C5 Galaxy Vs C 17 Globemaster: An In-Depth Comparison
The United States Air Force has some of the most advanced and capable transport aircraft in the world. Among them, the C5 Galaxy and C17 Globemaster are two behemoths that can carry massive amounts of cargo across long distances. While both aircraft serve similar roles, they have different capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses that set them apart. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the C5 Galaxy and C17 Globemaster, compare them, and see how they perform in various scenarios.
The C5 Galaxy is a strategic transport aircraft that was designed and built by Lockheed Martin. With a wingspan of 222 feet and a length of 247 feet, it’s one of the largest aircraft in the world. Its cargo hold measures 13 feet wide, 13.5 feet high, and 143 feet long, giving it a total capacity of 100,000 pounds. The C5 Galaxy can carry a range of cargo, including vehicles, weapons, equipment, and personnel. It’s also capable of carrying outsized cargo, such as a fully-assembled Apache helicopter, and can transport up to 36 standard pallets.
The C5 Galaxy has four General Electric TF39-GE-1C turbofan engines, each generating a thrust of 43,000 pounds. This enables the aircraft to reach a top speed of 590 miles per hour and a range of 5,500 miles with one aerial refueling. The C5 Galaxy has a crew of up to seven, including two pilots, two flight engineers, and three loadmasters. It can also accommodate up to 73 passengers.
The C17 Globemaster is a tactical transport aircraft that was also designed and built by Lockheed Martin. With a wingspan of 169 feet and a length of 174 feet, it’s smaller than the C5 Galaxy but still larger than many other military transport aircraft. Its cargo hold measures 18 feet wide, 12 feet high, and 88 feet long, giving it a total capacity of 170,900 pounds. The C17 Globemaster can carry a variety of cargo, including vehicles, equipment, and personnel. It’s also capable of carrying outsized cargo, such as an M1 Abrams tank, and can transport up to 18 standard pallets.
The C17 Globemaster has four Pratt & Whitney F117-PW-100 turbofan engines, each generating a thrust of 40,440 pounds. This enables the aircraft to reach a top speed of 590 miles per hour and a range of 4,482 miles without aerial refueling. The C17 Globemaster has a crew of up to three, including a pilot, a co-pilot, and a loadmaster. It can also accommodate up to 102 passengers.
Now that we’ve seen the specifications of the C5 Galaxy and C17 Globemaster, let’s compare them side by side.
Size: The C5 Galaxy is larger than the C17 Globemaster, with a cargo hold that’s almost twice as long. This makes it better suited for transporting oversized cargo.
Capacity: The C5 Galaxy has a slightly lower cargo capacity than the C17 Globemaster, but it can carry more passengers.
Range: The C5 Galaxy has a longer range than the C17 Globemaster, which means it can travel farther without the need for aerial refueling.
Speed: Both aircraft have the same top speed, but the C5 Galaxy can maintain that speed at a higher altitude, making it more efficient.
Operating Costs: The C17 Globemaster has a lower operating cost than the C5 Galaxy, which makes it more cost-effective for short to medium-range flights.
Terrain Capability: The C17 Globemaster has a better ability to operate from unimproved runways and rugged terrain due to its short take-off and landing capability.
Operational Suitability: The C5 Galaxy is more suited for strategic missions as it can carry larger cargo and fly further distances. The C17 Globemaster is more suited for tactical missions as it is more versatile in its ability to operate from a broader range of terrains.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which aircraft is better, the C5 Galaxy, or the C17 Globemaster?
A: It’s not a matter of which aircraft is better, but which aircraft is more suited for a particular mission. Both aircraft have unique capabilities that make them better suited for different types of missions.
Q: How many C5 Galaxies and C17 Globemasters are in service?
A: As of 2021, the United States Air Force has 52 C5 Galaxies and 222 C17 Globemasters in service.
Q: Can the C5 Galaxy and C17 Globemaster operate from unimproved runways?
A: Yes, both aircraft can operate from unimproved runways, but the C17 Globemaster is more capable in this regard due to its short take-off and landing capability.
In conclusion, both the C5 Galaxy and C17 Globemaster are impressive transport aircraft that can fulfill a variety of missions. While they have different capabilities, they are both essential to the United States Air Force’s transport fleet. The C5 Galaxy is better suited for strategic missions thanks to its larger cargo capacity and longer range, while the C17 Globemaster excels at tactical missions, thanks to its versatility and ability to operate from unimproved runways. Ultimately, which aircraft is better depends on the specific mission requirements at hand.