Lockheed C5A Galaxy

    The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a heavy logistics military transport aircraft designed to provide world-wide massive strategic airlift. The CONUS based fleet can provide delivery of palletized, oversized and outsized cargo, as well as passengers or combat-ready troops, anywhere in the world on short notice. The aircraft can takeoff and land in relatively short distances and taxi on substandard surfaces during emergency operations. The C-5 also plays a limited role in the airdrop and special operations arenas.
     In 1963, realizing that they needed a jet-powered replacement for the exhausted, turboprop-powered C-133 Cargomaster, the United States Air Force began to study very large logistic transports. After reviewing several airframe designs, they eventually choose one similar to that of the C-141A Starlifter featuring a high-set wing (swept 25 degrees), four underwing jet engines and a T-tail.
    This enormous aircraft, first known as the CX-HLS (Cargo Experimental-Heavy Logistics System) transport, was required to carry a payload of 125,000 pounds (56,700kg) over a distance of 8,000 miles (12,875km), or twice that load over a shorter distance. 
     Construction of the prototype began in August 1966. The first C-5A Galaxy flight took place on June 30, 1968 and lasted 94 minutes.  Commonly described as, "The Box That The C-141 Came In," the C-5A Galaxy was presented to the United States Air Force, for training purposes, in December 1969. The first operational aircraft were delivered to the 437th Military Airlift Wing (MAW), Charleston AFB, SC, in June 1970.
     In the mid-1970s, wing cracks were found throughout the fleet. Consequently, all C-5A aircraft were restricted to a maximum of 50,000 pounds (22,680kg) of cargo each. To increase their lifting capability and service life, 77 C-5As underwent a re-winging program from 1981 to 1987. (In the redesigned wing, a new aluminum alloy was used that didn't exist ten years prior.) The final re-winged C-5A was delivered in July 1986.