C-5 Galaxy Largest Military Transport Aircraft Used The US Air Force

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a large military transport aircraft originally designed and built by Lockheed, and now maintained and upgraded by its successor, Lockheed Martin.

It provides the United States Air Force (USAF) with a heavy intercontinental-range strategic airlift capability

one that can carry outsize and oversize loads, including all air-certifiable cargo.

The Galaxy has many similarities to its smaller Lockheed C-141 Starlifter predecessor and the later Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.

The C-5 is among the largest military aircraft in the world.

The C-5M Super Galaxy is an upgraded version with new engines and modernized avionics designed to extend its service life beyond 2040.

The unit cost of  C-5 Galaxy

  • C-5A: US$224.29 million
  • C-5B: US$262.75 million
  • C-5C: US$129.17 million
  • C-5M: US$100.37 million

The C-5 is a large high-wing cargo aircraft with a distinctive high T-tail fin stabilizer and with four TF39 turbofan engines mounted on pylons beneath wings that are swept 25 degrees.

Above the plane-length cargo deck, it provides an upper deck for flight operations and for seating 75 passengers including the embarked loadmaster crew, all who face to the rear of the aircraft during flight. Full-open bay doors at both nose and tail enable “drive-through” loading and unloading of cargo



Takeoff and landing distance requirements for the plane at maximum-load gross weight are 8,300 ft and 4,900 ft, respectively.

Its high flotation main landing gear provides 28 wheels to distribute gross weight on paved or earth surfaces.

The rear main landing gear can be made to caster to make a smaller turning radius, and rotates 90 degrees after takeoff before being retracted.

“Kneeling” landing gear permits lowering the aircraft when parked

thereby presenting the cargo deck at a truck-bed height to facilitate loading and unloading operations.

The C-5 features a Malfunction Detection Analysis and Recording (MADAR) system to identify errors throughout the aircraft.

The cargo compartment is 121 ft long, 13.5 ft high, and 19 ft wide, or just over 31,000 cu ft.

It can accommodate up to 36 463L master pallets or a mix of palletized cargo and vehicles.

The nose and aft cargo-bay doors open the full width and height of the cargo bay to maximize efficient loading of oversized equipment. Full-width ramps enable loading double rows of vehicles from either end of the cargo hold.

The C-5 Galaxy is capable of moving nearly every type of military combat equipment, including such bulky items as the Army armored vehicle launched bridge (AVLB), at 74 short tons (67 t), from the United States to any location on the globe; and of accommodating up to six Boeing AH-64 Apache helicopters or five Bradley Fighting Vehicles at one time.

– Wingspan: 68 m

– Weight: 172,400 kg

– Length: 75 m

– Fuel capacity: 193,600 L

– Range: 11,705 km

– Engine type: General Electric TF39

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