Into Record Books

In the early morning hours of April 3, 2015 a C-5M Super Galaxy aircrew from Travis Air Force Base, California, put the aircraft’s capabilities to the test. The eight-person crew, with members of the 60th Air Mobility Wing’s 22nd Airlift Squadron and the 349th Air Mobility Wing’s 312th Airlift Squadron, accomplished their goal of establishing standards in 45 previously unset categories. The aircrew claimed records in the Class C-1.T jet category for altitude in horizontal flight, altitude with payload, time-to-climb, time-to-climb with payload and greatest payload to 9,000 meters/29,527.6 feet.

A C-5M Super Galaxy from the 22nd Airlift Squadron takes off from Travis Air Force Base, California, early April 3, 2015. The flight, which lasted approximately one hour, claimed 45 aeronautical records, positioning the U.S. military's largest airframe as the world's top aviation record holder with a total of 86 world records (U.S. Air Force photo/Ken Wright)
A C-5M Super Galaxy from the 22nd Airlift Squadron takes off from Travis Air Force Base, California, early April 3, 2015. The flight, which lasted approximately one hour, claimed 45 aeronautical records, positioning the U.S. military’s largest airframe as the world’s top aviation record holder with a total of 86 world records (U.S. Air Force photo/Ken Wright)

«The successful completion of this mission exemplifies both the great teamwork required by the whole team to keep Travis’ aircraft flying and the fabulous strategic mobility capabilities the C-5M Super Galaxy brings our combatant commanders around the world», said Colonel Joel Jackson, 60th Air Mobility Wing commander. «Thanks to everyone who contributed to this powerful showcase of Travis’ culture of excellence».

The C-5M Super Galaxy was loaded with pallets, fuel and the aircrew for a total of 731,220 pounds/331,676 kg, including the weight of the plane. «We took on approximately 265,000 pounds/120,202 kg of cargo and our goal was to climb as fast as we could at 3,000, 6,000 and 9,000 meters/9,842.52, 19,685 and 29,527.6 feet», said Major Jon Flowers, 22nd Airlift Squadron chief of standardization and evaluation and pilot for the flight. «We got up to an altitude of approximately 37,000 feet/11,277.6 meters before we ran out of performance». Among the records achieved were altitude in horizontal flight at 37,000 feet/11,277.6 meters, altitude with payload of 265,000 pounds/120,202 kg and time it takes to climb at 27.5 minutes (Source: US Air Force).

The C-5M Super Galaxy has now unofficially claimed a total of 86 world aeronautical records, surpassing the B-1B Lancer at 83 records. All records will be certified by the National Aeronautic Association, the nation’s oldest aviation organization. Formal certifications of the C-5M Super Galaxy records are expected to take several weeks.

The new ability of the C-5M Super Galaxy, when compared to the A, B and C models, to reach speeds at a faster rate, is critical for the Air Force mission. «The model before this was performance limited», Major Jon Flowers said. «It did not have the climb capability or the cargo capability. The C-5M Super Galaxy has been changing the game for the warfighter and tonight we made that point to put the capabilities in the record books».

From aerial porters to maintainers, active duty and reservists from Team Travis made a joint effort to effectively achieve this goal. «We’re honored to play a role in this historic demonstration», said Colonel Matthew Burger, 349th Air Mobility Wing commander. «The new capabilities of the C-5M Super Galaxy make America better equipped to the global challenges of the 21st Century».

Two M-1 Abrams tanks loaded into the cargo area of the C-5M Super Galaxy (U.S. Air Force photo by Lieutenant Colonel Chad Gibson)
Two M-1 Abrams tanks loaded into the cargo area of the C-5M Super Galaxy (U.S. Air Force photo by Lieutenant Colonel Chad Gibson)

 

C-5M Super Galaxy

The C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft is a game changer to the warfighter and America’s premier global direct delivery weapons system. It is also the Air Force’s only true strategic airlifter. While setting 86 world records in airlift, the C-5M Super Galaxy established new benchmarks in carrying more cargo faster and farther than any other airlifter.

A venerable workhorse, the recognized improvements in performance, efficiency and safety it provides validate the tremendous value to the taxpayer in modernizing proven and viable aircraft. As the only strategic airlifter with the capability of carrying 100 percent of certified air-transportable cargo, the C-5M Super Galaxy can carry twice the cargo of other strategic airlift systems. The C-5M Super Galaxy also has a dedicated passenger compartment, carrying troops and their supplies straight to the theater. It can be loaded from the front and back simultaneously, and vehicles can also be driven directly on or off the Galaxy. This means the C-5M Super Galaxy can be loaded quickly and efficiently.

The C-5M Super Galaxy has been a vital element of strategic airlift in every major contingency and humanitarian relief effort since it entered service. The C-5M Super Galaxy is the only strategic airlifter capable of linking America directly to the warfighter in all theatres of combat with mission capable rates excess of 80 percent. With more than half of its useful structural life remaining, the C-5M Super Galaxy will be a force multiplier through 2040 and beyond.

C-5M Super Galaxy Specifications
C-5M Super Galaxy Specifications

Current and future C-5M Wings include:
60th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB;
349th Air Mobility Wing, Travis AFB;
436th Airlift Wing, Dover AFB;
439th Airlift Wing, Westover AFB;
512th Airlift Wing, Dover AFB.

The C-5M flies during its First Flight ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia plant
The C-5M flies during its First Flight ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Georgia plant

 

General Characteristics

Primary Function Outsize cargo transport
Prime Contractor Lockheed-Georgia Co.
Crew Seven: pilot, co-pilot, 2 flight engineers and 3 loadmasters
Length 247.8 feet/75.53 m
Height 65.1 feet/19.84 m
Wingspan 222.8 feet/67.91 m
Power Plant 4 × General Electric CF6-80C2 turbofans
Thrust 50,580 lbs/22,942.7 kgf/225 kN
Normal cruise speed Mach 0.77/518 mph/834 km/h
Unrefueled Range (with 120,000 lbs/54,431 kg) 5,250 NM/9,723 km
Max takeoff weight (2.2 g) 840,000 lbs/381,018 kg
Operating weight 400,000 lbs/181,437 kg
Fuel capacity 332,500 lbs/150,819 kg
Max payload (2.0 g) 285,000 lbs/129,274 kg
Cargo Compartment
Length 143.7 feet/43.8 m
Width 19 feet/5.79 m
Height 13.48 feet/4.11 m
Pallet Positions 36
Unit Cost $90 million (fiscal 2009 constant dollars)
Deployed 2009
Inventory
16 C-5Ms have been delivered through December 2013
52 C-5Ms are scheduled to be in the inventory by fiscal 2017

 

C-5M Strategic Airlift Redefined

 

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