Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Recent tests of the C-5M Galaxy (modified with new engines and avionics) have proved the mod program will yield the desired efficiency and is worth continuing, according to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics VP Lorraine Martin. In May, a C-5M flew direct from Dover AFB, Del. to Incirlik AB, Turkey with 36 pallets of cargo. Compared to the C-5B (with the old engines and avionics), it got there in half the time, with no interim stop at Rota, Spain, saving 30,000 pounds of fuel. Typically, a C-5 would also have been late taking off from both locations due to reliability issues. It would have taken two C-17s to move the same payload the same distance, and they would have needed a gas stop or aerial refueling, she noted. In mid-August, the C-5M flew a similar direct mission from Hickam AFB, Hawaii, to a base in southern Australia, skipping a refueling stop in Guam, several thousand miles out of the way. The C-5M can “get to high altitude fast,” Martin said, not only making it compliant with international air traffic rules but “breaking 41 records for payload and time to climb.”