The C-5 is one of the largest aircraft in the world and the largest airlifter in the Air Force inventory. The C-5 can carry more than any other airlifter. It has the ability to carry 36 standard pallets and up to 81 troops simultaneously. The Galaxy also carries all of the Army's air-transportable combat equipment, including such bulky items as its 74-ton mobile scissors bridge from the United States to any theater of combat on the globe. It can also carry outsize and oversize cargo intercontinental ranges and can take off or land in relatively short distances. Ground crews are able to load and off-load the C-5 simultaneously at the front and rear cargo openings, reducing cargo transfer times. Other features of the C-5 are:
* Able to operate on runways 6,000 feet long (1,829 meters) * Five landing gear totaling 28 wheels to distribute the weight. * Nose and aft doors that open the full width and height of the cargo compartment to permit faster and easier loading. * A "kneeling" landing gear system that permits lowering of the parked aircraft so the cargo floor is at truck-bed height or to facilitate vehicle loading and unloading. * Full width drive-on ramps at each end for loading double rows of vehicles. * A system that records and analyzes information and detects malfunctions in more than 800 test points.
The C-5 has the distinctive high T-tail, 25-degree wing sweep, and four TF39 turbofan engines mounted on pylons beneath the wings. These engines are rated at 43,000 pounds of thrust each, and weigh 7,900 pounds (3,555 kilograms) each. They have an air intake diameter of more than 8.5 feet (2.6 meters). Each engine pod is nearly 27 feet long (8.2 meters).
The Galaxy has 12 internal wing tanks with a total capacity of 51,150 gallons (194,370 liters) of fuel -- enough to fill 6 1/2 regular size railroad tank cars. A full fuel load weighs 332,500 pounds (150,820 kilograms). A C-5 with a cargo load of 270,000 pounds (122,472 kilograms) can fly 2,150 nautical miles, offload, and fly to a second base 500 nautical miles away from the original destination -- all without aerial refueling. With aerial refueling, the aircraft's range is limited only by crew endurance.
Lockheed-Georgia Co. delivered the first operational Galaxy to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., in June l970. C-5s are operated by active-duty, Reserve, and Air National Guard crews. They are currently stationed at Dover AFB, Del.; Travis AFB, Calif.; Lackland AFB, Texas; Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y.; Martinsburg ANGB, W.V.; Memphis ANGB, Tenn.; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.
In March 1989, the last of 50 C-5B aircraft was added to the 76 C-5As in the Air Force's airlift force structure. The C-5B includes all C-5A improvements as well as more than 100 additional system modifications to improve reliability and maintainability.
Based on a study showing 80 percent of the C-5 airframe service life remaining, AMC began an aggressive program to modernize the C-5. The C-5 Avionics Modernization Program began in 1998 and includes upgrading avionics to communications, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management compliance, improving navigation, communication, and safety equipment, and installing a new autopilot system.
Another part of the modernization plan is a comprehensive Re-engining and Reliability Program. The centerpiece of this program is the General Electric CF6-80C2 commercial engine. This engine delivers a 22 percent increase in thrust to the C-5M, a 30 percent shorter take-off roll, has a 58 percent faster climb rate and will allow significantly more cargo to be carried over longer distances. With its new engine and upgrades, the C-5 becomes the C-5M Super Galaxy.
This modernization program will enhance aircraft reliability and maintainability, maintain structural and system integrity, reduce cost of ownership and increase operational capability well into the 21st century.
The C-5 has a Malfunction Detection Analysis and Recording (MADAR) system, which records and analyzes information and detects malfunctions in more than 800 test points. The C-5 is also known as FRED (fv*king ridiculous economic/environmental disaster) by its crews due to its maintenance/reliability issues and large consumption of fuel. The C-5 requires an average of 16 hours of maintenance for each flight hour based on 1996 data.
