View Full Version : C-5 flight sets 41 records

09-22-2009, 03:01 PM
The C-5 soared more than seven miles high, lugging 89 tons, and did it in less than a half-hour.

Now that’s a special delivery.

Those three numbers added up to 41 world records for an Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy conducting a training mission from Dover Air Force Base, Del., earlier this month. Crew members set out to break 33 but exceeded even their own expectations.

The roughly 400,000-pound aircraft hauled a 178,000-pound payload and another 75,000 pounds of fuel to an altitude of nearly 40,000 feet in just under 28 minutes.

“I was ecstatic,” said the aircraft’s commander, Maj. Cory Bulris. “I was pretty proud to be a part of something like that.” Bulris said “setting the records was a side effect” of the mission. He was more pleased that he and his crew were able to demonstrate the capabilities of the C-5M, saying the aircraft’s new, more powerful engine made the historic flight possible.

The ability to reach a higher altitude in a shorter time isn’t just a way to get into the record books; it means delivering cargo more quickly and increasing mission effectiveness, Bulris said.

Because the C-5M is more fuel-efficient at higher altitudes, cargo can be delivered directly to its destination without taking time to refuel. Bulris said a C-5M recently delivered 90,000 pounds of cargo from Dover to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, without stopping.

On Sept. 13, the plane took off at 12:15 a.m. and was in the air for about 90 minutes. The plan was to climb to 9,000 meters, setting records at three altitudes.

The aircraft had to sustain its altitude and air speed for 90 seconds, which it did. Bulris then went for the icing on the cake —

12,000 meters.

“We didn’t think we’d be able to make 12,000 meters,” he said. When they did, they added eight more notches to the C5M’s belt.

“Certainly, it’s unusual to see this number of records set on one flight, especially given the different tasks that were involved,” said Art Greenfield, director of contest and records at the National Aeronautic Association.

The C-5M broke eight time-to-climb records at each of four altitudes: 3,000, 6,000, 9,000, and 12,000 meters. It also earned payload records for seven altitudes, another record for achieving horizontal flight at the highest altitude, and one for heaviest payload at an altitude of 2,000 meters.

According to Bulris, because the aircraft paused for 90 seconds at 9,000 feet to attempt the horizontal-flight record, there still is room for improvement.

“We probably could’ve been a little quickr,” he said.