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Galaxy5007
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C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:48 pm

I am getting some inside information that the USAF intends on retiring 8 C-5As that are "bad actors". This would follow up on my post in the C-17 line thread after discovering a mysterious aircraft swap between Wright-Patterson and Lackland that they preparing for some AMARG inputs. 70-0453 is a total hunk of crap. It has been in and out of depot the last 8 years and has maybe put on about 600 flight hours in that time. It used to be a Dover bird, but we gave it to Lackland when they sent 9004 to Robins for the structrual anyalysis teardown inspection to determine the life remaining on the A models. Stewart and the NY congressmen are trying everything they can to get 13 C-17s there and get rid of their C-5s all together. Stewart has at least 2 bad actors (68-0212, and 69-0021 are the ones I am thinking). Lackland may have one other jet they might get rid of; also a former Dover bird; 0466. Wright-Patterson has 9003, which has been through all of the "problem repairs" and it is still on the ground 98% of the time. Its been @ Dover for a major inspection for 2 and a half months now. Anyways, below is my compiled list of worst actors in MY opinion...AMC might be looking at something different to get their list. The top 3 are almost a sure thing to be canned. From then on, its in the air. I know a few As are safe for sure, which I can list later on. If 68-0216 wasn't a C-model, it would be in slot 4. That jet is a piece of crap as well.

1) 68-0212, 105th AW, Stewart
2) 70-0453, 445th AW, Wright-Patterson
3) 70-0462, 167th AW, Martinsburg
4) 69-0021, 105th AW, Stewart
5) 69-0003, 445th AW, Wright-Patterson
6) 69-0012, 105th AW, Stewart
7) 69-0005, 445th AW, Wright-Patterson
8) 70-0466, 433rd AW, Lackland
9) 68-0222, 167th AW, Martinsburg
10) 69-0017, 164th AW, Memphis
11) 69-0006, 433rd AW, Lackland
12) 70-0446, 433rd AW, Lackland
13) 68-0211, 167th AW, Martinsburg
14) 69-0014, 433rd AW, Lackland
15) 69-0019, 164th AW, Memphis
16) 69-0018, 164th AW, Memphis
17) 70-0459, 167th AW, Martinsburg
18) 70-0461, 445th AW, Wright-Patterson
19) 70-0452, 167th AW, Martinsburg
20) 70-0460, 105th AW, Stewart
 
rwessel
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:05 pm

Does this mean the AF has finally produced some actual documentation on the "bad actor" group of aircraft as congress requested? Several non-USAF analyses of the C-5 fleet failed to identify any such group. For example:

http://ftp.fas.org/sgp/crs/weapons/RL30685.pdf

(pages 18-20 and appendix 2).
 
zanl188
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:27 pm



Quoting Rwessel (Reply 1):
Does this mean the AF has finally produced some actual documentation on the "bad actor" group of aircraft as congress requested?

From my point of view, 30 year USAF Logistician/Transporter - retired, they're ALL bad actors.
Just recently had a C-5B take a hydraulic dump on my ramp (stock in the hazmat diaper company went up 5 pts on that news I hear  Smile). Then spent 3 days tying up a parking spot.

Of course that's anecdotal, would be interesting to see how USAF analysts determine who's a bad actor and who isn't.

Also you have to be careful about the departure reliability rates. There are different types and folks will quote you the ones that support their case. Home station departure reliability, for example, will always be worse than enroute due to availability of maintenance.
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Galaxy5007
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:58 pm



Quoting Rwessel (Reply 1):
Does this mean the AF has finally produced some actual documentation on the "bad actor" group of aircraft as congress requested?

The USAF apparently has a list now, but hasn't presented it to congress (at least not to my knowledge). I'm sure the criteria consists of the low airframe hours on the bad jets, and constant downtime. All of the AMC aircraft are in a computer system. Flight hours are tracked on all aircraft, as well as down time. There is a section that lists the "on ground" time in hours. Some are on the ground for thousands of hours between flights trying to get fixed. Some of the bad jets require constant engineering requests from Lockheed asking ...uh, how do we fix this? We never seen this before!... that all takes up time. The document you linked to said that the A models have minor problems...thats false as anything. For example, the contour box beam fitting (CBBF) is the joint between the cockpit and the hinge of the visor. They are cracking. Replacing these fittings are taking 8 months per plane to do. I haven't heard a price tag on it, but 8 months of man hours isn't cheap. Thats just one of the major problems they are dealing with. They have already done about 20-25 aircraft, the majority of the aircraft I listed have not been done though. 8212 has been done for example, but still sits on the ground for weeks at a time between flights for other problems.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
they're ALL bad actors.

Some people say this all the time. Hydraulic leaks happen all the time on the C-5. The problem is that the parts are rebuilt over and over again. They aren't replaced with new stuff. The suction line system is horrid, and fittings blow out all to often on them. The M models have had those lines and fittings replaced with a new type of fitting...so far so good. Regardless of the RERP and AMP, there will still be legacy problems from hydraulics, the crappy dewar system and the flap and slat system (which they are working on an improvement program for). In the end, I'd fly on a B model or an M model any day. The A models on the other hand...Depends on the tail number, lol.

