View From the Top of a C-5M Super Galaxy

2011 PARIS AIR SHOW — Check out this panoramic shot of the 2011 Paris Air Show Static display that I took yesterday from the roof hatch of one of only five Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxys in existence. Needless to say, it was an awesome experience. Notice how small that C-17 Globemaster III looks.

The airplane has been upgraded with a glass cockpit, digital flight controls and GPS navigation system and the old GE TF39 engines have been replaced with new GE CF-6 engines that increase thrust by more than 20 percent. The upgrades are meant to help keep the largest jets in the U.S. military flying for decades more.

More on this airplane, which served as a test plane for the C-5M program, later.

Many thanks to Kelli Bland of EUCOM public affairs and Lt. Col. Lee Merkle of Dover AFB, Delaware, where this Galaxy is based.

  • Mastro

    Didn’t the Pentagon inquire about the A380?

    That might be a cost effective solution- the airlines are forcing Airbus to debug it.

    Or the new 747 cargo (900?)

    A whole new program is $$$$$$

  • Josh

    Just building a bigger aircraft isn’t the hard part… the Anatov proved that. It’s having the ability to support it that is the major problem. There aren’t too many airports, especially in places we’re likely to be deploying to, that have a runway that could support an aircraft much bigger than a C-5.

    I’ve said for a while a fleet of 747 cargo haulers would save the Air Force a lot of money and keep hours off the C-5’s and C-17’s.

    • blight

      Wikipedia has this snippet:

      “C-33: Proposed U.S. military transport version of the 747-400, intended to augment the C-17 fleet. The C-33 cost less and had greater range, although it could not use austere runways or handle outsize military equipment and had a higher expected operating cost. The plan was canceled in favor of the purchase of additional C-17s.”

      Which in turn cites a study from 1996: http://www.airforce-magazine.com/MagazineArchive/…

      My next question is, is austere takeoff/landing a must in all our airlift? If we’re using airlift to move stuff quickly, it would be done to an intermediate point where theater lift could pick it up and take it to bases in the target country, so no austere landing requirement is needed.

      We are programmed to save money by using ships for our lift capability for economies of scale, but sealift is slow…

      • Mastro

        I think the austere landing/to IS overrated.

        Frankly - if its that austere- maybe we shouldn’t be sending troops there.

        Germany, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Korea- all can take 380/747’s

        Somalia, Bagladesh, Timbuktu- let ’em rot- or use our C17’s on those.

        Oh- the 747-400’s ARE too expensive to operate- which is why Boeing spent a fortune on the 800.

        • blight

          Looking into the 747 issue…did you mean the 747-8’s? Or is there is a -800 I have overlooked?

          If it is the -8, then the specs look pretty good by comparison. Not sure why there would be a serious cost difference though.

  • Galaxy Man

    I help build the C5-M. Go tell me how to beat it. 25 year old airframe with high time being 15K hours. You will never find a better deal. Awesome product. Too bad the AF and the Red Tape neglected this beautiful bird for so many year. C-17? Hah let me see, oh is it a hauler?????

  • Kelly H

    Can’t load Silverlight because I’m not on a Microsoft machine. Just thought you would like to know that some viewers are not members of the fold.

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