The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large-sized military transport aircraft that was originally designed and manufactured by Lockheed and now it is currently being maintained and upgraded by its successor company Lockheed Martin.
The aircraft currently served under the United States Air Force as an aircraft with heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift ability. The aircraft is more than capable of lifting any oversized and outsized loads as well as for the air-certifiable cargo. The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy has many striking resemblances to its predecessor aircraft Lockheed C-141 Starlifter and the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III. The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is amongst the short list of large-sized aircraft in the world.
The development of Lockheed C-5 Galaxy was riddled with many complications with the first one being the financial woes for its cost overrun. Shortly after the first fleet of this aircraft was created, my of the aircraft’s wings were found to have cracks in them which further delayed the time it entered in service.
Nowadays the most upgraded version of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is being used under the name C-5M Super Galaxy which with its upgrades like new engines and modernized avionics is designed to serve the USAF until 2040.
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy has been in use of USAF since 1969 and during that time, the aircraft served for the US military as a cargo lifter in the following conflicts around the globe.
- Gulf War
- Yom Kippur War
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy has also been used for the distribution of the humanitarian aids during disasters and relief missions as well as has also supported the US Space Shuttle program.
For our readers today, we have gathered a bunch of amazing facts about the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy which are as follows.
The aircraft with its following dimensions is the largest transport aircraft currently serving under United States Air Force.
- Width; 222 feet
- Length 300 feet
- Height; 65 feet
The cargo hull of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is 121 feet long with 19 feet width. With these dimensions, the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is like a warehouse that can carry a ready to combat military unit or is capable to supply the necessary amount of supplies wherever in the world needed.
The nickname that has been given to the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is FRED which stands for “F**king Ridiculous Economic Disaster”. Do you know why this name has been given to it? The reason is that whenever it will crash it would cause a FRED.
Serving for more than a century:-
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy first entered in the USAF’s service back in 1968 and since then it has been serving in all kinds of support and cargo missions. It has nearly been half a century since the aircraft entered in service. Now there is another upgraded version named as C-5 Super Galaxy that is equipped with better engines and avionics that is estimated to serve the USAF until 2040.
Amazing military fact:-
It might be a real surprise for you guys. When the Wright Brothers made their very first historic flight of the world, the distance their aircraft covered was even shorter than the cargo floor of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.
Fuel tank capacity:-
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy fuel tank has the capacity to store in 49 thousand gallons of fuel at a time. To put this in perspective, it is like getting filled up by 6.5 railroads of tanker cars.
Limited C-5 Galaxies serving:-
Although the aircraft has been serving for the USAF since 1968, there are a limited number of Lockheed C-5 Galaxies that are currently serving in the Air Force.
According to reports of USAF of 2016, there are currently only 58 of the C-5B/C/Ms and 28 of the C-5As are serving. According to the very same report, the USAF is actually planning to reduce this felt by three in the coming few years. The reason for this cut back in the fleet is because the maintenance and the repairs of the aircraft are problematic due to its extreme size. One other main problem that has been reported is that finding the parts of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy or even performing the maintenance of the aircraft is a hassle in its own sense which has delayed it in service many times.
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is mainly used by the USAF as a transport aircraft and with its humongous size, it has transported everything from tanks to ICBMs (Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles).
Back in 1974, the USAF airlifted n ICBM and dropped it in the Pacific Ocean. The ICBM fell into the ocean in a free fall and then the rockets kicked in to ascend to altitude. The test was conducted to see if it was possible to fire an ICBM out of the back of an aircraft. The test was positive but it never got into practice because of the many dangers involved with it.
The weight of the aircraft without its engines is calculated to be about well above 80000 lbs. with engines, this weight is well over 85000 lbs. The 80000 lbs mean that a full-fledged C-130 Hercules can be fitted inside the cargo area of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.
Served In conflicts:-
The aircraft which has been in service for nearly half a century has served the role of an airlifter for the US military during all of their following major conflicts across the globe.
- Gulf War
Without a doubt, the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is amongst the very few largest aircraft in the world and by far the largest one serving in the US Air Force. With its brilliant record of serving nearly for half a century, the aircraft is still not done with its time in USAF and with its models being upgraded they will continue to serve until 2040. So for now, the skies of USA are under the dominance of the Lockheed C-5 Galaxy.