Built in ramps were included to facilitate rapid loading and unloading through both the front and rear cargo doors. The original proposal called for a fleet of planes. Each company received money from the USAF to develop its proposal. A USAF team consisting of officers and civilians evaluated the proposals and selected the Boeing design based on its technical superiority. However, this decision was overruled by high level DOD Department of Defense managers and the contract given to Lockheed because of its lower bid.
At the time the C-5 contract was awarded, there was great concern within DOD about the cost of weapons systems. Under this procedure, a contractor was required to incorporate all costs in the bid, including initial design, final design, manufacture, testing, training, and spare parts. The central idea of the procedure was to required a company to submit a bid for all these components. The company was to be held to this price by the USAF, eliminating cost overruns. However, almost nothing in the military industrial complex is simple. One of the major reasons that Lockheed was awarded the C-5 contract was DOD's desire to retain Lockheed as a viable defense contractor.
In Marietta, Georgia, production on the C and C was winding down. Had Lockheed not won the C-5 contract, thousands of people at Lockheed Georgia would have been laid-off. The giant defense contractor, which was also the sole source of Polaris and Poseidon missiles, would have been in serious financial trouble.
Although Lockheed's bid was the lowest, there was no guarantee that their costs would remain the lowest despite the TPP procedure. Politics: When a contractor wins a defense contract, that victory is usually based as much on politics as technical competence. It is the duty of every Senator and Representative to further the interest of his constituents; this is the whole idea behind representative democracy.
However, this sometimes presents the politician with an ethical dilemma. What if the interests of his constituents conflict with the interests of the nation as a whole? The question is further complicated by the complexities inherent in determining what is truly good for America as a whole.
The Need for the C-5 reexamined : In the case of the C-5, there were some military experts who said the whole project was not good for the country and not even necessary. They believed that ships and existing aircraft could move the Army as rapidly as was likely to be necessary. In addition the ability to move larger amounts of equipment might actually destabilize world politics.
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Instead of allowing America to maintain world peace through the threat of rapid deployment, the acquisition of the C-5 might lead America to interject itself into places it did not belong. However, most military experts and most members of Congress saw the C-5 as a necessary part of the nation's defense. The Georgia congressional delegation, particularly Senator Russell, who chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee, strongly supported the C-5 program.
The C-5 also had widespread bipartisan support because of the diverse geographical locations of its many subcontractors. At one point, subcontractors in 41 different states participated in the C-5 program. For many Congressman, a vote against the C-5 was a vote against jobs back home.
Problems with the Airplane and the Contract: Engineering Difficulties: Lockheed's struggle to win the C-5 contract was a success, but the company's troubles were far from over. The shear size and complexity of the C-5 made it a very difficult project to complete.
Because of the size of the engineering task, Lockheed was forced to hire contract labor; and at one point engineers from British Aerospace were contracted to the project. The difficulties of regularly transferring detailed information across the Atlantic hampered vital communications and slowed the project. Engineering and production problems developed with many of the C-5's systems. The design of the wing proved particularly difficult and ultimately required a complete redesign after production had begun.
The design of the undercarriage which allowed the massive plane to make short take-offs and landings created additional complications. Lockheed also had problems with its subcontractors. The advanced multi-model radar was particularly troublesome, and ultimately was scrapped for a simpler system.
Development problems ultimately delayed the start of manufacture of the first prototype by more than a year. Despite the use of the TPP procedure, the C-5 contract still contained many of the problems endemic to other defense contracts. During the course of design and testing, there were 46 major changes to the design and changes in the contract specifications. Some of the changes were quite minor, but some, such as the redesigned wing and the new radar, were significant and required a much additional time and money.
Many of the specification changes were written by the USAF because the Lockheed design could not perform up to the original specifications. The most glaring example was the inability of the wing to function with a fully loaded plane. This problem necessitated redesign of the wing for future Galaxies and replacement of the wings on the existing Galaxies. The company had bought into the contract with the intent of recouping its loses and making a profit on the second production run.
The C-5 contract called for two separate production runs. Run A was to be priced according to the original bid. Run B was to be priced according to a complicated formula, which incorporated the actual production costs of Run A. Thus, it was to Lockheed's advantage to increase the production costs of Run A. Unfortunately for Lockheed, Run B was not a sure thing. Troubled by cost overruns in Run A and rumors of poor performance of the C-5, Congress took a greater interest in the program. At the same time, a USAF study showed that the three squadrons in Run A would be sufficient and that a second production run was not necessary.
