RAAF Hercules 10 Ton Air Drop
A Royal Australian Air Force C-130H Hercules made a mammoth airborne delivery today, when it airdropped a 10-tonne John Deere bulldozer into a Defence site in northwest Sydney. The John Deere 450J Bulldozer was airdropped into Londonderry Drop Zone as part of a trial to certify it as suitable for aerial delivery by Air Force transport aircraft. This was the final heavy airdrop to be performed by a C-130H Hercules, as the fleet will retire later this year. Air Force will continue to conduct the airdrop role on the newer generation C-130J Hercules and C-17A Globemaster transports. Extraction parachutes pulled the load backwards out of the Hercules cargo bay, at an altitude of 350 metres, before five 30-metre descent parachutes deployed and allowed the load to safely descend. The total weight of the load, comprising the bulldozer, pallet, rigging and parachutes, was approximately 10,500kg. The bulldozer is used by Army's Combat Engineer Regiments to clear areas, repair runways, and prepare drop zones.