World’s Longest Continuously Produced Military Aircraft Regularly Seen in Gibraltar

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Fat Albert
Fat Albert a regular visitor to the Rock Credit: RAF Gibraltar

IT seems quite incredible in these times of instant disposability and modern technology that a military aircraft which first took to the skies and entered service in 1956 should still be used by Air Forces around the world.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an American four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft which with a few upgrades has seen continuous service for 64 years and is still being built and sold today.

The RAF took delivery of their first ‘Fat Albert’ as the aircraft is affectionately known in 1966 and it has been involved in every UK conflict since that time, transporting troops, equipment and acting as a medivac option until today.

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In fact, it is due to remain in service until at least 2035 and is considered to still be the working backbone of the RAF.

Whilst many locals know when the Gibraltar airfield will be closed for commercial flights and time their arrivals and departures accordingly, this regular visitor to the Rock can disrupt plans as it arrives and takes off, sometimes practising two or three ‘emergency’ touchdowns.


Married to Ophelia in Gibraltar in 1978, John has spent much of his life travelling on security print and minting business and visited every continent except Antarctica.

Having retired several years ago, the couple moved to their house in Estepona and John became a regular news writer for the EWN Media Group taking particular interest in Finance, Gibraltar and Costa del Sol Social Scene.

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