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What It's Like To Fly America's Biggest Jet, The Gargantuan C-5 Galaxy

One of Foxtrot Alpha’s readers, Ben Brown, flies the Pentagon’s biggest jet, the mighty Lockheed C-5 Galaxy. ( More...

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flypilot12 1
The B747 is actually bigger and the 742 actually competed against the C-5A when the project was up for bid, so I don't know how the figure this at all. Flown in both and sitting backwards in a C5 is actually pretty nice on landing.
preacher1 2
I guess it's the biggest the military has. I didn't look clos enough this morning. MTOW on the C% is 840,000 but MTOW on the 747 is 987,000. It is still big though. The 380, I guess is the biggest with MTOW of 1.3 million pounds depending on the version. Either way, they are all big.
Colin Seftel 3
C5: length 247ft, wingspan 222ft, MTOW 840,000lbs
B742(& VC-25): length 231ft, wingspan 195ft, MTOW 833,000lbs
B744: length 231ft, wingspan 211ft, MTOW 875,000lbs
B748: length 250ft, wingspan 224ft, MTOW 987,000lbs
The last two are only operated commercially, so I agree that the C5 is the biggest military aircraft.
The biggest plane in the sky is the Antonov An-225
An-225: length 275ft, wingspan 290ft, MTOW 1,410,958lbs.
I think the landing gear can be cranked around to either compensate for strong crosswinds or to increase the max allowable crosswind. Would be interested in more info on this.
Torsten Hoff 1
You're thinking of the B-52.
oowmmr 1
It squats for loading, that much I know.
Ken Hardy 1
The original A models had a crosswind computer that was supposed to automatically caster the main gear relative to the runway center line when landing in a crosswind however the computer sometime failed and left the gear cocked at a angle not parallel to the runway, hard on tires and gear struts. The computers were removed from the A models and never installed on the B models. Another device was a fiberoptic scope located by the crew door downstairs that was connected through the nose wheel bulkhead to make sure the nose gear was down and locked if the pilot did not get a lock light in the cockpit he could look in one end of the scope at a line on the gear strut.
Amazing how today's technology is taken for granted!. I read that the gear main gear was capable of 90 e.g. rotation (presumably for negotiating tight ramps) and up to 20 deg either side for the wind help. Todays computers would calculate this with ease but when the C5A was designed very little of this technology was available.
Ken Hardy 1
the gear rotates 90 degrees not for taxi but for storage, 4 main bogies 6 wheels on each bogie
John Yount 1
With the success of the DC 10 and 747 as aerial fire fighter (fire bombers) it would seem that the C 5 could accomplish a new roll. There are plenty of air frames/spares in the desert;current pilots and mechanics (retired/guard) to fill the personnel slots.
Ken Hardy 1
to expensive to operate
Jim Newton 1
For years now, I have been advocating the use of the DC-10 and they it was finally brought on line as a aerial attack bomber.

I have done the calculations and I can assure everyone that if the C-5M were brought online, it would revolutionize the fire fighting efforts from the air. This aircraft could literally put the fire out before it ever got started.
preacher1 1
Well, I don't know about sheer extremity size but I think it beats the A30 as the biggest as far as max weight. I can remember seeing these behemoths on the ground at Altus OK AFB when they first came out in the late 60's. Although it has about a 2 mile runway at KAME, I will never forget one weekend while driving to ABQ in 1969 watching one taxi out North from Pantax I guess. The tail disappeared over the horizon and when he came over me down on he South end, it seems he was at least a grand in the air. I do know there is no special following rule behind the as there is the 380. There was temporary at first, for about 3 months I think, but it was lifted.
M Wagner 0
What a great article. Thank you!
oowmmr 0
The article should say Worlds Biggest Jet forget about literally. They fly outta KSUU, I love seeing them fly...
Ken Hardy 2
AN-224 is larger
Ken Hardy 0
There was a crosswind computer on the A models that was supposed to automatically caster the main gear to the centerline of the runway when landing in a crosswind but the computer sometimes failed leaving the gear at a odd angle to the runway and causing great stress on the tires and struts, all computers were taken off the A models and never installed on the B models. The A models had a fiberoptic scope by the crew door on the cargo level that was used by the pilot to make sure the nose gear was down and locked if he did not get a lock light in the cockpit when the gear was extended
Ken Hardy 0


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