Aircraft Comparison By

C130 vs A400M

Incredible history; both aircraft have been around for a long time. This article will stack C130 vs A400M and find out the winner. Let’s jump in!

Aircraft: Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules Airbus A400M
Lockheed Martin C 130J Super Hercules 07 4636
German Air Force Airbus A400M
Country: United States France
Manufactured: from: 1996 to: Present from: 2009 to: Present
ICAO: C130 A400
Price: $75.5 million $152 million
Avionics: Lockheed C-130X AMP Avionics -
Engine: 4x Rolls-Royce AE 2100D3 4x 4 × EuroProp International TP400-D6
Engine Type: Turboprop Turboprop
Power: 4,700 horsepower 11,000 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed: 365 knots
676 Km/h
421 knots
780 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref): 120 knots 130 knots
Travel Range: 2,390 Nautical Miles
4,426 Kilometers
4,800 Nautical Miles
8,890 Kilometers
Fuel Economy: 0.22 nautical mile / gallon
0.108 kilometres / litre
0.17 nautical mile / gallon
0.083 kilometres / litre
Service Ceiling: 33,000 feet 40,000 feet
Rate of Climb: 1830 feet / minute
9.30metre / second
3000 feet / minute
15.24metre / second
Take Off Distance: 1573 metre
5,160.70 feet
980 metre
3,215.18 feet
Landing Distance: 792 metre
2,598.39 feet
770 metre
2,526.22 feet
Max Take Off Weight: 79,365 Kg
174,968 lbs
141,000 Kg
310,849 lbs
Max Landing Weight: 58,957 Kg
129,977 lbs
123,000 Kg
271,166 lbs
Max Payload: 21,500 Kg
47,399 lbs
37,000 Kg
81,570 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity: 9,680 gallon
36,643 litre
16,611 gallon
62,879 litre
Baggage Volume: 170 m3
6,003 ft3
342 m3
12,078 ft3
Seats - Economy: 92 seats 116 seats
Seats - Business Class: - -
Seats - First Class: - -
Cabin Height: 2.74 metre
8.99 feet
3.85 metre
12.63 feet
Cabin Width: 3.12 metre
10.24 feet
4 metre
13.12 feet
Cabin Length: 16.9 metre
55.45 feet
17.71 metre
58.10 feet
Exterior Length: 34.37 metre
112.76 feet
43.8 metre
143.70 feet
Tail Height: 11.84 metre - 38.84 feet 14.7 metre - 48.23 feet
Fuselage Diameter: 4.32 metre
14.17 feet
4.1 metre
13.45 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter: 40.4 metre
132.54 feet
42.4 metre
139.11 feet
Wing Tips: No Winglets No Winglets
More Info: Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules Airbus A400M
Data presented is for entertainment purposes and should not be used operationally.

Other Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules comparisons:

Other Airbus A400M comparisons:

Compare any aircraft

About the Lockheed C-130 Hercules

Starting with the Lockheed C-130 Hercules, this heavy-lift military transport aircraft is a four-engine turboprop plane designed and took its first flight in December 1956. 

Why was it developed and built?

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules was developed to fulfill a U.S. Air Force requirement for an aircraft that could transport troops, cargo, and medical evacuation missions in any weather and at any time of day.

What purpose does it serve?

Used by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard, the Lockheed C-130 Hercules has served in combat operations worldwide. Today, it serves numerous roles across all branches, including airlift support, airdrop missions, search and rescue (SAR), cargo transport, electronic surveillance, and more.

About the Airbus A400M Atlas

Next is the Airbus A400M Atlas, a four-engine turboprop plane designed and developed by EADS (now Airbus). This military transport aircraft was unveiled on 11 December 2009.

Why was it developed and built?

The Airbus A400M Atlas was developed due to collaborative efforts between several NATO nations to replace aging fleets of military transport aircraft.

What purpose does it serve?

Remembering its collaborative roots, the Airbus A400M Atlas is used by many nations to transport troops and cargo worldwide. The aircraft also serves various roles, including air-to-air refueling, electronic warfare, medical evacuation, and search and rescue operations.

