Way back a long time ago, there was an article about this flight in an Air Force publication. The story had it that one of the C-130 folks noticed in the flight manual that the range of the C-130 exceeded a then-current world record. He brought that to the attention of the Powers That Be. As part of the preparations for the flight there was a base picnic, during which many folks took great pains to wash and wax the airplane in hopes it would help. The quote from Wikipedia follows.
On 20 February 1972, Lieutenant Colonel Edgar Allison, USAF, and his flight crew set a recognized turboprop aircraft class record of 8,732.09 miles (14,052.94 km) for a great circle distance without landing. The USAF Lockheed HC-130H was flown from Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Republic of China (Taiwan), to Scott AFB, Illinois in the United States. As of 2013, this record still stands more than 40 years later.
I wonder just how they did that. Did they shut down any engines? I doubt it as AF C-130 crews are really loathe to shut down engines in flight like Navy P-3 crews regularly did/do on long patrol flights. I rarely ever saw a C-130 taxi out to the take-off runway on only 2 engines like a P-3 crew would for a long patrol. AF crews are probably not co-ordinated enough to taxi and start engines at the same time. In fact, I would expect a P-3 could give the C-130 a go at that record since it has basically the same engines as a 130 but has a lot skinnier fuselage. P-3 may have smaller fuel tanks though because it sure has stubbier wings. I know the P-3 holds the record for speed for a 4-engine turboprop aircraft.
In any case, I wouldn't expect the Navy to try to best the AF on that record flight. The AF tends to be more of a show-off service while the Navy more quietly goes about its business. Let the flame war begin.
The C-130 was designed to be able to shut down one engine during cruise in order to extend range. The HC-130 was a variant which had a cargo-bay mounted (removable) fuel tank as a standard fitting, which could be used either to transport fuel, extend the range of the base airplane, or refuel other aircraft in flight (helicopters, for example). Since that auxiliary fuel tank was a standard piece of equipment it was legal to use it for setting records.
A story came out of Turkey about a C-130. During initial startup, one engine would not start. It was determined that the problem was not the engine, but the starter. The AF crew got onto the runway with three running engines, got the airplane going fast enough to air-start the fourth engine, and completed the day's flights by simply leaving that engine running instead of shutting all four off and using the APU on the ground. It took a little more care for the ground crews to avoid the propeller.
In a 2007 article from "Hot Rod" magazine " meticulously polish the vehicle's surface" is mentioned under "Aero Tricks You Can Use". But I still have found no reported ( hard facts ) backing up that a washed/waxed car gets better mpg's.
Has anyone ever tested this with a scan-gauge, ultra-gauge or similar ? All conditions being the same (as close as possible) except the wash/wax for the 2nd test. If the weather ever warms up I plan to give it a go.