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News > C-5 still going strong after 38 years
The C-5M takes off during its First Flight ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Marietta, Ga., plant. (Courtesy photo)
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C-5 still going strong after 38 years

Posted 6/21/2006   Updated 6/21/2006 Email story   Print story


by Laura McGowan
Aeronautical Systems Center Public Affairs

6/21/2006 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Thirty-eight years after the C-5 Galaxy made its maiden flight on June 30, 1968, it marks another significant milestone. At Dobbins Air Reserve Base, Ga., on Monday, June 19, the upgraded C-5M made its first flight right on schedule.

A rollout ceremony for the first of 111 C-5Ms was held at the Marietta plant on May 16. The modernization promised a more powerful, yet quieter airplane.

"It's a big day for the Air Force, Air Mobility Command and the C-5 team. The C-5M will save more than $20 billion. It pays for itself and then some," said Col. Kevin Keck, commander of the Aeronautical Systems Center's C-5 Systems Group.

The C-5 Systems Group oversees the aircraft's modernization process and supports the Air Force's modernization priorities while cutting costs.

"This new aircraft, unlike any other in the world, provides the United States with unmatched capability into the future and unmatched operational cost savings to enable the Air Force to divert operational savings to other high priority needs," said George Shultz, vice president, Lockheed Martin C-5 modernization program.

The new, commercially proven CF6 General Electric engine will deliver a 22 percent increase in thrust, a 30 percent shorter take-off roll and a 38 percent higher climb to initial altitude, which will allow it to carry significantly more cargo over longer distances.

The C-5 Avionics Modernization Program adds a modern cockpit with a digital, all-weather flight control system and autopilot, a new communications suite, flat panel displays and enhanced navigation and safety equipment to ease crew workload and enhance situational awareness.

"It's a one of a kind aircraft in strategic airlift with the ability to carry twice as much cargo as other systems. It's a force multiplier," Colonel Keck said.

The C-5 has been used in every conflict since Vietnam, and this first flight marks another June milestone for the program and the Air Force since its June 1968 flight.

"This unique aircraft has provided the U.S. Air Force and our nation with an incredible capability since it first started supporting our country's strategic air mobility requirement to move massive amounts of cargo and troops," Mr. Shultz said.

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