USAF Jumbo Showing Its Age?
Experts at Warner-Robins AFB are
evaluating the C-5 Galaxy's current health, service life and
long-term viability as the first phase of an on-going study to
decide the aircraft’s future.
The four-phase C-5A Structural Risk Analysis and Model
Revalidation study began here at the request of Air Mobility
"We're going to provide a quick look at the C-5's status, and
AMC (officials) will use that information to see if the C-5 is a
good candidate for future investment and upgrades," said Col. Frank
Bruno, strategic airlift directorate director. "If our tear-down
analysis indicates that the plane is structurally sound, then they
may consider it as a future investment. If not, they may be
hard-pressed to invest more dollars."
Structural engineers, program managers and others from the
strategic airlift and maintenance directorates here have been
working fulltime examining the guts of the C-5 aircraft. The C-5,
Tail No. 690004, is one of 14 aircraft Air Force officials selected
"We're taking a hard look at the skeleton of the plane and
trying to determine if there's any damage that hasn't been
uncovered before through normal inspections," said Buc McRory,
strategic airlift directorate structures engineer and lead engineer
for the project. He will determine the plane's structural service
This particular C-5 was selected because of its true
representation of the fleet, McRory said.
Workers from the nondestructive inspection division of the
maintenance directorate are conducting the inspections, and results
will be added to an existing model of the plane to compute how long
it could continue flying, McRory said.
Although a majority of the tear-down part of the study will not
take place until the third phase, some parts are being removed to
help the inspection and will be used as spare parts, said Jerry
Ethridge. He is the strategic airlift directorate program
The study's four phases are:
- Phase 1 -- Nondestructive inspection takes
place here. Initial results are due to Air Mobility Command by
- 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
- Phase 4 -- Remaining parts of the aircraft
will be disposed. [ANN Thanks Holly Logan, Warner Robins Air
Logistics Center Public Affairs]