Study determining C-5A
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Officials are evaluating the C-5 Galaxy's current health, service life and long-term viability during the first phase of an on-going study to decide the aircraft's future. This is one of 14 aircraft Air Force officials selected for retirement. (U.S. Air Force photo by Sue Sapp)
by Holly Logan
Warner Robins Air Logistics Center Public Affairs
12/10/2003 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. (AFPN) -- Experts here are evaluating the C-5 Galaxy's current health, service life and long-term viability as the first phase of an on-going study to decide the aircraft’s future.
The four-phase C-5A
Structural Risk Analysis and Model Revalidation study began here at the request of Air Mobility Command officials.
"We're going to provide a quick look at the C-5's status, and AMC (officials) will use that information to see if the C-5 is a good candidate for future investment and upgrades," said Col. Frank Bruno, strategic airlift directorate director. "If our tear-down analysis indicates that the plane is structurally sound, then they may consider it as a future investment. If not, they may be hard-pressed to invest more dollars."
Structural engineers, program managers and others from the strategic airlift and maintenance directorates here have been working fulltime examining the guts of the C-5 aircraft. The C-5, Tail No. 690004, is one of 14 aircraft Air Force officials selected for retirement.
"We're taking a hard look at the skeleton of the plane and trying to determine if there's any damage that hasn't been uncovered before through normal inspections," said Buc McRory, strategic airlift directorate structures engineer and lead engineer for the project. He will determine the plane's structural service life.
This particular C-5 was selected because of its true representation of the fleet, McRory said.
Workers from the nondestructive inspection division of the maintenance directorate are conducting the inspections, and results will be added to an existing model of the plane to compute how long it could continue flying, McRory said.
Although a majority of the tear-down part of the study will not take place until the third phase, some parts are being removed to help the inspection and will be used as spare parts, said Jerry Ethridge. He is the strategic airlift directorate program manager.
The study's four phases are:
Phase 1 -- Nondestructive inspection takes place here. Initial results are due to Air Mobility Command by February.
Phase 2 -- Planning and gathering of support equipment to tear down the plane. This phase runs through 2004. Components will be sent to an undetermined location later for further disassembly and inspection.
Phase 3 -- Tear down and further analysis.
Phase 4 -- Remaining parts of the aircraft will be disposed. (Courtesy of Air Force Materiel Command News Service)