Again, the tails I listed are my opinion and based on experiences and studying the computer database while I was in service, and from a friend of mine that still works there.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 2):
Home station departure reliability, for example, will always be worse than enroute due to availability of maintenance.

Its not the availability of maintenance. Alot of it has to do with the crews not wanting to fly. They will purposely find a reason to break the jet so they don't have to fly in circles for 4 hours; or if a holiday is near, they'll break it so they can get "crew rest" through that holiday. Its sad really. With a plane that has always had a bad reputation, crews just take advantage of it. Not often you see that with the C-17...hard to find something broke on it. Also, home stations are always more anal on having stuff fixed before they send them out into the field. Replacing engines and struts with recovery teams down range costs alot of time and money. It goes to that whole snow ball effect of one breaks, two go to its rescue, one to fix it, one to pick up its mission. Then the rescue bird breaks, then its just a cluster!
 
zanl188
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:46 pm

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 3):
Its not the availability of maintenance.



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 3):
Also, home stations are always more anal on having stuff fixed before they send them out into the field.

Point taken re: the crews - however folks are going to be more anal at home station because of the availablility of MX. No point in taking a sick jet on the road and leaving your mx behind....

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 3):
Some people say this all the time.


We say this all the time because not only do we allow for a mx delay on the C-5 as we do on other aircraft, we plan for it and expect it.

If you're counting on a C-5 to redeploy you and if it has to make 3 departures ontime to get to you and 3 departures ontime to get you home then (assuming a 70% departure reliability) it's virtually certain you'll be late in the end.

[Edited 2009-10-23 14:54:54]
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:58 pm



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 3):
The problem is that the parts are rebuilt over and over again. They aren't replaced with new stuff.

And this year's Senate took money from the maintenance budget and used it in part to buy 10 more C-17s. The House threw on 3 as well. And I don't see any reason why next year's Congress won't continue the trend.

Now the USAF has to find more crews for C-17s then they planned for, and have less money to spend fixing C-5s than they planned on.

It's not too hard to see where this all leads.
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boeing767mech
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 24, 2009 12:09 am

Interestin reading about the C-5's. But I have a couple questions. Being that I have only been in commerical aviation and not miltary aviation I have no idea how things work in the miltary when is comes to maintenance of the aircraft and there inspection cycles.

So first question is what is the age of these bad actors, in flight time and cycles? I know the airline I work for we have airframes with an average of 60K hours and about 38K cycles and the airframes is about 20+years old. I'm just curious for my own knowledge.

Doesn't the aircraft when it goes into DEPOT maintenance get upgrades and mods. done to bring it up to the current standards? I'm assuming a DEPOT visit is like a C-Check in my world.

I understand the issue of wingbox and visor hinges cracking, we have our share of AD's on T Chord on aft pressure bulkheads and wing spars. Not to forget all the pylon repairs we do for bearing and shim working lose.

But can't part of the reliablity be due in part to maintanence crew experience? This is not met as an insult, but doesn't a maintainer get rotated to other stations or duty assignments often, taking them away from the job or area they worked taking that experience with them and in there place they have someone else maybe with not the same amount of experience on the area or system. In know in the commerical end most people stay put so you keep your experience levels up, we did notice when we had lay-off's and people where bumped around the system the reliablity would go down.

These are just questions from someone looking in from the outside, So I'm curious of how things work in the Air Force with an aging fleet type like the C-5A compared to say an MD-80 in the commerical world, so I mean no disrespect, you guys and gals do a great job and I thank you for your service.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 3):
Some people say this all the time. Hydraulic leaks happen all the time on the C-5

Sounds like the A300's we just retired, if it wasn't leaking hydraulic fluid, chances are it needed to be serviced. HAHA it's a joke but we had problems with leaks and fitting breaking on the BUS all the time, it was a top driver for delays some months.

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HawaiianHobo
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:10 am



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Thread starter):
If 68-0216 wasn't a C-model, it would be in slot 4.

Haha, its soo funny you mention 216, we tried to use her last week for an SCTS mission and got pulled off of it on her first leg cause of a MX problem! She's our resident static trainer and she's not even good at that these days. If the aft doors EVER work its a miracle.
...
 
tf39
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 24, 2009 3:55 am

Thanks for the info Galaxy5007

Wow! I remember most of those "bad actors" from the late 80's  Smile Most of the even #'s were at Travis at the time. Some things just don't change I guess.

Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 6):
So first question is what is the age of these bad actors, in flight time and cycles? I know the airline I work for we have airframes with an average of 60K hours and about 38K cycles and the airframes is about 20 years old. I'm just curious for my own knowledge.

I know this doesn't answer your question but some useless trivia  Smile from what I remember on the A models around 1990-1991, they had on average around 9-12000 hours and several thousand cycles. Definitely not alot when compared to civilian utilization! And we were really starting to fly the stuff out of the B's at the time since they were so brand new and light years more reliable (relatively) at the time. I think they were averaging around 2000 hours a year. Again Late 80-s - early 90's.

Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 6):
This is not met as an insult, but doesn't a maintainer get rotated to other stations or duty assignments often, taking them away from the job or area they worked taking that experience with them and in there place they have someone else maybe with not the same amount of experience on the area or system.

