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Quick . . . which airplane has the longest legacy of combat operations in the United States Air Force and the air forces of several countries throughout the world? In other words, which aircraft has been in operational use in wartime for more years than just about any other ever flown? The first C-130 was delivered in 1956. The first C-130 lost in combat was in 1958, a C-130A shot down over Armenia by four Soviet Mig-17s. The C-130 is still flying combat missions today, 62 years later. The C-130 gets my vote.

Revision: 20181128