How are the Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Airbus A400M Atlas different?

Let’s look at the main differences between these two formidable aircraft.


The first difference between the two planes is size. This means that Lockheed C-130 Hercules has less cargo space than its counterpart.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is smaller than the Airbus A400M Atlas. While the Lockheed C-130 Hercules measures 97 feet in length with a wingspan of 132 feet, the A400M Atlas measures 148 feet with a wingspan of 139 feet. 


Another key difference between the two planes is speed. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules can reach speeds up to 336 mph, while the Airbus A400M Atlas can reach speeds up to 485 mph. This means the Airbus A400M is faster than its competitor by about 150 mph.


Regarding range, it’s no surprise that the larger plane has an advantage over its smaller counterpart. The Lockheed C-130 Hercules has an impressive range of 2,360 nautical miles, which allows it to stay airborne for longer periods without refueling compared to its rival —the Airbus A400M Atlas—which has a range of only 1,800 nautical miles.


The fourth big difference between these planes is the capacity for passengers and cargo. 

The bigger plane—the Lockheed C-130 Hercules—can carry up to 5 crew members, whereas its competitor—the Airbus A400M Atlas—can only carry three crew members.

You guessed it in cargo capacity; once again, the smaller aircraft takes this category with an 81,600 lb payload compared to just 42,000 lb on the bigger plane. Here’s a quick guide to why turboprops are still in use.

How are the Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Airbus A400M Atlas Similar?

They are both long-range tactical transport aircraft that have made their mark on the airplane industry.

  • The two aircraft look similar but vary in size, design, and speed capabilities.
  • Both aircraft are powered by four turboprop engines that provide the power necessary to take off, land and maneuver in rugged terrain.
  • Both planes can carry heavy payloads, with the Lockheed C-130 Hercules able to carry up to 42,000 lbs and the Airbus A400M Atlas capable of carrying 81,600 lb of cargo.
  • The two planes are being used by multiple countries for various purposes, from airlift support to search and rescue operations.
  • Both airplanes, however, are designed for short take-offs and landings from rough terrain, making them an excellent choice for military applications.

They are two highly effective military transport aircraft that have proven themselves in various roles. Likewise, they offer different capabilities but have become essential military tools.

What’s better about the Lockheed C-130 Hercules?

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is an air transport aircraft that has long been renowned for its performance, reliability, and operational versatility.

  • With its four turboprop engines, the Lockheed C-130 Hercules delivers a high degree of agility, allowing for operations in tight quarters and extreme maneuverability to accomplish its mission.
  • For over sixty years, it has served militaries and countries around the globe in various missions.
  • Its tremendous payload capacity allows it to operate effectively with ground forces and support humanitarian efforts in areas affected by natural disasters.
  • In addition, its ability to take off and land on unbefitting surfaces such as sand, gravel, or ice makes it a valuable asset for those who work in remote regions.

The legendary durability of this veteran aircraft ensures that it will continue to be used by militaries and governments worldwide even far into the future.

What’s better about the Airbus A400M Atlas?

The Airbus A400M Atlas is an impressive aircraft with a lot to offer.

  • Its capabilities are renowned for its strong airlift performance in even the most difficult situations, thanks to its cutting-edge avionics and powerful engines.
  • It can also fly at much higher altitudes than other notable heavy lift options, giving it greater range and flexibility under challenging conditions.
  • Its unique loading capability also allows for quick reloading in the field and with minimal time between missions.

Beyond just transport, the Atlas also has the potential for medical evacuation and more because of its versatile design and durability. Overall, the Airbus A400M Atlas is one of the best aircraft designed for mission success.


The Lockheed C-130 Hercules and Airbus A400M Atlas are two of the most iconic military aircraft in history. Finally, both have proven reliable, effective, and versatile in various mission profiles.

About the Author

author photo
With a passion for aviation, as well as surfing and scanning the web, Rocco is in his element analyzing aircraft data and the differences and similarities between aircraft.