The US super transport super A380 is used to transport nuclear missiles.

The US super transport super A380 is used to transport nuclear missiles.

In August, the 1 Daily newspaper of the reference news network, according to the US mass machinery monthly website in July 18th, was entitled "why is the C-5" galaxy "a bad plane? The subtitle is "C-5 can be loaded with main battle tanks and transported to Antarctica..." And all this is just beginning, "the article said, and the largest military transport aircraft in the United States is also one of the largest in the world.

This year, the article says, is the 50th anniversary anniversary of the C-5 "galaxy" transport, which can load 50 tons of main battle tanks and carry them to another continent, which is a basic component of the global logistics system. As Air Force historian John Leyland pointed out, the C-5 "symbolizes the size, strength and dignity of the U.S. Air Force," and it is still the case today. For half a century, the "galaxy" transport has been able to get enough supplies for American troops, allies and scientists in remote areas even in the most remote corners of the earth, and in the foreseeable future, it will continue to do it.

The picture is the US Air Force C-5 transport

It's hard to make you understand how big the C-5 is.

The latest model of C-5M is 247 feet long. This is 12 feet longer than the Airbus A380 civil airliner. Its wingspan is 222.8 feet, and each wing has a basketball court as long as it is. It's 65 feet tall, equivalent to a 6 storey building.

The size of the galaxy is too large for many hangar to hold. Sometimes most of the C-5 stays in the hangar, and the Air Force just opens a hole in the sliding door so that its whale-shaped tail sticks out of the hangar. At other times, it was in the open air.

The C-5 transport aircraft can deliver more goods than any other aircraft. The C-5M can carry 250,000 pounds of cargo, and its 34,000 cubic feet cargo hold one tank, six helicopters, or 2484,4746 table tennis balls. The giant aircraft can carry 120 thousand pounds of cargo for 5524 miles without refueling. In the case of aerial refueling, the voyage of C-5 is almost unlimited.

The article believes that the emergence of the C-5 "galaxy" conveyer is due to the original demand: the US air force wants a transport that can carry all the equipment of 1 Army divisions to half of the earth. Although the transport planes, including the C-130 "big God" transport and the now disappearing C-141 "weightlifter" transport planes are huge, they are unable to transport the most important equipment: the M60 main battle tank.

M60 main battle tank is 30 feet long, 10 feet high and weighs 50 tons. The air force proposed the demand for the new super heavy-duty transporter CX-LHS and determined that the performance was 4500 nautical miles at 440 knots in the case of carrying 100 thousand pounds of cargo. The aircraft that achieves this performance will not only be the largest aircraft in the US military, but also the largest aircraft in the world. It was the most intoxicating moment in American history, when it could easily provide money for a lunar landing, a Vietnam War and the largest aircraft ever built.

Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed Company compete for contracts. After six months of review, Lockheed won the contract to build 58 of these transporters, while General Electric won the engine contract. According to today's US dollar, each C-5A costs US $268 million. But Boeing's competition plan has not been wasted. It will eventually become Boeing 747.

C-5A is an ambitious aircraft. The performance of Lockheed Company is designed to fly 3200 miles without carrying 250 thousand pounds of external load. When the load is 100 thousand pounds, C-5A can fly 5300 miles. It was enough to fly from Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to the Spanish Air Force Base at tire Hong, or from Travis Air Force Base in California to the Japanese air force base.

The design of the C-5 transport plane is carrying more and more goods at an ever faster speed. In 1965, general Howard Estes, the air force's military air force, said C-5 would speed up the "big crane" maneuver, which would require 15 thousand and 500 soldiers to be shipped from the United States to Germany.

"We use 234 planes (C-118 and C-124)," Estes said. "It takes 63 hours for each aircraft to carry out a flight mission. In contrast, only 42 C-5A can accomplish the same task in 13 hours. "

C-5A can land on an unprepared airport at no more than 4000 feet long. Because Lockheed Company used the tradition of naming aircraft by celestial bodies, the company named the Big Mac "galaxy".

