Results Are Pending Certification By The NAA
A Dover aircrew flying a C-5M Super
Galaxy, named The Spirit of Normandy, unofficially set 41 world
records in a single flight, taking off from the base before dawn
The results are pending certification by the National Aeronautic
Association and should be finalized in about a month, said Kristan
Maynard, the NAA official observer who documented the world record
attempt. The NAA is the record-keeper for U.S. aviation.
The crew, composed of eight 512th Airlift Wing reservists and
four 436th AW active-duty members, was led by Maj. Cory Bulris, the
aircraft commander and 436th Operations Group Program Integration
Office chief for the C-5M.
With a payload of about 178,000 pounds, the C-5M climbed to
12,000 meters in less than 28 minutes, setting the altitude,
payload and time-to-climb records during the one-and-a-half-hour
flight. Because they were successful, the records "trickled down"
to the lighter payloads and lower altitudes.
Photo Courtesy U.S. Air
"We are very proud of this accomplishment, and it displayed the
capability of the C-5M, the Air Mobility Command's newest
airlifter," said Major Bulris, who added that planning for this
mission began almost two months ago.
To prepare for the record-breaking run, NAA officials weighed
the aircraft, its fuel and cargo Sept. 11.
Mr. Maynard said he was impressed with the aircraft's
record-breaking capability. "This doesn't happen very often
... not in one flight," he said.
One of the records broken during the flight was previously held
by the Russians who set it in 1989 with a Tupolev Tu-160 aircraft,
said Mr. Maynard. It's one of the more significant records broken:
the altitude attained in horizontal flight.
The C-5M crew also set a new record for the greatest mass
carried to 2,000 meters, set by a C-17A Globemaster III in 1993.
The crew also broke six other records previously held by the
A C-5M, which was used for the record-breaking flight, is a C-5
Galaxy that has received a modernized glass cockpit and avionics
upgrade as part of the Avionics Modernization Program and new
engines through the Reliability Enhancement and Re-engining
Photo Courtesy U.S. Air
The C-5 Galaxy, one of the world's largest aircraft, has been
the backbone of America's strategic airlift fleet since the late
1960s. However, years of wear and tear impacted the C-5s'
reliability rates. Yet testing revealed the C-5 fleet had 80
percent of its structural service life remaining. Rather than doing
away with the aircraft, Lockheed Martin officials proposed a plan
in September 1998 to update the C-5 Galaxy fleet with new avionics
and engines. These improvements are predicted to raise the
aircraft's reliability levels.
"This aircraft is capable of significantly shorter take-offs
than the previous (C-5) aircraft," said Lt. Col. Mike Semo, 709th
Airlift Squadron pilot and C-5M Program Office chief." We are able
to take more cargo farther distances with greater reliability.
They've also vastly improved to a glass cockpit, which results in
greater situational awareness for the pilots. There are upgrades to
navigation, safety equipment, communications and a new autopilot
system. This really is a modern aircraft for a modern Air
Force." Current Air Force plans call for Lockheed Martin to
deliver 52 C-5Ms by 2016.
ANN Salutes Capt. Marnee Losurdo 512th Airlift Wing Public