Most of the Pentagon witnesses testifying before Congress insisted that the C-5 was absolutely essential to national defense and was not nearly as much over cost as rumored. The truth was that neither the USAF nor Lockheed really knew how much the project was over-budget or what the ultimate cost of a Galaxy would be. All that remained was for Congress to allocate the money.
At that time, however, stories of the waste and fraud in the C-5 program were appearing in major papers all over the country. Congressmen began to receive large amounts of mail from their constituents demanding an end to the program. Faced with this onslaught of negative publicity, the USAF and Lockheed counterattacked with their own publicity campaign. Lockheed and several C-5 subcontractors took out full page adds in magazines such as Time and Newsweek, where they glowingly sold the merits of their plane.
If Lockheed lost the C-5 contract, it would surely have caused bankruptcy for an already struggling company. Without some form of federal assistance, however, it was only a matter of time before this happened. DOD attempted to secure additional credit for Lockheed, but the prospect of large loses on the current production run and no additional production run to recoup the loses discouraged any bank from extending Lockheed credit.
The company threatened to default on the first production run unless it received more money. Finally, DOD developed a compromise solution.
A second production run of 24 planes would be authorized. When the DOD proposed its compromise solution, it admitted that the C-5 had become an embarrassing problem. The program had progressed too far to cancel entirely and it would have been too costly to modify the to assume the C-5 role. The compromise was an attempt to make the best of a bad situation. There were no winners, only losers. The Losers Lockheed: Lockheed was left in a very bad financial position.
The downturn in the aerospace industry in the early s hit the company particularly hard.
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Even with the second run and the the discretionary fund, the company came perilously close to bankruptcy. Major layoffs and corporate restructuring followed.
It took the company several years to recover from the financial setback. Although Lockheed had originally bought into the contract, top officials felt the company had been cheated by the government. Ultimately, however, the government purchased another fifty planes which allowed Lockheed to continue production at a reduced rate for several years. Because of their propensity to break down and their general operating difficulties, the C-5s do not often fly. Perhaps worst of all, the C-5 program seems to have made all parties involved in defense procurement involved cynical and willing to accept the problems in the procedure as a necessary evil.
While attempts have been made to improve the procedure, it still is rife with problems. The current attempt to fight waste and poor quality relies on regulation, after-the-fact inspections, and punitive penalties. Unfortunately, it is not possible to regulate or intimidate quality into existence. The Public: The biggest loser of all, is probably the American taxpayer whose money ultimately paid for everything.
Everyone, engineers, businessmen, bureaucrats, generals, and Congressmen had their own agenda which they vigorously pursued. In such situations it is difficult to balance the conflicting goals of diverse groups. Millions and billions of dollars are sometimes tossed around like play money. People are always more careful with their own money, but in the case of defense procurement the money does not seem to belong to anyone.
Defense procurement is extremely complex by its nature. A variety of technical, monetary, and political agendas and constraints make it difficult to accomplish goals within a reasonable time, with high quality, and on budget. Ethical Issues Several ethical issues are raised by examining the history of the C In the simplest terms, maintaining good ethical conduct requires a person to differentiate between what is right and what is wrong and follow the course that the person determines is correct. Frequently, it is not so simple; right and wrong are not clearly marked, and a person must use his best judgement.
Some of the ethical issues associated with the C-5 are listed below. How does a Representative or Senator balance the needs of the nation against his or her desire to stay in office? Did Lockheed's management commit a breach of ethics by buying into the contract at a price they probably knew they could not maintain? Did Lockheed oversell the capabilities of the C-5 to the Air Force? Did the USAF compound the problems by ignoring its own internal reports?
Did any of the parties behave outside of the accepted norms of society? Are these norms ethically correct? Does knowingly buying a flawed product in order to keep a defense contractor in business and to keep its employees in work constitute military involvement in our nation's welfare programs? How does all of this affect the average engineer working on the project? Does the engineer have a responsibility to consider the ultimate use of the project? Is the government ethically bound to accept the lowest bid when all indications are that the final costs may be much higher than the bid?
Washington D. First flight I had no idea what was going on, but the Instructor Pilot IP demonstrated what the aircraft could do and made for a pretty awesome ride. Pilot training is a lot of IP demonstrating and the student continuously attempting to perfect the maneuvers, from stalls to touch and goes and further building onto that with barrel rolls, cloverleafs, and a whole assortment of acrobatics.
I had a good time in the T-6 program, quickly getting used to putting in right rudder and learning how to strap into the ejection seat. I would say my favorite block of T-6 training was formation. It was challenging to plan a sortie to stay in the imaginary military operations area MOA and accomplish all required acrobatics and maneuvers, and then switch from lead to wing and do it again, but the formation solo where it was just me doing all of that was exhilarating. One of the nice things about Laughlin is that to get back home, all you have to do is keep the Rio Grande to your south.
The acrobatics and formations were fun, but not enough to sway me away from the heavy aircraft the lifestyle and the culture in general, so I selected the T-1 to go heavies. Ours had everything except the jump seat removed from the back and a large radio cabinet installed for the UHF and TACAN radio equipment , whereas theirs had a bunch of seats. It was an interesting airplane to fly after the T It had the added benefit of not worrying about strapping into an ejection seat or wearing a G-suit, and it had a tiny bathroom.
The first part of the training was the basics of how to fly it, stalls and turns in the military operating area MOA and lots of touch-and-goes at a variety of airports across Texas, learning all about takeoffs and landings and the various speeds that dictate what controls the airplane and when. The second block of T-1 training is the main meat and potatoes portion; it was all about instrument flight rules IFR.
This was all to get practice with all sorts of instrument approaches while also studying all the IFR publications on the ground to learn about the types of airspaces and the rules that govern them. Then there was the check ride at the end of the section that was the most heavily weighted for overall pilot class ranking. The final block of T-1 training was to prepare pilots for aerial refueling and airdrop. For aerial refueling, two jets would meet in a MOA or a refueling track near Fort Stockton and maneuver to get one aircraft behind the other and then get up into the pre-contact-contact positions.
This position has one jet flying within a few feet of the other behind and below for a minute or so.
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For airdrop, two jets would fly formation through a low level route and practice the timing and procedures required to get to a target and slow down and simulate an airdrop. In all, training had some fun times, but it was a lot of repetition to get the IFR basics down, which can be monotonous.
It was rumored that the T-1 had its flight controls modified to more closely resemble the roll rates of the heavy aircraft that the Air Force flies. It certainly felt like flying a heavy in a small plane. As T-1 training wrapped up, each of the three undergraduate pilot training UPT bases gets a list of all the aircraft potentially available to classes that are about to finish, about 25 or so airplanes, and each student has to rank the airframe they want.
Each student is then given a rank based upon all the scores from each flight, check rides and academics, as well as some other points, which get crunched through a math formula and ranks each student. There are conference calls between the three UPT bases to then use those rankings and assign an aircraft to each student.
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The bases make trades and the best assignments are made for the individual and the needs of the Air Force. It is massive. There were hundreds of people sitting under the wings for shade with plenty of room to spare. The cockpit is enormous, with a huge center console, with two throttle quadrants and it sits over 30 feet above the ground.
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My training consisted of three months of classes and full-motion sims that focused on the basics of flying the airplane, processing emergency procedures, Category Two Instrument Landing System approaches and oceanic procedures. As for how the airplane flew, it felt exactly like the T-1 for roll rates, but it has a ton more power available. The takeoff and landing data TOLD calculations are similar to the T-1 with relatively low rotation speeds on takeoff. Honestly, the hardest thing to do in the C-5 is taxiing.
The aft main gear caster, so if turning left you turn the tiller to turn the nose left, caster the gear, and they will swing to the right to allow for a tighter turn, and then hydraulic pressure forces them back to center when you center the switch. A main concern before a mission is making sure that the taxiways and parking ramps are wide enough and can support our weight.
If they plan to park us in a location where we would have to backup, we have to make sure that they have the C-5 tow bar, a giant tuning fork that connects to the outside of our nose gear and few locations have it.
