Sorin C-5 Galaxy Page

C-5 Galaxy

The Lockheed C5 Galaxy first appeared in the early 1960s, as a giant jet turbine transport aircraft. C5, together with C-130 Hercules and C-17 Globemaster assured America's supremacy in air transport for the next four decades.

The C-5 Galaxy is a large jet transport aircraft, capable of lifting no less than 122.4 metric tons of cargo. It is powered by four General Electric TF-39 engines, which together provide 76,000 kg of thrust.

The maximum take off weight (MTOW) of the C-5 is 348 tons during peace time, but in war time operations it is allowed up to 381 tons. The maximum speed 0.77 mach. When it's empty, the aircraft has a range of 6,320 nm, or roughly 10,000 km. That can be extended with the help of air to air refueling, as such, the C-5 is capable to fly from its homebase in the US to Iraq without stopping on the way for a ground refuel.

In the fiscal year 1998, a C-5A costed 152 million dollars, and a C-5B costed 179 million. There are currently 126 active and reserve C-5 aircraft, most of which are incorporated into the US Air Force's Air Mobility Command. Out of those, 76 are C-5A's and 50 are C-5B's.

To save flight hours as well as to guard the aircraft from potential damage, a simulator is often used for pilot training for the C-5. The simulator only costs 13 million dollars. The only thing which can not be truly simulated is the air to air refueling, for which pilots always train in real life exercises.

The C-5 needs 2,530 meters of runway to take off, however not all the airports in the US and the rest of the world have a runway of that length. As such, the C-5 is known to have took off from runways as short as 2,000 meters, from US civilian airports. The aircraft was empty (no cargo).

One time, a C5A Galaxy evacuated more than 1,600 people fleeing from the captured Saigon airfield. Many of them were children.

Still in Vietnam, C5A Galaxies were evacuating personnel and equipment on a daily basis. One time, the two remaining C5As were under heavy attack from the incoming NVA. The last one of them to take off was shut down by NVA field artilery and light machineguns in the first seconds after take-off. The aircraft was full with over 1,200 children with ages between 2 and 12 and an unknown nomber of nuns, they all died in the crash among with the pilots.

In the Second Gulf War, C-5's deployed from Dover AFB, Delaware flew missions around the clock in support of the troops deployed in Iraq. The C-5's have transported 2-3 tanks at a time, helicopters, APCs, two platoons and even damaged F-16 engines back and forth, making no stops during their flights and refueling in mid-air from KC-135 Stratotankers.

One of them was destroyed by enemy fire in 2005, and another one was damaged as well. In Iraq, one of the main bases where C-5's usually landed was Balad AB. C-5's were the workhorse for heavy duty transport between mainland US and Iraqi airbases during the staying of US troops in that country, and represented an indispensable backbone without who's existance the movement of cargo and troops back and forth from the warzone would have been much more difficult.