Upgrade Program: Here is the New Super Plane to Replace the C-5M

The USAF has embarked on a two-stage upgrade program to convert its fleet of C-5 aircraft into the C-5M Super Galaxy.

As part of the program, Lockheed Martin has modernized 52 C-5 aircraft by 2017, including 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs and one C-5A. The company has delivered 16 C-5M aircraft by December 2013.

Only time I ever flew in a C-5… Christchurch, NZ to the ice runway near McMurdo Station Antarctica. Sea ice was 6 1/2 feet thick. Aircraft landed well.

Flightcrew through us the hell off because they don’t like their large aircraft sitting on ice for too long. Lightweight zoomies. But the aircraft was good. Long before this upgrade…31 years ago.

Given the increased ops tempo over the past 20 years, I believe it would be prudent to start looking at a new air frame for the future to replace both the C 5 and C 17.

The C 5s and C 17s have a lot of air time on their air frames. While these aircraft only provide 5% of the strategic airlift, they are nearing their retirement a lot sooner than many imagined.

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