The thirteenth Lockheed C-5A Galaxy to be retired to AMARC, 67-0174 from the 137th Airlift Squadron/105th Airlift Wing based at Stewart ANGB, Newburgh, NY. One more C-5 Galaxy is due to arrive at AMARC marking the end of this first batch of C-5 retirements.

Picture © 2005 Philip Michaels


Tuesday 4th November 2003 saw the arrival of the very first Lockheed C-5A Galaxy to AMARC. The crew for this delivery flight were pilot Major Dan Hasslinger, co-pilot Major John Niakaros and flight engineers MSgt Geoff Miller and TSgt Dave Seyl from the 22nd Airlift Squadron based at Travis AFB, CA. After being drained of fuel and overnighting just outside the AMARC arrival gate at Davis Monthan AFB it was towed into the base on the Wednesday. Due to the enormous weight of the C-5 one tug was not adequate enough so a second was used to provide enough horsepower to get the job done.

A number of C-5As, around 12, are reportedly to be retired from the Air Mobility Command to AMARC during 2004 and into 2005. The actual ones being retired are not known at the moment, nor is the criteria being used to select them. One suggestion is the C-5s that have had some significant structural damage during their operational life will be the first to retire. Another suggestion is that the most unreliable aircraft will be chosen, time will tell.

The first arrival, 70-0458, has quickly yielded its tail and engines. It's landing gear is also scheduled for removal very shortly. These parts and, in time, many more will be returned to the Air Force active inventory to help keep the operational C-5s in the air.

Another C-5A, serial number 69-0004, which has been recently retired from service is at Warner Robins where it is being taken apart piece by piece so that a thorough inspection can be carried out of the entire airframe. By stripping the airframe down to the skeleton, engineers can take a complete assessment of how the aircraft has faired over its 30 plus years in service, both in terms of corrosion and fatigue. This study is being broken down into 4 phases :
  • Phase 1 -- Non-destructive inspection takes place. Initial results are due to Air Mobility Command by February 2004.
  • Phase 2 -- Planning and gathering of support equipment to tear down the plane. This phase runs through 2004. Components will be sent to an undetermined location later for further disassembly and inspection.
  • Phase 3 -- Tear down and further analysis.
  • Phase 4 -- Remaining parts of the aircraft will be disposed.
69-0004 was selected for this study as it has suffered no serious accidents in its operational life, and has not flown an excessive number of hours making it representative of an average USAF C-5A. The results of the study will be used to calculate how long this C-5 could have continued in service; much rides on the successful outcome of this exercise.

If worrying unexpected corrosion or fatigue is found, this could call into question the future of the type in service. Funds may not be made available for major repairs, modifications or corrosion/fatigue treatment across the C-5 fleet. The C-5 Galaxy is an aging aircraft type and over its career has been plagued by unreliability. The lawmakers might well decide that spending a large sum of money to extend its service life is not a viable option.

When we hear more we will let you know here.

67-0174 Picture Gallery
   67-0174 'Sleepy Hollow' Art
   67-0174 9/11 Tribute Art
   67-01748 After Arrival
   67-01748 Nose On

C-5 Picture Gallery
   67-0173 the 'Hudson Howler'
   70-0458 on Arrival Ramp
   70-0458 on Arrival Ramp
   Reclaimation Area
   66-8307 being reclaimed
   66-8307 being reclaimed
   66-8304 Arrival at AMARC
   66-8304 in reclamation area
   70-0450 in reclamation area
   67-0170 after arrival
   66-8306 being reclaimed

Three of the four TF-39 engines sitting on their custom trailers after removal from the C-5.


The engineer standing next to the trailer shows just how big the C-5s TF-39 engines actually are.

AMARC Database:

C-5s to the Tennessee Air National Guard:
As each C-5 is being delivered to AMARC there have been a whole series of reallocations taking place moving C-5s around to fill the holes left by the retirements and also the restructuring of the Air Force, Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard.

Two such movements have been the transfer of C-5As 69-0025 and 70-0449 to the Tennessee Air National Guard's 164th Airlift Wing based at Memphis International Airport. These are the first 2 examples of the type to be operated by the 164th Airlift Wing who are currently converting from the C-141 Starlifter, their last C-141 being retired to AMARC was C-141C 66-0157 on the 13th May 2004. Click here to see a picture of this particular C-141.

C-5A Specifications:

Engines Manufacturer - General Electric , Model - Four TF-39, Thrust - 41,000 pounds, each engine
Performance Speed - Speed: 518 mph (Mach 0.68) at 25,000 feet (7583.3 meters), with maximum takeoff weight
Range - with a 263,200 lb payload 2,400 nm / 4,445 km
Ceiling - 37,000 feet (11,277 meters)
Crew Seven. Pilot, Co-Pilot, two Flight Engineers and three Loadmasters
Dimensions Fuselage Length - 247.1 feet (75.3 meters)
Wingspan - 222.9 feet (67.93 meters)
Height - 65.1 feet (19.84 meters)
Cargo Compartment Height - 13.5 feet (4.11 meters)
Width - 19 feet (5.79 meters)
Length - 143 feet, 9 inches (43.8 meters)
Total volume (including ramps) 34,795 cu ft / 985.3 cu m

Source: United States Air Force

Last updated: 15th October 2004.