At the time, seemed most of us active duty folks were getting out after the first hitch. The civilians ran most of the maintenance, usually a WG10 or 11 and an airman or two on a crew. But your point is valid as it took years to gain experience and start seeing the same things over again so with high attrition, experience was rapidly lost. And of course, very few civilians would fly would with the plane in a DCC role (just a few reservists). Most of the mx I ran into overseas were C-141 and C-130 specialists - so when issues popped up on the C-5, you could have a very large "hanger" sitting overseas for a period of weeks  Smile Good times though. Except for those bleed duct overheats.

Bummer that the end is probably alot closer but probably makes alot of fiscal sense. I know there have been a number of good arguments about the C-5/C-17/747 capability but for outsize stuff, we know what's needed.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:11 am



Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 6):
what is the age of these bad actors, in flight time and cycles?

40 years old and only 16-18K flight hours on the bad actors. Not sure about cycle count. I do know that 68-0216 (that POS C-model that should be canned) is the lowest time Galaxy out there with only 14,500(+/-150) hours on it. The low time B model is actually an M model since it was on the ground for the mods; with only 13,600 (+/-200) hours...but considering it came out in 1988 (86-0025)...well, you see my point. Travis has the winner high time B-model that beats half of the A model fleet with well over 19K flight hours under his belt (87-0040) and there are several right with 7040. With only 20-25 A models over 20K hours, it kinda shows which jets are the better ones.

Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 6):
I'm assuming a DEPOT visit is like a C-Check in my world.

C-checks are called PDMs (programed depot maintenance). The old PDM schedule was every 5 years for A models, every 7 years for the B models. A new system started this month where both A and B models go every 8 years; with a major isochronal inspection at the 4 year mark. Usually when C-5s go to "depot" its for an unscheduled repair. If it goes to PDM, its planned.

Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 6):
But can't part of the reliablity be due in part to maintanence crew experience?

That is part of the problem now but only on the active duty side...it wasn't 5 years ago. I knew ALOT of people that spent their entire career at Dover and didn't go anywhere. So you had lots of experienced veterans, who would retire and come back civillian. Now, They move people around alot more than they used to, but, for the majority of people that go to a C-5 base in AMC, when they get PCSed, its to an enroute station so they have prior experience. On the ANG/AFRC side, most of the maintainers stay there their entire career; so experience isn't very short in supply with them. The three newest bases are the exception (WPAFB, Memphis and Martinsburg), but Memphis and Martinsburg are picking things up quickly. I personally can't say the same for WPAFB from what I've seen.

Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 6):
if it wasn't leaking hydraulic fluid, chances are it needed to be serviced.

As a former hydro troop myself, thats the saying in the C-5 world; if its not leaking, check the reservoirs because they have to be empty!

Quoting Hawaiianhobo (Reply 7):
Haha, its soo funny you mention 216, we tried to use her last week for an SCTS mission and got pulled off of it on her first leg cause of a MX problem! She's our resident static trainer and she's not even good at that these days. If the aft doors EVER work its a miracle.

I've seen 8213 do alot of work that 8216 couldn't handle. 8216 is just a piece of crap...plain and simple. If it was feasible, I would suggest to AMC to modify another A model to take its place. I don't think RERP is going to help that jet either. I heard they had it on display at the Travis air expo this year, and couldn't open both the front and rear loading complexes (CBBF for the visor). So it sat there closed up as if it was just back from a mission or something. It came to Dover for ISO a while back, and as soon as it limped home, it broke for 2 months!
 
redflyer
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 24, 2009 10:08 am



Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 6):
I know the airline I work for we have airframes with an average of 60K hours and about 38K cycles and the airframes is about 20+years old.



Quoting Boeing767mech (Reply 6):
Sounds like the A300's we just retired

Gee, you don't by any chance work for AA, do you?  Wink

Quoting TF39 (Reply 8):
I know this doesn't answer your question but some useless trivia from what I remember on the A models around 1990-1991, they had on average around 9-12000 hours and several thousand cycles. Definitely not alot when compared to civilian utilization!



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 9):
40 years old and only 16-18K flight hours on the bad actors.

I always thought comparison of life-cycles between military transports and commercial transports were not very good since military transports are never (at least never had been previously) designed and built to last through anywhere near as many flight hours and flight cycles as civilian aircraft. So, in my ignorant layman's perspective, 16-18k flight hours might in fact be near the design spec of the model. Am I wrong?
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JohnM
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 24, 2009 2:16 pm

I think the current process is the "rot on the vine" theory. Reduce manning, the manning that you have has a very high FNG count, stop doing interior refurbs, along with a LONGER depot interval. To increase the depot intervals, some sort of cool aid drinking super iso inspection is supposed to make up the difference. Of course no manning increase for the iso inspection boys.

To add insult to injury, some of the recent TCTOs have replaced older systems with a system that is in some ways worse than what was there. Sorry to be so negative, but it looks like doom and gloom.

My Iraq deployment used 0% Uncle Sam airlift. It really screws things up when your stuff doesn't get there when it has to. Put it on a ship, use civilian airlifters, and things run pretty well. As some others have commented, plan for FRED to drop the ball, because it will. I can only imagine what it costs to run the C-5 program vs how much ON TIME airlift is received for it.
 
tf39
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:49 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 10):
16-18k flight hours might in fact be near the design spec of the model. Am I wrong?

I don't think you're wrong as the original design spec for the A models was 30,000 flight hours but with the original wings structural problems, that was lowered to around 8000 hours until the new wings were installed.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:31 am



Quoting TF39 (Reply 12):
I don't think you're wrong as the original design spec for the A models was 30,000 flight hours but with the original wings structural problems, that was lowered to around 8000 hours until the new wings were installed.

Thats correct. When the new wings were installed they upped it to 40K hours, and the 9004 project confirmed that it could go further than that. The thing is, when you clearly have 80% of your B model fleet (that is 15-19 years newer) have more hours than the As, its just solidifies the reasoning for retiring them.

Quoting JohnM (Reply 11):
I think the current process is the "rot on the vine" theory. Reduce manning, the manning that you have has a very high FNG count, stop doing interior refurbs, along with a LONGER depot interval. To increase the depot intervals, some sort of cool aid drinking super iso inspection is supposed to make up the difference. Of course no manning increase for the iso inspection boys.

Its been like that the entire life of the C-5 if you ask me. I know you ISO guys have been stretched really thin. The first two MSG-3 Major ISOs have taken 3 months or more to complete. 9003 could have been done sooner, but you had that bleed duct overheat problem that it came to Dover with (yes I know about that...). The first attempt at a minor lasted over 4 months (explain that one to me!). I think this whole MSG-3 thing is only going to last a couple years, and then get replaced with HVMs (which they are testing on C-130s now). High Velocity Maintenance might not work well with the C-5, but we can always test it. Personally I hope they keep some A models for testing before they put crap on the B models and ground them for problems with the new stuff.

BTW, If they would hire me with my disabilities, I would work ISO in a heartbeat...I enjoyed working there as a hydro troop. Filters sucked though. I would work @ Martinsburg, but they don't hire civillians  Sad

On another note, I'm pretty sure the jets that they have AMPed will stay in the fleet. All of the AMPed A models are actually pretty good jets. In order of being AMP modified; we have 8214, 0456, 9002, 9007, 9016, 8223, 8220, 8221, 0445, and 8219 (8223-8219 are in AMP now).
 
na
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Wed Oct 28, 2009 1:52 pm



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 13):
Thats correct. When the new wings were installed they upped it to 40K hours

Why are military aircraft constructed to such low numbers (roughly 50% of a civilian jet)? How does this compare to a C-17?
 
redflyer
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:46 pm



Quoting Na (Reply 14):
Why are military aircraft constructed to such low numbers (roughly 50% of a civilian jet)?

Military aircraft do not fly as often as civilian aircraft, it's as simple as that. Even though the youngest of the venerable B-52's in the inventory are approaching 50 years in age, most people would be shocked to learn that they have an average of only around 12k - 14k hours on their airframes.
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boeing767mech
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:08 pm



Quoting RedFlyer (Reply 15):
Even though the youngest of the venerable B-52's in the inventory are approaching 50 years in age, most people would be shocked to learn that they have an average of only around 12k - 14k hours on their airframes

I was at an airshow in Edwards AFB in 2001 and NASA had Balls8 on display. I talked to the crew chief and he said this B model had 2000 hours on it, and they where going to retire it because they have robbed and stripped every museum piece in the world to keep this ariframe flying.

David
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Galaxy5007
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:38 am

You guys have to remember that the military aircraft take a beating unlike civillian aircraft. The military aircraft don't get to land on smooth civillian runways every day of the year, civillian aircraft don't go making abrupt take off and landing manuvers that stress the wings out and every other joint in the aircraft for that matter.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Thread starter):
11) 69-0006, 433rd AW, Lackland

Well I have to take this jet out of my list; it was inducted into AMP mod yesterday @ Travis AFB.
 
XT6Wagon
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:56 am



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 17):
ell I have to take this jet out of my list; it was inducted into AMP mod yesterday @ Travis AFB.

Might still make the list depending on what they find in teardown.
 
JakeOrion
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:16 pm

The more I hear about the C-5, the more I think it would be better to just design a replacement or do a C-17 stretch...
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ebj1248650
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:08 pm



Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 19):
The more I hear about the C-5, the more I think it would be better to just design a replacement or do a C-17 stretch...

Takes up back to the question of whether a stretched C-17 would be a suitable replacement for the C-5. Add to that the question of whether it would be worth it to start with a clean sheet of paper and design a new bird or take the loss of lifting capability that would come from using a stretched C-17. Considering the money being spent on the C-5M upgrade, that alone seems to be a bold declaration that a C-5 sized airplane is needed for the foreseeable future. Just my thoughts.
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kc135topboom
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:22 am



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 20):
Considering the money being spent on the C-5M upgrade, that alone seems to be a bold declaration that a C-5 sized airplane is needed for the foreseeable future. Just my thoughts.

Don't be so sure. Congress has an uncanny ability to force the USAF to park or retire airplanes after they spent millions on modifications. Look at the F/FB/EF-111 fleet, retired within 4 years of completing the AMP upgrade. The B-52D was retired 3 years after the Spin-Genes bomb navigation system was installed, and 10 years after the Pacer Plank program that replaced the wings. The B-52G was retired (because of START) after its bomb-nav systems upgrade. The same with the KC-135E, F/RF-4C/D/E/, C-141, T-37, and A-7D/K (the A-7Ks were retired after only 8-10 years of total service) all retired within 10 years of completing major mods .

Your tail #0006 may complete the AMP mod, then fly directly to DM.
 
Galaxy5007
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 30, 2009 4:13 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 21):
Your tail #0006 may complete the AMP mod, then fly directly to DM.

Although you have a strong case considering the past aircraft; I believe that they are strategically planning the AMP on certain C-5s. The x-fer of 0453 to WPAFB and 8219 to Lackland out of no where kinda backs me up on that. I have confirmed that 8219 has a Lackland tail flash on it, and is parked next to 8220 and 0445 @ KDOV in the AMP mod line up. After going through my past records, 9006 has been "fixed" with all the mods except for the crown skin replacement; which is minor compared to some of the other problems.

I would probably put 0457 in spot 20 now, even though it was modified with ADS. It used to be a good jet, but seems to have fallen off a cliff since its been in the hands of Wright-Patterson. 0454 would be tied with 0457
 
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:06 am



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 13):

On another note, I'm pretty sure the jets that they have AMPed will stay in the fleet. All of the AMPed A models are actually pretty good jets. In order of being AMP modified; we have 8214, 0456, 9002, 9007, 9016, 8223, 8220, 8221, 0445, and 8219 (8223-8219 are in AMP now).



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 3):
Its not the availability of maintenance. Alot of it has to do with the crews not wanting to fly. They will purposely find a reason to break the jet so they don't have to fly in circles for 4 hours; or if a holiday is near, they'll break it so they can get "crew rest" through that holiday. Its sad really. With a plane that has always had a bad reputation, crews just take advantage of it.

You feel how you will about C-5 aircrews, but having personally flown every tail listed above, if we weren't about moving the missions, none of these jets would ever fly. Believe it or not, we have better things to do than sit maintenance Bravo at Ramstein. We want to get the job done so we can get back to our families on schedule. If that means carrying write ups through the system until arriving at a base with suitable maintenance, that's sometimes what it takes. Personally, I wish you'd refrain from judging us unless you're willing to fly back-to-back 24-hour duty days with min crew rest across multiple time zones on a daily basis. We're willing to do it, but we're actually held accountable for operating the aircraft safely and in accordance with the Vol. 3. Your notion that we invent writeups to delay the mission shows a serious lack of understanding. I've flown over many holidays when the rest of the base is shut down; tell me how you'd feel at the end of your 24-hour day when you find out the chow hall is closed, transportation isn't supporting today, and billeting has farmed out your aircrew rooms to Space A's and takes them seven hours (true story) to find you rooms somewhere (only so you can take your 0200 alert for your next 24-hour day twelve hours later).
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HawaiianHobo
Posts: 148
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:22 pm



Quoting Jhooper (Reply 23):
the end of your 24-hour day when you find out the chow hall is closed, transportation isn't supporting today, and billeting has farmed out your aircrew rooms to Space A's and takes them seven hours (true story) to find you rooms somewhere (only so you can take your 0200 alert for your next 24-hour day twelve hours later).

Amen! That sounds like my last trip to Mildenhall! I still haven't run across anyone in my Sq who likes to delay the mission for anything and as fun as it sounds, breaking in Ramstein for 8+ days gets old quick. But it all comes down to safety, if we don't feel safe flying because a system is acting up (especially going TO the AOR) we're not going to risk it. I think we've all seen examples of what happens when you push too hard, ala C-17 crews, etc. And, it costs the Air Force a lot more money to send an MRT to the desert to fix a C-5 than it does to have the problem fixed in Rota or Ramstein.

I've been on both sides of the fence, thinking back when I was in maintenance that all aircrews wanted to do was collect per diem and break everywhere. But now I see, there are things that just happen in flight that are a bitch if not impossible to duplicate on the ground. I'm not saying there aren't shady crews out there, but there are plenty of us who want to push but don't want to risk the lives of the rest of the crew or pax.

I love the C-5 but she's an old bird that was built cheap. She's great at her job when she does it, but the fact is there are a few....ok, a lot of them that need to be retired. Unfortunately the Air Force can't just do away with FRED without a replacement on the board and there's already too much on the AF's plate. We need to save the birds worth saving and retire the ones they can't. Give the Sq's C-17's as a replacement and call it a day.
...
 
Galaxy5007
Topic Author
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 31, 2009 12:34 am



Quoting Jhooper (Reply 23):
Your notion that we invent writeups to delay the mission shows a serious lack of understanding

You are taking my comment the wrong way and perhaps I didn't make it clear that I meant from home station. Once crews are out in the stream, yes, they get credit and do what they need to do. But as a former maintainer, watching crews write every little drop of hydraulic fluid, oil, water, as an EOL, or a broken clamp as a safety issue because a cannon plug wire could become chaffed and start a fire to avoid flying a local or going down range when they know they are going to get stuck down range when they rather be home; Thats where my backing comes from.

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 23):
if we weren't about moving the missions, none of these jets would ever fly.

If nobody were moving missions; no aircraft would fly! If it wasn't for the maintenance crews that maintain the plane, the jets wouldn't fly. This is where it all goes back to the bad actor thing, because of the countless hours that each jet requires to get at least PMC for aircrew to even step aboard before making up crap. The jets I listed at the start of the thread have been on the ground time and time again for major issues which has kept the flight hours down compared to other C-5s. Every MDS has "bad actors". Its gonna happen with anything man made.
 
Kiwirob
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:20 am

Does anyone know the reliability of the AN-124 compared to the C-5?
 
jhooper
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:46 pm



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 25):
You are taking my comment the wrong way and perhaps I didn't make it clear that I meant from home station. Once crews are out in the stream, yes, they get credit and do what they need to do. But as a former maintainer, watching crews write every little drop of hydraulic fluid, oil, water, as an EOL, or a broken clamp as a safety issue because a cannon plug wire could become chaffed and start a fire to avoid flying a local or going down range when they know they are going to get stuck down range when they rather be home; Thats where my backing comes from.

Whatever dude.  Yeah sure I don't know what outfit you were in, but unless you're qualified to accept the responsibility of an aircraft commander, your claims are pretty much baseless. The last word is yours.
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Galaxy5007
Topic Author
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sat Oct 31, 2009 11:48 pm



Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 26):
Does anyone know the reliability of the AN-124 compared to the C-5?

Not sure of it, but again, comparing civillian and military standards makes it irrelevant. The AN-124 is out to make money for the carriers, the C-5 isn't.

Quoting Jhooper (Reply 27):
I don't know what outfit you were in, but unless you're qualified to accept the responsibility of an aircraft

I was based @ Dover AFB as a hydraulics specialist and did alot of crew chief tasks as well. Why don't you go write up that slat clutch brake assembly again...you know that one that leaks from the built in weep holes? Cut me some slack dude. I gave you credit for getting the jets rolling as you could do so down range...I was just referring to home station launches.
Speaking of which, There were several months in 2005 in a row where we had a 96% home station departure rate for missions; TA had a 92% rate for nearly 6 months around the same time frame. However; when they factored in the local training mission reliability rate of 53%, it dragged down our over all MC rate to 65-75% depending on the month. I don't have the data anymore or access to it, but I definately remember it (mainly because we got comp days for busting our butts on the line). We still had A models and were flying double locals every day, sometimes with another jet doing a local.

The C-5 isn't as unreliable as it used to be. It has improved quite a bit over the last decade. The bad reputation however, will never go away after the FRED days of the 70s and 80s.
 
bingo
Posts: 278
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:25 am



Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 19):
The more I hear about the C-5, the more I think it would be better to just design a replacement or do a C-17 stretch...

C-17 Stretch?
 drool   drool   drool   drool 
Swap the engines for GE90-115s and put in a 12 meter plug for a stretch....That would boost it from 161,760 lbs of total trust to 461,200 lbs of total thrust....and give it enough room to haul 2 Abrams...

Not likely to happen but who would have thought the BUFFs would still be flying?
 
tf39
Posts: 81
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sun Nov 01, 2009 2:16 am



Quoting Bingo (Reply 29):
C-17 Stretch? Swap the engines for GE90-115s

Forget about just being able to back up using it's reversers; - it'd be the first airplane in history that can takeoff backwards using full reverse thrust  silly 
 
Galaxy5007
Topic Author
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:46 pm



Quoting TF39 (Reply 30):
Forget about just being able to back up using it's reversers; - it'd be the first airplane in history that can takeoff backwards using full reverse thrust

LOL!

Quoting Bingo (Reply 29):
C-17 Stretch?

A C-17, whether its stretched or not, will never replace the C-5. A new aircraft will have to be made to replace the C-5; one with a high wing design so they can kneel it.

I think the USAF would be fine with 70 C-5A/M/Ns and 230 C-17s. Who knows, maybe they'll change thier mind and RERP a few more A models after retiring 25-30 of them and the M proves itself. The only problems plaguing the M models now are legacy issues.

The other big time consumer of maintenance on the C-5 is all the sheet metal work that has to be done. There really isn't much you can do about that.
 
zanl188
Posts: 3770
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:21 pm



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 31):
A new aircraft will have to be made to replace the C-5; one with a high wing design so they can kneel it.

Why would a new aircraft have to kneel? C-5 only had to do it to assure fuselage ground clearance on rough terrain - a capability that is seldom, if ever, used.

C-17, C-141, & C-130 don't have it and don't need it.

Kneeling gear caused far more problems than it was worth.
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jhooper
Posts: 5561
Joined: Thu Dec 13, 2001 8:27 pm

RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:18 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 32):


Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 31):
A new aircraft will have to be made to replace the C-5; one with a high wing design so they can kneel it.

Why would a new aircraft have to kneel? C-5 only had to do it to assure fuselage ground clearance on rough terrain - a capability that is seldom, if ever, used.

C-17, C-141, & C-130 don't have it and don't need it.

Kneeling gear caused far more problems than it was worth.


Actually, we kneel the C-5 on a regular basis. It's a capability that's used all the time to accomodate the cargo (particularly rolling stock/vehicles), even on good pavement.

I bet you're thinking about the Low Pressure Pneumatic System (LPPS) which was used to DEFLATE the tires to accomodate rough terrain. This capability is no longer used.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
L-188
Posts: 29881
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sun Nov 01, 2009 10:53 pm

Well I hate to bring up something that at the time was a bad idea from the Clinton Administration meant to kill the C-17 but since from what I have heard a large amount of the time, the C-5 doesn't use off-airport capability, and a lot of the cargo would actually fit quite nicely on a commercial pallet, why not revist the idea of a military 747 transport.

It would reduce the need for the more expensive C-17 (more still would be needed) but the 747 could be used to run bulk cargo from base to base faster and with a larger base of operational knowledge then the C-17 or C-5A/B/C generates.
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zanl188
Posts: 3770
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:49 pm



Quoting Jhooper (Reply 33):
Actually, we kneel the C-5 on a regular basis. It's a capability that's used all the time to accomodate the cargo (particularly rolling stock/vehicles), even on good pavement.

Yes, I know. But you wouldn't need to kneel except for the need to provide ground clearance for rough terrain... Way back in the day the C-5 was supposed to land over rocks, boulders, tree stumps, etc. but has never been used in that fashion. The kneeling gear was designed to provide the additional fuselage clearance, yet still allow an easy offload.

The fact that you need to kneel on a regular basis (and the accompanying mx headaches) is why I say the kneeling gear was more trouble than it was worth.
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Galaxy5007
Topic Author
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:58 am



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 35):
Yes, I know. But you wouldn't need to kneel except for the need to provide ground clearance for rough terrain... Way back in the day the C-5 was supposed to land over rocks, boulders, tree stumps, etc. but has never been used in that fashion. The kneeling gear was designed to provide the additional fuselage clearance, yet still allow an easy offload.

The fact that you need to kneel on a regular basis (and the accompanying mx headaches) is why I say the kneeling gear was more trouble than it was worth.

The whole purpose of the kneeling system isn't for ground clearance, it was installed so you could lower the aircraft for easy on/off-loading of the plane. The C-5 was never supposed to land on boulders and tree stumps...where ever you heard that is beyond me, but its incorrect information. The smaller cargo planes don't need it because they aren't as long. Try having a C-5 taking off in knelt level and you can pay the bill to repair the scraped underbelly and rear cargo doors/ramp. To maintenance folks, having the clearance to go under the plane in normal mode saves a crap load of walking when having to do stuff. The kneeling system is pretty reliable. That again is a misconception of the C-5 because of the original pneumatic system that always broke. That was replaced long ago. Kneeling of the forward gears for tows so there isn't so much stress on them helps alot as well.

Quoting L-188 (Reply 34):
why not revist the idea of a military 747 transport

How about not. Not going to happen; tired of talking about the darn 747...not going to happen.
 
jhooper
Posts: 5561
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:03 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 34):
and a lot of the cargo would actually fit quite nicely on a commercial pallet, why not revist the idea of a military 747 transport.

I don't know what percentage, but a huge amount of palletized military cargo already travels by commercial 747 (Kalitta, Evergreen, etc). It's actually the preferred way to ship alot of that stuff, because it's airlift capability that's paid for already, whether or not they're moving large amounts of cargo. And frankly, the contractors can do it cheaper, faster, and better than the USAF can. However, outsized cargo can't go by 747 and has to go mil air.
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Flighty
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:08 am

The C-5 is a neat platform when its unique capability is required.

When not required, the C-5 seems to have no justification at all. For pallet cargo, what a joke. Just hire FedEx or Atlas. Or buy some nice BCF 744's. This isn't a unique battle need, carrying some pallets worldwide. It can be done with normal gear.

But yes, the C-5 does fill a need, no question about that.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 36):
The C-5 was never supposed to land on boulders and tree stumps...where ever you heard that is beyond me, but its incorrect information.

Sure it was built for slightly rough terrain. Some people call little rocks "boulders" but we are talking about why is the C-5 required over a more normal cargo aircraft, if all it gives is a bunch of headaches and unique expenses (or worse yet, duty interruptions).

It just bugs me when people say we should keep a particular solution on-line, but eventually mediocre performance is just tolerated. With so much money, we can afford whatever is needed to get the job done. Probably for less money IMO
 
zanl188
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Mon Nov 02, 2009 1:12 am



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 36):
The whole purpose of the kneeling system isn't for ground clearance, it was installed so you could lower the aircraft for easy on/off-loading of the plane.

If it didn't need the ground clearance, you wouldn't need to lower it to ease the loading.

Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 36):
The C-5 was never supposed to land on boulders and tree stumps...where ever you heard that is beyond me, but its incorrect information.

Take a look at the original specs...
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L-188
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Mon Nov 02, 2009 2:34 am



Quoting Jhooper (Reply 37):
And frankly, the contractors can do it cheaper, faster, and better than the USAF can. However, outsized cargo can't go by 747 and has to go mil air.

Yeah but there are still places the commerical operators, or more specficly their insurance carriers won't let them go.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
jhooper
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:11 am



Quoting L-188 (Reply 40):
Yeah but there are still places the commerical operators, or more specficly their insurance carriers won't let them go.

You'd be suprised at some of the holes they can fly to.
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
Galaxy5007
Topic Author
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:04 pm



Quoting Jhooper (Reply 41):
Quoting L-188 (Reply 40):
Yeah but there are still places the commerical operators, or more specficly their insurance carriers won't let them go.

You'd be suprised at some of the holes they can fly to.

That, and the 223 C-17s and thousands of C-130s are for. When its too big for them, thats when the C-5 comes in.

I was @ Dover AFB today and confirmed 8219 has Lackland markings and is in full throttle AMP mod. All three M models are on the ground there as well, two having legacy issues, and a third there for scheduled maintenance. It was quiet there for the most part other than that. 69-0008 from Stewart came in, and QTed out in an hour and 20 min...now that was impressive!
 
A342
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:31 pm



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 28):
Not sure of it, but again, comparing civillian and military standards makes it irrelevant. The AN-124 is out to make money for the carriers, the C-5 isn't.

The An-124 started out as a military freighter and is still in service with the Russian Air Force. In fact, the civilian An-124s are mostly converted units sourced from the military.

Anyway, in contrast to the C-5, there don't seem to be horror stories regarding its reliability.


A342
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
Galaxy5007
Topic Author
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:24 am



Quoting A342 (Reply 43):
Anyway, in contrast to the C-5, there don't seem to be horror stories regarding its reliability.

In contrast, I haven't heard much of anything about the AN-124. I'm sure the Russian AF wasn't as strict on maintenance as the USAF either.
 
Flighty
Posts: 9963
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:25 am



Quoting A342 (Reply 43):
Anyway, in contrast to the C-5, there don't seem to be horror stories regarding its reliability.

It's all about incentives, man. Nothing compares to airline / commercial freighter duty for aircraft. The aircraft have to be reliable and tolerate tremendous repeated workloads. The dispatch reliability of airliners can be over 98%. Military does not insist on this reliability so the vendors do not work hard enough. IMHO.

Sure, the C-5 is an old bird but so is a 747-100. You can make a 747-100 run like a top because it's a commercial platform. I wonder if the C-5 would have worked a ton better if only there were more of a commercial base to its operations. Running 10+ hour per day utilization really knocks the cobwebs out of an aircraft, judging by commercial fleets. And they do have high dispatch %. Look at, say, NW or UA 744s for example. They run.
 
A342
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:11 pm



Quoting Galaxy5007 (Reply 44):
In contrast, I haven't heard much of anything about the AN-124. I'm sure the Russian AF wasn't as strict on maintenance as the USAF either.

That might be true or not, I suspect we'll never know. The Russians are generally more secretive. However, the commercial carriers seem to be doing fine.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 45):
It's all about incentives, man. Nothing compares to airline / commercial freighter duty for aircraft. The aircraft have to be reliable and tolerate tremendous repeated workloads. The dispatch reliability of airliners can be over 98%. Military does not insist on this reliability so the vendors do not work hard enough. IMHO.

You've got a valid point here.

I'd add that the An-124 has the advantage of being more than a decade younger than the C-5. Just as an example, its FBW system should be easier to maintain than the C-5's hydraulic/mechanical flight control system.
Of course, the C-17 should then be even more reliable, which I think is the case.


A342
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
cargotanker
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:41 pm

RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:58 pm



Quoting A342 (Reply 43):
Anyway, in contrast to the C-5, there don't seem to be horror stories regarding its reliability.

I've heard rumors that it is as bad or worse, but nothing confirmed. There used to be a few locations where an AN-124 was in perpetual 'broke, awaiting repairs' status for months on end. I saw one in Gander in the late 90s that was there for months and I think Dallas Love had one for awhile, too. I've also heard that their 'crane' inside the cargo hold is notoriously unreliable, and that they (Volga?) want to switch to rollers and rails like 'normal' cargo planes.
 
A342
Posts: 4017
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RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:35 pm



Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 47):
There used to be a few locations where an AN-124 was in perpetual 'broke, awaiting repairs' status for months on end. I saw one in Gander in the late 90s that was there for months and I think Dallas Love had one for awhile, too.

I'd attribute that to the financial state of its operators back then and the unavailability of spare parts which can still be a problem with aircraft of Soviet origin. Just my two cents.

Quoting Cargotanker (Reply 47):
and that they (Volga?) want to switch to rollers and rails like 'normal' cargo planes.

That would defeat the purpose of carrying heavy and outsize loads. For palletised freight, the An-124 is simply the wrong aircraft.


A342
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
cargotanker
Posts: 182
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:41 pm

RE: C-5A Galaxy Retirement Chances Going Up Fast

Tue Nov 03, 2009 5:55 pm



Quoting A342 (Reply 48):
That would defeat the purpose of carrying heavy and outsize loads. For palletised freight, the An-124 is simply the wrong aircraft.

The rollers can flip over if you need them to, then you have a flat floor to drive tanks, bulldozers, whatever else that is outsized. My point is that the AN-124s use this crane system to load cargo that is supposedly heavy and unreliable.

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