Have you ever wondered about the history of the aircraft you fly in Infinite Flight? One of my favorites in the sim is the C-130H, the classic version of the Hercules. Though having only five liveries to choose from, they represent great examples of this aircraft. Having flown them all from time to time, I usually default to the US Navy livery.
Recently, I decided to look into the markings on this aircraft, one that most wouldn’t associate with the Navy. After all, the Hercules isn’t exactly Top Gun material. US military aircraft can typically be identified by a letter and number code found on the horizontal stabilizer of the tail. In this case, I found that JW 5160 is part of the VR-62 Nomads of Naval Air Station Jacksonville. As a Floridian, this made me happy, as I do much of my flying here.
VR-62 received its first of five C-130Ts in 1995. The T variant is essentially an H with improved avionics used for logistical support for the Naval Fleet. The nickname “Nomads” came from the fact that VR-62 has been relocated twice, once from NAS New Weymouth, then from NAS Brunswick. In each location, their mission has remained the same, to provide rapid response and global air support for US Maritime Forces.
The normal Navy rotation is to complete three theater detachments per year. One regular stop for VR-62 is EUCOM (European Command) at NAS Sigonella in Italy. On the other side of the world, the Nomads also visit PACOM (Pacific Command) at NAS Atsugi in Japan. As the Operations Master Chief stated, “We operate around the globe and around the clock.”
I really enjoyed researching the history and background of this aircraft. If anything, it’s provided my flights with a new level of realism. Props to the Infinite Flight Development Team for going the extra mile and modeling actual aircraft. Most of my flying with Navy 160 has been done on the Training Server, with occasional forays into Expert. What story does your favorite aircraft hold?