The Lockheed C-5A Galaxy (Lockheed Model L-500) is a long-range, heavy lift military transport with high, “shoulder-mounted” wings and a “T-tail.” It has a flight crew of two pilots, two flight engineers and three loadmasters. The airplane’s cargo compartment can be accessed by a ramp at the rear of the fuselage, and the nose can be raised to allow cargo to be loaded from the front. The wings’ leading edges are swept to 25°. Four turbofan engines are mounted on pylons beneath the wings. The landing gear has 28 wheels in five units, and can “kneel” to bring the cargo deck closer to the ground for loading and unloading.
The first C-5, built at Lockheed-Georgia (later Lockheed Martin) in Marietta, first flew in 1968. U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson attended ceremonies as the first Galaxy C-5A model rolled off the assembly line on March 2 of that year. Delivery to the U.S. Air Force started in 1970 with the C-5A model and ended in March 1989 with the C-5B model. In 1998 dollars, each C-5A cost about $152.8 million, and each C-5B cost about $179 million.
The C-5 is a truly giant aircraft. It is 247 feet, 1 inch (75.311 m) long with a wingspan of 222 feet, 9 inches (67.894 m) and overall height of 65 feet, 1 inch (19.837 m). The cargo compartment has a height of 13 feet, 6 inches (4.115 m) and width of 19 feet (5.791 m). It is 143 feet, 9 inches (43.825 m) long. The C-5A has a maximum takeoff weight of 840,000 pounds (381,018 kg) and a maximum cargo weight of 270,000 pounds (122,470 kg).