Originally Posted by fireflyr
Back when I was going into flight school, my uncle, who flew C-130s in Vietnam, pulled me aside. He said I was in for the adventure of my life but had these words of wisdom: "don't fly an Alpha model ANYTHING!"
8000+ hours later and I have to admit those were true words of wisdom. I did log about 1700 hours in the alpha model Blackhawk, but by the time I got into it they had figured out most of the problems. I think I'd fly that tilt-rotor pretty conservatively and hope the test pilots had defined the envelope.
The AC-130 Gunships in use in SEA in 1970 were all A-Models. With three bladed props. 53-129 ("first Lady) was the first C-130 delivered to the Air Force (in 1953). They started using E-Models in about '71. They were upgraded to 4 blade props in the mid 70's. 129 is on display at Eglin.