/or cargo from McMurdo to South Pole (728 nautical miles or 840 statue miles), then return to McMurdo without refueling. It cruises at 275 knots. Wingspan is 40 meters; length overall, 30 meters.


Cargo being off-loaded from an LC-130



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