Tanker 134 begins CAL FIRE contract with new livery

During the Australian summer it was south of the equator fighting fires.

Tanker 134
Tanker 134 has started a new contract with CAL FIRE. Coulson photo.

When Air Tanker 134, a C-130Q, flew across the Pacific in October, 2018 to begin a firefighting contract in Australia, it had just completed its conversion into an air tanker. There was no time to pretty it up with a fancy paint job, it had work to do.

It has only been back in North America for a couple of months but its been busy with maintenance and getting new livery. It looks like it was painted white and then partially covered with a fancy wrap.

And it has already started its second contract, this time with CAL FIRE. In the last couple of days it as been spotted at Redding and Porterville.

The military has used C-130Q aircraft as a strategic communications link  for the U.S. Navy’s Fleet Ballistic Missile submarine force and as a backup communications link for the U. S. Air Force manned strategic bomber and intercontinental ballistic missile forces.

A C-130Q is similar to a C-130H, but the “Q” model was outfitted with a six-mile long trailing wire antenna for communicating with submarines and bombers.

Coulson's L-130Q
Coulson’s C-130Q which became Tanker 134. Coulson photo, April 2017.
air tanker 134 C-130Q
C-130Q that became T-134, on the way to a makeover May 2017. Coulson photo,
t-134 c-130Q
Air tanker 134. Coulson’s most recently converted C-130Q. This was the first live fire it dropped on, in Australia, around November 1 , 2018.
c-130q tanker 134
Tanker 134 and one of the company’s Chinooks. Coulson photo April 11, 2019.

Another Coulson aircraft, a 737, has departed Australia now that its contract has ended.

10 thoughts on “Tanker 134 begins CAL FIRE contract with new livery”

  1. is it possible it was at McClellan today?.5-2?..i saw a C-130 climbing out,and i kept saying to my passenger that it looked like it had a fancy paint job on it,she just told me to drive and stop lookin at da purdy airplane..lol

  2. I probably worked on that specific aircraft as a jet engine mechanic, while stationed at Naval Air Station Agana, Guam, 1972-74. The squadron was VQ-3 with, I believe, 5 EC-130Q aircraft. The squadron’s mission was TACAMO, “Take Charge and Move Out”, as the communication link with the U.S. Navy nuclear submarines. The cable antenna was lowered out through a hole in the permanently fixed closed rear ramp. The cable antenna was about 6 miles in length. The aircraft then flew in a tight circle to maintain the cable antenna as vertical as possible. This made for some very boring flights. It’s neat that these aircraft are now being used as airtankers.
    Bruce Malloy
    SOF1, OPBD, OSC2

  3. I flew the TACAMO mission for 20 years. Eight years on the EC-130G/Q. This aircraft was one of the newer Hercs as it has the newer air conditioning packs. This is when Lockheed started using the larger cargo compartment air conditioning packs for the flight deck and added a diverter valve to channel some of the air to the back.

    I have about 6000 hours flying this aircraft and all the others as a rell operator and flight engineer.

    We beat the living crap out of these aircraft. There are very few of them left flying.

    1. No, but they have obviously stripped the plane down and done a complete REMAN so it will be as good as or better than new with upgraded systems. I’ve been watching it fly out of San Bernardino all week. Great looking plane!
      Coulson is a quality company. You don’t get over 110,000 flying hours with no accidents by just being lucky.

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