C-5M Super Galaxy Transport Aircraft, United States of America
The C-5M Super Galaxy strategic transport aircraft, a modernised version of the legacy C-5, is designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin to extend the capability of the C-5 fleet to remain in service at least until 2040. The C-5M aircraft is operated by the US Air Force (USAF).
The USAF initiated a two-phase upgrade programme to transform the C-5 aircraft fleet into the C-5M Super Galaxy. Under the programme, Lockheed Martin will modernise 52 C-5 aircraft, including 49 C-5Bs, two C-5Cs and one C-5A by 2017. The company delivered 16 C-5M aircraft by December 2013.
The C-5M Super Galaxy achieved initial operational capability (IOC) in February 2014.
Details of the C-5 Galaxy modernisation programme
The C-5 Galaxy is being modernised in two phases involving the avionics modernisation programme (AMP), and reliability enhancement and re-engining programme (RERP). Lockheed Martin secured a $454m contract for the first phase of the upgrade in January 1999. The AMP is aimed at upgrading the cockpit of the C-5 fleet.
The C-12 Huron is a military version of an executive passenger and transport aircraft based on the Beech Model 200 Super King Air.
The contract for the second phase was awarded in December 2001. It includes the installation of new engines, pylons, thrust reversers and wing attachment fittings to the C-5 aircraft. The first C-5 aircraft upgraded as part of AMP completed its maiden flight in December 2002 and was delivered to the USAF in October 2004. The second phase began in October 2004 was concluded in May 2006, renaming the modernised aircraft C-5M Super Galaxy.
The first of the three C-5M test aircraft performed maiden flight in June 2006 and was delivered to the USAF for operational test and evaluation in December 2008. The second and third aircraft completed first flights in November 2006 and March 2007 respectively.
The USAF approved the upgrade of 49 additional aircraft, including 47 C-5Bs and two C-5Cs, under the RERP in February 2008.
In February 2009, Lockheed Martin secured a $299m RERP contract for the production of nine C-5Ms. The company was also awarded a $25m Interim Contractor Support (ICS) contract for the familiarisation and operational test and evaluation of the C-5M.
The low rate initial production of the first C-5M was commenced in August 2009. The test aircraft piloted by a joint USAF and Lockheed Martin flight crew in September 2009 set 41 world aeronautical records in one flight.
The maiden flight of the first C-5M production aircraft took place in September 2010, and the operational testing and evaluation was completed in October 2010. Joint acceptance flight by the USAF and Lockheed Martin was concluded in October 2012.
The third C-5M production aircraft made first flight in July 2011 and was delivered to the USAF in August 2011.
C-5M Super Galaxy features
The C-5M Super Galaxy offers greater reliability and efficient performance at reduced operating and life-cycle costs. It integrates more than 70 enhancements and requires reduced maintenance per flight hour.
The aircraft has a length of 75.53m, height of 19.84m and wingspan of 67.91m. The operating and maximum take-off weights of the aircraft are 181,437kg and 381,018kg respectively. The aircraft has a fuel capacity of 150,819kg and payload carrying capacity of 129,274kg.
Cockpit and cargo compartment
The advanced glass cockpit integrates multimode communications suite, a mission computer, enhanced navigation radios, digital autopilot, multifunctional display units, flight management system, safety equipment and surveillance components. It is also fitted with built-in controls and diagnostic systems for the identification of maintenance requirements.
The cockpit also features integrated datalink capabilities and situational awareness displays, and provides predictive flight performance cues. It also provides improved situational awareness to the crew.
The C-5M Super Galaxy can carry more air-transportable cargo than the C-5 aircraft, and can be loaded with cargo quickly and efficiently. The dedicated passenger compartment of the aircraft accommodates troops and their supplies.
Engine and performance
The C-5M is powered by four GE CF6-80C2 turbofan engines developing a thrust of 50,580lb each. The length and diameter of the engine are 4.26m and 2.69m respectively. The dry weight of the engine is 9,860lb. The engines comply with Stage 4 noise and emission and provide the aircraft with 22% more thrust and 58% higher rate of climb.
The aircraft can fly at a normal cruise speed of 0.77 Mach. It has an un-refuelled range of about 4,800nm with 54,430kg of cargo and about 7,000nm with no load.