The C-5A is the original version of the C-5. From 1969 to 1973, 81 C-5As were delivered to U.S. Air Forces bases. Due to cracks found in the wings in the mid-1970s, the cargo weight was restricted. To restore the plane's full capability, the wing structure was redesigned. A program to install new strengthened wings on 77 C-5As was conducted from 1981 to 1987. The redesigned wing made use of a new aluminum alloy that didn't exist during the original production. Also during 1976, numerous cracks were found in the fuselage along the upper fuselage on centerline aft of the refueling port and extending back to the wing. These cracks were found by a Sr. Airman at Travis AFB in the Isochronal Inspection Docks. The cracks required a redesign to the hydraulic system for the visor, the front cargo entry point.
The C-5B is an improved version of the C-5A. It incorporated all modifications and improvements made to the C-5A with improved wings, upgraded TF-39-GE-1C turbofan engines and updated avionics. From 1986 to 1989, 50 of the new variant were delivered to the U.S. Air Force.
The C-5C is a specially modified variant for transporting large cargo. Two C-5s (68-0213 and 68-0216) were modified to have a larger internal cargo capacity to accommodate large payloads, such as satellites for use by NASA. The major modifications were the removal of the rear passenger compartment floor, splitting the rear cargo door in the middle, and installing a new movable aft bulkhead further to the rear. Modifications also included adding a second inlet for ground power which can then be used to feed any power-dependent equipment which may form part of the cargo. The two C-5Cs are operated by U.S. Air Force crews on the behalf of NASA, and are stationed at Travis AFB, California. 68-0216 completed the Avionics Modernization Program in January 2007.
Based on a recent study showing 80% of the C-5 airframe service life remaining, AMC began an aggressive program to modernize all remaining C-5Bs and C-5Cs and many of the C-5As. The C-5 Avionics Modernization Program (AMP) began in 1998 and includes upgrading avionics to Global Air Traffic Management compliance, improving communications, new flat panel displays, improving navigation and safety equipment, and installing a new autopilot system. The first flight of the first modified C-5 with AMP (85-0004) occurred on 21 December 2002.
Another part of the plan is a comprehensive Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program (RERP), which includes new General Electric CF6-80C2 engines, pylons and auxiliary power units, with upgrades to aircraft skin and frame, landing gear, cockpit and the pressurization system. The CF6 engine produces 22% more thrust (for 50,000 lbf/220 kN total from each engine) than existing C-5 engines which will result in a 30% shorter take-off roll, a 38% higher climb rate to initial altitude, a significantly increased cargo load, and a longer range between refueling. The C-5s that complete these upgrades are designated C-5M Super Galaxy.
General characteristics (C-5B)
* Crew: 8 typical (pilot, first pilot, copilot, two flight engineers, three loadmasters) 4 minimum (pilot, copilot, two flight engineers) * Payload: 270,000 lb (122,470 kg) * Length: 247 ft 1 in (75.31 m) * Wingspan: 222 ft 9 in (67.89 m) * Height: 65 ft 1 in (19.84 m) * Wing area: 6,200 ft2 (576 m2) * Empty weight: 380,000 lb (172,370 kg) * Loaded weight: 769,000 lb (348,800 kg) * Max takeoff weight: 840,000 lb (381,000 kg) * Powerplant: 4× General Electric TF39-GE-1C high-bypass turbofan, 43,000 lbf (190 kN) each
* Maximum speed: Mach 0.79 (503 kn, 579 mph, 932 km/h) * Cruise speed: Mach 0.77 (919 km/h) * Range: 2,400 nmi (2,760 mi, 4,440 km) with a 263,200 lb payload * Service ceiling: 35,700 ft (10,600 m) at 615,000 lb (279,000 kg) gross weight * Rate of climb: 1,800 ft/min (9.14 m/s) * Wing loading: 120 lb/ft2 (610 kg/m2) * Thrust/weight: 0.22 * Takeoff roll: 8,400 ft (2,600 m) * Landing roll: 3,600 ft (1,100 m) * Fuel capacity: 51,150 US gal (193,600 L)
And let's get one thing straight. There's a big difference between a pilot and an aviator. One is a technician; the other is an artist in love with flight. — E. B. Jeppesen