These photos prove that the massive C-5 Galaxy can fly with only three engines

Pictures feature C-5 Galaxy airlifters flying with only three engines

By Dario Leone
Oct 18 2022
Share this article

The C-5 Galaxy airlifters were approved for a one-time, three-engine flight for permanent repairs.

Appeared on Code One Magazine, the interesting images in this post feature trick or treat C-5 Galaxy flights.

The main image of the article features a C-5, flying with only three engines, landing at Dobbins Air Force Base (AFB), Georgia, on May 25, 1977, after flying from Travis AFB, California. On a prior flight, the aircraft (Air Force serial number 66-8306) suffered an inflight emergency that destroyed the left inboard engine and damaged the pylon. After landing safely, the engine was removed and the pylon temporarily faired over to reduce drag. The Galaxy was approved for a one-time, three-engine flight across the country for permanent repairs. This C-5A, the fourth Galaxy built, was initially part of the flight test fleet. It was last assigned to Kelly AFB, Texas, and was retired in February 2004 with 14,518 flight hours.

These photos prove that the massive C-5 Galaxy can fly with only three engines

The second photo instead shows a C-5, flying with only three engines, landing at Dobbins AFB, Georgia, on Jun. 29, 1979 after flying from Dover AFB, Delaware. In November 1978, this aircraft (Air Force serial number 70-0450) suffered a low pressure turbine failure that destroyed the left outboard engine and damaged the pylon. After landing safely, the engine was removed and the pylon temporarily faired over to reduce drag. The Galaxy was approved for a one-time, three-engine flight to Marietta for permanent repairs. This C-5A, the sixty-fourth Galaxy built, was last assigned to Altus AFB, Oklahoma, and was retired in April 2004 with 16,165 flight hours.

Lockheed-Georgia Co. delivered the first operational C-5A Galaxy to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston AFB, South Carolina, in June 1970.

Based on a study showing 80 percent of the C-5 airframe service life remaining, Air Mobility Command began an aggressive program to modernize the C-5s in 1998. The C-5 Avionics Modernization Program included upgrading the avionics to improve communications, as well as upgrading the navigation, surveillance and air traffic management systems to maintain compliance with national and international airspace requirements. It also added new safety equipment and installed a new autopilot system.

Another part of the C-5 modernization plan was a comprehensive Reliability Enhancement and Re-engineering Program. The last of the Air Force’s 52 C-5s are scheduled to complete the RERP modification in fiscal year 2018. The rest of the C-5 fleet entered retirement by September 2017.

The C-5 aircraft engines were upgraded from four General Electric TF-39 engines to General Electric CF6-80C2-L1F (F-138) commercial engines. This engine delivers a 22 percent increase in thrust, a 30 percent shorter take-off roll, a 58 percent faster climb rate, and will allow significantly more cargo to be carried over longer distances. With its new engines and other system upgrades, the RERP modified C-5A/B/Cs became C-5M Super Galaxies.

Photo credit: Lockheed Martin

C-5M Super Galaxy print
This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. C-5M Super Galaxy 60th Air Mobility Wing, 349th Air Mobility Wing, 22nd Airlift Squadron, 07-0042 – Travis AFB, CA.

Share this article

Dario Leone

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share this article


Share this article
Share this article

Always up to date! News and offers delivered directly to you!

Get the best aviation news, stories and features from The Aviation Geek Club in our newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox.



    Share this article
    Back to top
    This website uses technical and profiling cookies. Clicking on "Accept" authorises all profiling cookies. Clicking on "Refuse" or the X will refuse all profiling cookies. By clicking on "Customise" you can select which profiling cookies to activate.
    Warning: some page functionalities could not work due to your privacy choices