timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:32 am

We have one member here at least with years of experience driving her, and I do hope he joins in. There may be other pilots or former pilots as well as those of you with the knowledge I seek.

1st, the modern C-5m has had a makeover in regards to the flight deck, it too now employs the use of screens rather than all gauges. However, the flight deck crew is credited with having 2 engineers. I'm not questioning their necessity. Just curious about the jobs they perform.

It has a service ceiling of 41,000 ft. Is it ably to obtain high level flight with near full capacity loads?

Since it has refueling capabilities, its missions are not limited to the fuel in her tanks. The listing of flight deck crew is pilot, co-pilot and 2 engineers. If say with fill ups are there back up, reserve pilots? I have a hard time imagining even the USAF telling their pilots and engineers that they have a 14hr flight, suck it up and deal.

One last question that's always been on my mind and that is the max service ceiling. If stated in this case to be 41k ft. How solid is that number? Is it conservative and planes have say at least a cpl. Thousand to play with? And, what or how would the plane begin to fail flying above its ceiling?
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 4399
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Thu Dec 26, 2019 3:08 pm

The two engineers, one basically works the panel, the second is outside working pre-flights (announcing flight control movements, looking for leaks from hydraulics, servicing, etc). In flight the second assists doing performance data, relieving the first during long flights. Many emergencies and abnormals require two engineers. For example, some emergency gear extensions require an engineer to manually position valves on the sidewalls down stairs, the air conditioning system has valves that an engineer can position with a wrench. Hydraulics can be serviced inflight, so one engineer depresses the system, the second refills the leaking system.

Yes, we normally left home with a “heavy crew”; three pilots, two fully qualified engineers and three loadmasters plus any students or evaluators. We flew local trainers (4 hours of touch and goes or a couple hours with a tanker) with just pilots and engineers, sometimes a maintenance ferry flight. The Somali airlift, after the big shoot out with Aideed, proved the ultimate flight duration. 17.6 Hunter AAF, GA, four refueling, engine running tank offload at Mog, 5.1 to Cairo West. Little over 25 hours and low oil pressure lights flickering on a couple of engines on taxi-in.

Service ceiling is merely the level where climb is reduced to 100fpm or 300fpm, we had charts for both, usually used 300fpm to account for turbulence or temp changes. Nothing breaks or fails, it just runs out of power (old engines) or wing (new engines). I’ve had a very light one with TF-39s to F430, but it felt like it was sitting in a ball. The airframes are very leaky, think of all the doors, so pressurization usually limits altitude, you can’t cant hold the cabin differential. I was in an empty one crossing northern Canada, ATC asked us to climb to 390; all was happy at 350; but it helped the controller climb airline traffic. Up we went, engineer had said, this might be close on the cabin. Sure enough, it was slowly climbing out 9,000’ and we needed to go down. “Unable”. Ok, we wait it out, just prior to hand off to ANC Control, the cabin went thru 10, we put on the masks for the descent.

GF
 
timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:55 pm

No better person to have my questions answered, thank you. I always wondered about the service ceiling. Many variances of a few thousand feet. It usually seems like the bigger planes can get up into the 40k range, not all commercial airliners can hit it. I wondered as with most airliners, there's safety built in to the system... deck angle, bank angle almost always flown well within the limits of a stall situation. Was wondering the same about "service ceiling" although from your description of the galaxy, it sounds like on most occasions 41k is about as high as you want to go, and sometimes it doesn't even make that. I never knew how they determined the level, and if the primary reason was airspeed, for lift or perhaps not enough air for its engines.

It sounds like to me the galaxy takes a lot to fly. And I don't mean handling and other performance charateristics. (How are they,?) btw,
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:05 pm

Usually, the plan is to have about 1.2G to 1.3G capability at cruise—in other words, the pilot could apply (or turbulence induce) about 1.2g and not stall. A 30⁰ bank level turn is 1.15G. The old engines ran out of thrust long before the wing ran out of lift, so it was never a question. The new engines will power it up to levels where stall margins become something to watch. I didn’t fly the M model, but stay in touch with my unit, it’s local. Thin air is more a wing problem, the engines won’t run out of air. The G7500 can do 45⁰ banked turns at F450 at any weight it can reach F450 at.

When it worked, it was a pleasure to fly, responsive, light on the controls; underpowered, so one had to watch getting slow. We did tactical arrivals overhead the field at 9,500’, one 360 to a one mile final at 300’, coming down at 4,000 to 6,000 fpm. Having a large crew was a management exercise, but had the advantage of spreading out the work. A two-pilot crew with an emergency could be much more tasked.
 
timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Thu Dec 26, 2019 10:53 pm

I used to love watching tactical landings, in any plane, and it was most often the way they landed. The f-4's at brooks AFB was a thing of beauty. 90° turn barreling in at around 600mph. Bank angle was close to 90 as well. In just a matter of seconds and they are lining up the runway at 180mph or whatever landing speed was. Sorry, never been good with kts.

I've had the luxury to see many USAF planes do tactical landings. At least the ones that were flying when I served. There was no F-22 F-35.The F-111 was still in the air. I never got to see either the B-1 or the B-52 do tacticals or touch and goes. I'm not sure what interested me the most.... the precision flying the G's the fighter jocks got... far more than the celebrity rides and most of them are puking and passing out. Meanwhile the pilot is smooth like it was 1g. The precision of the big planes lining up at the last possible moment on a steep angle and the rate of the speed as it bled off just moments before touch down. The sound the air makes as these birds are put through their paces.
 
Max Q
Posts: 7910
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:04 am

Are the re-engined M models less ‘leaky’ ?


Just wondered if they went through any sort of structural refurbishment and / or reskinning as necessary?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
brindabella
Posts: 576
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:38 am

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:58 pm

timh4000 wrote:
No better person to have my questions answered, thank you. I always wondered about the service ceiling. Many variances of a few thousand feet. It usually seems like the bigger planes can get up into the 40k range, not all commercial airliners can hit it. I wondered as with most airliners, there's safety built in to the system... deck angle, bank angle almost always flown well within the limits of a stall situation. Was wondering the same about "service ceiling" although from your description of the galaxy, it sounds like on most occasions 41k is about as high as you want to go, and sometimes it doesn't even make that. I never knew how they determined the level, and if the primary reason was airspeed, for lift or perhaps not enough air for its engines.

It sounds like to me the galaxy takes a lot to fly. And I don't mean handling and other performance charateristics. (How are they,?) btw,


Fun thread!
Answering heaps about the C5 & its' incredibly distinguished career.

RE Commercial jets alt performance - normally one would not go above the FMC recommendations - which are strongly influenced by the airline's cost-index (CI) parameters.
RE: having TWO F/engineers - lock up your daughters - AND your grannies!

:D :D
cheers
Billy
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 4399
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Sat Dec 28, 2019 4:25 pm

Max Q wrote:
Are the re-engined M models less ‘leaky’ ?


Just wondered if they went through any sort of structural refurbishment and / or reskinning as necessary?


A lot of general refurbishment was done, e felt for an A, all Ms started out as B models and were in good shape. The As had growing corrosion issues. The new engines pump more air into the cabin, but the basic design of the doors and seals didn’t change. Remember, the visor, ramps are huge and have conventional inflatable seals. There’s probably a 100 yards of seal glued into the frames, to be pinched, repeatedly inflated, frozen at altitude. We used wrap load chains with blankets, soak them and jam them into the seals to help hold pressure. Land and the plane looked like it had grown whiskers from the old blankets jammed into the seals.

They do cruise in the upper 30s and low 40s, so better, mostly due to engine bleed.
 
Max Q
Posts: 7910
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:14 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Are the re-engined M models less ‘leaky’ ?


Just wondered if they went through any sort of structural refurbishment and / or reskinning as necessary?


A lot of general refurbishment was done, e felt for an A, all Ms started out as B models and were in good shape. The As had growing corrosion issues. The new engines pump more air into the cabin, but the basic design of the doors and seals didn’t change. Remember, the visor, ramps are huge and have conventional inflatable seals. There’s probably a 100 yards of seal glued into the frames, to be pinched, repeatedly inflated, frozen at altitude. We used wrap load chains with blankets, soak them and jam them into the seals to help hold pressure. Land and the plane looked like it had grown whiskers from the old blankets jammed into the seals.

They do cruise in the upper 30s and low 40s, so better, mostly due to engine bleed.



Interesting


It’s quite impressive to be able to pressurize such a large area at all

I noticed the Russian AN 124, their ‘C5’ does not have the ability to do this

Their main deck cargo hold is unpressurized in flight, a significant disadvantage
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
timh4000
Topic Author
Posts: 319
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2018 1:14 pm

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:39 am

Unpressurized, I would say it's a serious disadvantage. I'm sure the pressure at 40kft is significantly low enough that it likely limits what can be carried.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 4399
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Sun Dec 29, 2019 7:32 pm

Funny thing, planned unpressurized flight was not allowed unless approved thru Lockheed engineering. The structure was designed to operate under pressure, sort of like a balloon, it was stronger pressurized. The cargo “box” was chilly, but fully pressurized. We’d walk thru cargo, up the ladder to troop all the time. I flown USN dolphins, an ambulance with a severely injured Navy enlistee to a mainland hospital when there wasn’t medevac plane or time available.

GF
 
Max Q
Posts: 7910
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:36 pm

timh4000 wrote:
Unpressurized, I would say it's a serious disadvantage. I'm sure the pressure at 40kft is significantly low enough that it likely limits what can be carried.



Agree

I was surprised when I saw this on a documentary, it shows a crew member closing the upper deck hatch remarking that only that area was pressurized and the main deck would not be accessible in flight
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 4399
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:25 pm

I think one of design elements were cargo deck access in the event of fire or hazmat leaks. I had several leaky loads spilling jet fuel or seawater that needed clean up and could have been dangerous, if not looked at before continuing. Loads like the dolphins needed a near seal level environment, others like a damaged F-15 might leak as the differential increased. It did, but access meant the load crew could fix it. Very few loads can’t stand 8,000’ altitudes, but would be severely affected by 35,000’ altitude in the cabin, even with some heat.

GF
 
WKTaylor
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:36 pm

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:53 am

NOTES.

All original production C-5As are retired due to age/time.

Most second production run C-5Bs [upgraded to E's?] are current active fleet.

I heard that a CMsgt was killed when he stood at the crew entry door and opened the door before FULL depressurization. There was only a ~1/10th-PSI [or so] on the bird interior... but the massive air volume of the Acft created a gust of wind that blew him out of the door frame... ~10-foot fall to concrete. There is a pressure inter-lock now that prohibits opening the CED before FULL pressure equalization.
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 4399
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:26 pm

WKTaylor wrote:
NOTES.

All original production C-5As are retired due to age/time.

Most second production run C-5Bs [upgraded to E's?] are current active fleet.

I heard that a CMsgt was killed when he stood at the crew entry door and opened the door before FULL depressurization. There was only a ~1/10th-PSI [or so] on the bird interior... but the massive air volume of the Acft created a gust of wind that blew him out of the door frame... ~10-foot fall to concrete. There is a pressure inter-lock now that prohibits opening the CED before FULL pressure equalization.


One A was converted, I think a space vehicles transporter model, might have have two As. The space transporter had the troop compartment removed and added structure to compensate for loss of the upper deck floor. A Bs converted to “M” with one destroyed at Dover. All 49 are active.

The enlisted crew killed was a C-17 accident. Dropping the visor, maintenance mistake has happened a few times—pretty much cleans out the cargo deck.
 
zanl188
Posts: 3742
Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:05 pm

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:19 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:

One A was converted, I think a space vehicles transporter model, might have have two As. The space transporter had the troop compartment removed and added structure to compensate for loss of the upper deck floor. A Bs converted to “M” with one destroyed at Dover. All 49 are active.

The enlisted crew killed was a C-17 accident. Dropping the visor, maintenance mistake has happened a few times—pretty much cleans out the cargo deck.


2 A’s converted to C-5C variant, spacecraft hauler with no troop deck.

IIRC there have been at least 2 incidents with C-17 crew door pressurization problems. Once with crew and once with a special forces pax who tried to assist. Both injured severely as I recall.
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 4399
Joined: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:44 am

Re: Questions about the C-5 Galaxy

Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:16 pm

zanl188 wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

One A was converted, I think a space vehicles transporter model, might have have two As. The space transporter had the troop compartment removed and added structure to compensate for loss of the upper deck floor. A Bs converted to “M” with one destroyed at Dover. All 49 are active.

The enlisted crew killed was a C-17 accident. Dropping the visor, maintenance mistake has happened a few times—pretty much cleans out the cargo deck.


2 A’s converted to C-5C variant, spacecraft hauler with no troop deck.

IIRC there have been at least 2 incidents with C-17 crew door pressurization problems. Once with crew and once with a special forces pax who tried to assist. Both injured severely as I recall.


Correct, 2 “A”s converted to “C” models, both were then converted to a M model, re-engined C. And 1 A converted to M, total of 53 minus the lost one at Dover

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