And then there were four…
On March 16th, 2017, a C-5A came to life for the last time. Tail number 70-0456 took off from Westover Air Reserve Base. Its destination was Davis Monthan Air Force Base’s AMARC…aka “The Boneyard”.
The C-5A first flew in 1969. While it holds the title as the largest airlifter ever in the US Air Force’s fleet, its lack of reliability has hurt its reputation through the years. The program suffered a number of issues from cost overruns to cracks to difficult maintenance requirements. The jet earned the unofficial nickname FRED.
Eventually the decision was made to mothball half the fleet and upgrade the remaining aircraft to the M-series more commonly known as the “Super Galaxy”. The C-5M has ‘new’ CF-6 engines along with a number of system improvements meant to reduce maintenance requirements. A total of 56 C-5M’s will continue in service while all of the remaining ‘classic’ C-5s will be retired.
Today there are just four remaining C-5A Galaxy aircraft. They all reside at Westover ARB. Three more are scheduled to be retired by October of 2017. The other C-5A will be flown to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to be put on display at the US Air Force Museum.
Video of tail number 70-0456’s arrival at David Monthan AFB can be seen below: