LCMC, C-5M Super Galaxy -- in good company

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The National Aeronautic Association announced earlier this month that the C-5M Super Galaxy has been nominated as one of nine finalists for the 2015 Robert J. Collier Trophy.

Known as the benchmark of aerospace achievement, past winners have included the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 8, the Mercury 7, Howard Hughes, the B-52, F-22 and International Space Station.

"It's an honor to make the top nine and to be named as a finalist," said Col. Raegan Echols, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center C-5 System Program manager.

On March 8, Echols will travel to Washington, D.C., with Lockheed Martin officials to brief the C-5M's world-class capabilities for final award consideration.

The final decision will be announced that evening.

Known as the premier strategic airlifter in the Department of Defense inventory, the aircraft has surpassed dozens of aviation records -- notably, the April 2015 flight of eight C-5M air crew members from Travis Air Force Base, Calif., who conducted a one-hour flight that claimed 46 new world aviation records.

That was just after the aircraft had undergone the transforming Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining Program, conducted at Lockheed Martin facilities in Marietta, Georgia.

Part of the modification program involves the replacement of the fleet's commercial engine, allowing significantly more cargo to be carried over long distances as a result of its increase in thrust, shorter take-off roll and faster climb rate.

The C-5M, which has been called a game-changer, claimed records during that April 2015 flight for altitude in horizontal flight, altitude with payload, time-to-climb, time-to-climb with payload and greatest payload to 9,000 meters, while loaded with pallets, fuel and the air crew, for a total of 731,220 pounds.

"The Collier is the Super Bowl of the world's aerospace industry, and this list of nominees certainly reflects it," said Jim Albaugh, NAA chairman and selection committee chairman. "These are all extremely worthy nominations, and they each demonstrate the vitality of our industry."

The NAA is a non-profit membership organization devoted to "fostering opportunities to participate fully in aviation activities," and "promoting public understanding of the importance of aviation and space flight" to the U.S. The organization certifies all world and national aviation records set in the U.S.