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Archived photo of the YC-130 Hercules during its ferry flight from Burbank, Calif., to Edwards AFB, Calif., on Aug. 23, 1954. The C-130 is still in production today, making it the longest running military aircraft production line in history. Air Force photo. ​

In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower was in his first term as President and an expansionist Soviet Union was generating global tensions in the emerging Cold War. On Aug. 23 of that year, a four-engine turboprop transport took its maiden flight at Lockheed Martin’s plant in Burbank, Calif. Sixty years later, the C-130 Hercules still is in production, making it the longest running military aircraft in continuous production in history. The Air Force took delivery of its first C-130As in December 1956, and a total of 428 different models of the Hercules are being flown by nearly every major Air Force command, the Air Force Reserve, and the Air National Guard. Hercules also are operated by the US Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard and are in military or civil use in 70 countries. According to Lockheed Martin, a total of 2,471 have been produced. And the latest model, the C-130J Super Herc, continues to roll off the assembly lines. “In its first six decades, the C-130 shaped aviation history, redefined industry standards and exhibited flexibility that other aircraft have yet to match,” George Shultz, Lockheed vice president and general manager C-130 programs, said in a company release. (USAF release).