The aircraft's "container" is 13.5 feet high, 19 feet wide and 143.75 feet long. All this adds up to 34,734 cubic feet of freight space, so it's what C-5 maintainers call a "winged warehouse". The cargo plane has been able to carry two M1A2 "Abrams" main tanks in theory, although only one "Abrams" main battle tank weighs 50% more than the maximum load of C-5. In addition, a C-5 can carry 350 people and their equipment, 6 UH-60 "Black Hawk" helicopters and 6 M2 "Bradley" chariots.

It's much easier to carry and move the "galaxy" carrier than it looks. The cockpit of the C-5 can be raised, and a slope in the rear of the plane enables the ground personnel to drive the vehicle directly to the plane, and the cargo is fixed on the plane to prevent the load from being displaced during the flight. The aircraft's landing gear and 28 landing wheels can be hydraulic lowered to the height of the truck, allowing the cargo to be unloaded directly from the aircraft onto the truck.

Although the aircraft has a large size, it has a small number of crew, only driving, CO driving, 2 flight engineers and 3 track administrators. Because the aircraft can fly far away, it can fly 7000 miles continuously without refueling, which means that it often carries multiple units and provides up to up to 15 reserve crew. In the area separated from cargo compartment, the aircraft can carry 75 passengers.

The first C-5 Galaxy cargo plane flew for the first time on June 30, 1968, and soon began flying from California to Southeast Asia to support the Vietnam War. In 1973, C-5 was the backbone of emergency airlift to Israel, when Israel was attacked by its Arabia neighbours.

Throughout the cold war, C-5 transport planes have been transporting goods, especially to Europe for the annual exercise of NATO. In 1990, it participated in a "desert shield" operation to protect Saudi Arabia from further invasion by Saddam Hussein's Iraq. A few months later, the C-5 carrier took part in the "Desert Storm" operation. The two actions combined to become the largest air transport operation in history.

In addition to Desert Storm and Desert Shield operations, the C-5 also participated in military and peacekeeping operations in the Balkans, Haiti and Panama. After 9/11, the C-5 transporter transported the cargo into the countries around Afghanistan, and then, with the appropriate airport, it transported the cargo into Afghanistan. C-5 also often travels with the president of the United States to transport the presidential fleet before the air force one.

C-5 even carried the shuttle. The U.S. Air Force converted two C-5As into C-5Cs, carrying "space containers" that safely carried satellites and other loads. C-5C can also carry the entire cosmos IIA rocket and some international space stations.

The "Galactic" transport plane also flew over Antarctica. In 1989, a C-5 flew to the airport at the airport to provide support for deep freeze operations. Every year, the US government supplies supplies to scientists studying the frozen continent of Antarctica. C-5 carried 72 people and nearly 84 tons of cargo, including two UH-1N "Huey" helicopters. The ice runway on Ross's continental ice is 10 thousand feet wide, 350 feet wide, and at least 7 feet thick.

Lockheed Company's super heavy transport aircraft was once evaluated as an intercontinental missile launcher.

In 1974, the "014" aircraft loaded a 43 ton "militia" I intercontinental missile. Militia I intercontinental missiles were usually stored and fired from launchers in the Midwest of the United States, but the Air Force was working on alternative bases. One day, someone asked, "what if we launch the" militia "I intercontinental missile from the air? A plane flying across the United States should be more secure than a fixed silo on the ground.

On October 24, 1974, 20,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean, 014 opened the door of her rear cargo hold and a long missile slipped out. The plane shook, and the crew described it as "dumped a cart full of water." The parachute slowed down the speed of the missile falling, and the solid rocket fuel engine ignited, causing the nuclear missile to fly to the clouds.

C-5 "galaxy" transport aircraft are also provided for secret projects. The first stealth aircraft, the world's first stealth aircraft, "embracing blue" was airlifted from the Lockheed Company in Burbank, California, to the Nevada desert at midnight. C-5 can carry the entire aircraft without dismantling it. The first stealth fighter, the F-117A Nighthawk stealth fighter, was also a secret aircraft, airlifted from Southern California to Lake Groom, Nevada.

The C-5 is so big that it has played a very important role in history, and has become a flying representative of American military strength. According to the plan, the C-5M "Super Galaxy" cargo plane will be in service at least until 2040, when it may need to update or even larger aircraft.

What is bigger than the Milky way? We will wait and see. (compiling / Lin Zhaohui)

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