Airmen fly C-5M into U.S. record books
By SOF Editor on Fri, 11/13/2009 - 11:44am
Airmen flew a C-5M Super Galaxy into the official record books Oct. 30 when a previous world-record-attempt flight was certified by U.S. National Aeronautic Association officials. A Dover Air Force Base, Del., aircrew flying a C-5M named The Spirit of Normandy consisted of eight 512th Airlift Wing reservists and four 436th Airlift Wing active-duty members set 41 records in a single flight that included various altitude, payload and time-to-climb records. "I am pleased to announce that all 41 of the records claimed in the C-5M on Sept. 13 have been approved as U.S. records," said Art Greenfield, NAA Director of Contest and Records, in an e-mail to Air Mobility Command and Lockheed Martin officials. "We are very proud of this accomplishment; and, it displayed the capability of the C-5M, Air Mobility Command's newest airlifter," said Maj. Cory Bulris, the record-flight aircraft commander and 436th Operations Group Program Integration Office chief for the C-5M. One of the records -- altitude attained in horizontal flight -- was previously held by the Russians, who set it in 1989 with a Tupolev Tu-160 aircraft. The C-5M crew broke seven records previously held by the C-17 Globemaster III, including the record for the greatest mass carried to 2,000 meters, set by a C-17 in 1993. The C-5M used for the record-breaking flight is a C-5 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 program. The upgraded aircraft entered operational test and evaluation in October. "This aircraft is capable of significantly shorter take-offs than the previous C-5 aircraft," said Lt. Col. Mike Semo, a 709th Airlift Squadron pilot and the C-5M Program Office chief. "We are able to take more cargo farther distances with greater reliability. They've also vastly improved the aircraft with 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." The U.S. records have been submitted to the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, a Swiss-based world air-sports organization with more than 100 member countries, for consideration for approval as world records.