The following footage shows a U.S. Air Force C-5 Galaxy taking off from Ilopango airport, located on the eastern part of the city of San Salvador, El Salvador.
What makes the video really interesting is the fact that the giant American cargo aircraft uses most of runway 33 (2,240m/7,349ft in length), proving the somehow unknown STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) capabilities of the C-5. Needless to say, technically speaking, the Galaxy is not STOL: according to Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (JP 1-02) to be considered STOL the aircraft has to be able “to clear a 50-foot (15 meters) obstacle within 1,500 feet (450 meters) of commencing takeoff or in landing, to stop within 1,500 feet (450 meters) after passing over a 50-foot (15 meters) obstacle.
The C-5 crew gnats assessed their TOLD (Takeoff and landing data), set the power to max and made one spectacular takeoff from the dusty, third-world strip.
The C-5 Galaxy is the biggest aircraft in the United States Air Force and it never fails to impress. This behemoth can carry tanks, submarines, and even other planes inside its cargo hold and still have extra leg room. The C-5 does take up quite a bit of space and that can be a little problematic, especially during takeoffs.
The C5 Galaxy is a large, four-engine, military transport aircraft, manufactured by Lockheed. The landing gear of the C5 has sixteen wheels at the back and four at the front. With its heavy strategic lift capability, it proudly serves the United States Air Force (USAF), carrying oversized loads. The C-5 Galaxy is among the largest military aircraft in the world.
Sporting a 223-foot wingspan, C-5 Galaxy dwarfs even the biggest bombers by a longshot. They do a great job bringing massive loads of cargo to military locations but there is a bit of a drawback regarding fuel consumption and maintenance. The C-5A variant was retired due to excessive these concerns, averaging 23 hours of maintenance per flight hour.
Then there is the bigger problem, that not every landing strip in the world is designed to accommodate such a big plane