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Typically, we takeoff and get the autopilot and auto throttles engaged and fly our flight plan, getting all the radios and equipment ready for oceanic airspace entry, then click off the automation while on final approach and about to land. There are some situations that we train for in the sim where flying can get challenging, but a majority of those emergency situations have never happened in any model of the C For the first year or so in the jet, a C-5 pilot is expected to master the general knowledge of the systems and rules regulating the airplane as well as gain flying experience of the C Once a pilot becomes an aircraft commander, they are expected to master the FAA and ICAO rules that govern operations, as well as how to lead a mission.
Aircraft commanders make sure each location we go to is ready and able to handle the C-5M. All these areas together ensure we are abiding by the Air Force rules and ready to execute the mission. Its max weight is , pounds. It can carry the most cargo of any US airlifter. Last fall, as part of a retrograde operation to bring cargo and equipment out of Afghanistan, each C-5 was setting record payloads, with the heaviest being , pounds. Overall One C-5 mission can take the place of up to five C missions, depending on what the cargo is. It can carry , pounds of cargo 5, miles without refueling, for example, from Dover to Turkey, or from Germany to Alaska.
It has twice the pallet positions of the C, 36 to 18, and supposedly due to the gear configuration and weight distribution, has a lighter footprint at above the max weight compared to a C The C-5 typically cruises at. The C-5 can carry outsize cargo from pallets to vehicles that would not fit in any other jet. In addition to cargo, we can always carry passengers in the troop compartment above the cargo compartment in airline-like seats.
This makes it easier to carry equipment and their operators. For example, we bring home Marine helicopters with the maintenance crew.
It can carry two M1 Abrams main battle tanks if required, or six Apaches. To facilitate loading, the C-5 can kneel. This is where all the wheel bogies are on hydraulic lifts and it can kneel the nose down, tail down, or evenly so that the belly is only inches from the ground. Kneeling makes the loading of aircraft and vehicles a lot easier than a C and provides drive in and off capability without the needing to back out. The C-5 is also a massive demonstration of the coordination required to do any mission.
There will be multiple pilots, engineers, loadmasters and crew chiefs on every mission. The pilots primarily maneuver the airplane. The engineers are key, they know the ins and outs of every system on the plane and how to make it work best. They control the fuel balancing, the pressurization, cooling and the expansive high pressure hydraulic systems. They also calculate the takeoff and landing data for the pilots.
They are super smart and I could not do their job. The loadmasters are masters of their craft, knowing how to build a load onto a jet in the most efficient and safe manner, along with complexities like if there are multiple destinations for the cargo and how to arrange it so that it can be unloaded efficiently.
They figure out how the airplane needs to be configured to load and unload best, does it just need to stay as is, or level kneel so that the bottom of the jet is only inches from the ground, or forward kneel to create a smoother ramp surface to unload rolling stock. The crew chiefs are flying representatives of our ground maintenance and the airplanes are their babies.
They know how to fix any of our problems and how to interface with the local maintenance to get the jet fixed and back on the road in a timely manner. Overall, our support is awesome. It was designed in the days when it was thought the best course of action for wings was to make them as stiff as possible. It contains many levels of redundancy and backups to ensure that everything will continue to work even if a system or two malfunctions. It has gone through various upgrades, replacing some of the analog systems with digital systems.
There are only a few C-5 bases in the US and thus most of the expertise is within the continental United States, whereas going overseas, a lot of the maintenance and parts are concentrated at key locations, like Ramstein in Germany. In other words, the expertise and parts are far and few between. Authors note: FRED is a nickname for the C-5 used in a sarcastic and loving way by its crews and maintainers. Each upgrade has seen continuous improvements in all systems installed on the airplane.
Each plane has it gremlins and reputation for oddities, but for the most part, they all work very well.
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The C-5 reliability is only getting better. It had the classic engines that generated that sky ripping sound. It operated in Vietnam I just saw a talk from the aircraft commander that flew Operation Babylift in a C-5, and he was an excellent speaker and did an amazing job in flying an airplane that had everything going wrong. They received an avionics upgrade, a boost to the digital age, with the AMP program that gave the C-5 multi-function displays and a glass cockpit.
There are two C-5Cs that are in all essence B models, except that the troop compartment over the rear of the cargo compartment has been removed to allow it to move huge space related cargo. It now has approximately 20 percent greater thrust and a 50 percent faster climb rate while decreasing takeoff distance 30 percent with a big overall increase in fuel efficiency.