The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III are two of the largest and most powerful military transport aircraft in the world. These behemoth machines can transport personnel, cargo, and equipment across the globe, providing essential support to military operations, humanitarian missions, and disaster relief efforts.
While both the C-5 and C-17 were designed as strategic airlift craft, there are several key differences between the two planes. In this article, we will compare the C-5 Galaxy and the C-17 Globemaster III and examine their respective strengths and weaknesses.
The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy is a massive transport aircraft that first entered service with the US Air Force in 1970. The C-5 is designed to carry oversized cargo, such as tanks and other heavy equipment, and can transport up to 72 tons of cargo at a time. The aircraft has a maximum speed of 518 mph and a range of over 6,000 nautical miles.
One of the notable features of the C-5 Galaxy is its ability to kneel. This unique feature allows the aircraft to lower its nose and cargo ramp to make loading and unloading easier. The C-5 has a cargo hold that is 121 feet long, 19 feet wide, and 13.5 feet high, which allows it to accommodate almost any type of oversized cargo.
The C-5 has a crew of six and can transport up to 73 passengers in addition to its cargo. The aircraft has been used in a variety of military operations, including the Gulf War, where it played a critical role in transporting troops and equipment to the region.
C-17 Globemaster III:
The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III is a more modern aircraft than the C-5 and entered service with the US Air Force in 1995. The aircraft has a maximum cargo weight of 170,900 pounds and a range of 2,400 nautical miles without refueling. The C-17 has a maximum speed of 590 mph and can transport up to 102 passengers in addition to its cargo.
Unlike the C-5, the C-17 does not have a cargo ramp that can kneel. Instead, the aircraft has a cargo door that swings to the side, making loading and unloading less convenient for oversize cargo. However, the C-17 can be used on shorter runways than the C-5 and can handle rougher terrain due to its advanced landing gear.
The C-17 has a crew of three and is equipped with advanced avionics and communications systems that allow it to operate in all types of weather conditions. The aircraft has been used in a variety of military operations, including the Iraq War and humanitarian missions.
When comparing the C-5 Galaxy and the C-17 Globemaster III, there are several key differences to consider. Here are some important factors to take into account when choosing between these two aircraft:
Size and Capacity: The C-5 is much larger than the C-17, with a cargo hold that can accommodate up to 72 tons of cargo compared to the C-17’s 170,900-pound maximum cargo weight. The C-5 also has a larger crew and can transport more passengers than the C-17.
Range: The C-5 has a longer range than the C-17, with a maximum range of over 6,000 nautical miles compared to the C-17’s 2,400 nautical miles.
Speed: The C-17 is faster than the C-5, with a maximum speed of 590 mph compared to the C-5’s 518 mph.
Cargo Loading: The C-5’s ability to kneel and lower its ramp make it easier to load and unload oversize cargo. However, the C-17 can land on shorter runways and handle rougher terrain due to its advanced landing gear.
Cost: The C-5 is more expensive to operate than the C-17 due to its larger size and higher maintenance costs.
Q: How much does a C-5 Galaxy cost?
A: The cost of a C-5 Galaxy varies depending on the model and year of production. According to recent estimates, a new C-5M Super Galaxy aircraft costs around $220 million.
Q: How many C-5 Galaxies are in service with the US Air Force?
A: As of 2021, the US Air Force operates 52 C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
Q: Can the C-17 carry more cargo than the C-5?
A: No, the C-5 can carry more cargo than the C-17. However, the C-17 has a maximum payload weight of 170,900 pounds, which is still a substantial amount.
Q: How long is the C-17 Globemaster III?
A: The C-17 Globemaster III is 174 feet long with a wingspan of 169 feet.
Q: What is the maximum speed of the C-5 Galaxy?
A: The C-5 Galaxy has a maximum speed of 518 mph.
Both the C-5 Galaxy and the C-17 Globemaster III are critical aircraft in military operations and play a vital role in transporting personnel, equipment, and cargo around the world. While the C-5 is larger and can carry more cargo than the C-17, the C-17 is faster, more maneuverable, and can land on shorter runways.
Ultimately, the choice between these aircraft comes down to the specific needs of each mission. For missions that require the transport of heavy, oversized cargo, the C-5 may be the better choice. For missions that require speed, maneuverability, and the ability to operate in rugged or remote areas, the C-17 is likely the better aircraft.