Story courtesy of New York National Guard
NEWBURGH, N.Y., (11/17/10) -- The U.S. Air Force selected Stewart Air National Guard Base as its "preferred base" for eight C-17 Globemaster III cargo aircraft slated to be operated by the Air National Guard.
The 12 C-5A Galaxy cargo aircraft operated by the New York Air National Guard 's 105th Airlift Wing at the base would be retired and replaced by the C-17s.
Air Force officials said the final decision on basing C-17s at Stewart Air National Guard Base will be made when an environmental impact analysis is complete. This is expected to be done in May of 2011.
If the site here is finally selected, the Air Force would begin moving C-17s to the base in the fall of 2011.
Stewart Air National Guard Base was chosen based on existing infrastructure and facilities, the expertise of the Airmen stationed there and because the move would cause the least disruption to the United States strategic airlift fleet.
The 105th Airlift Wing has operated the C-5 Galaxy since 1985, when it became the first Air National Guard unit to fly the massive aircraft. The wing conducts strategic airlift missions around the globe.
The unit started out as a fight group, flying F-47 Thunderbolt propeller-driven fighter bombers at the Westchester County Airport as the 137th Fighter Squadron of the New York Air National Guard. In 1953 the 137th Fighter Interceptor Squadron was equipped with F-94 Starfighter jets and in 1958 it changed aircraft once again, flying the famous F-86 Sabrejet.
In 1961 the unit changed from fighters to aeromedical transport, flying C-119 "Flying Boxcars" and C-97 transport planes. In the 1970s the wing's mission shifted to forward air control for the Tactical Air Command, flying O-2A Skymaster aircraft.
In 1982 the wing relocated to Stewart International Airport.
The C-17 Globemaster III is the newest, most flexible cargo aircraft to enter the airlift force. The C-17 is capable of rapid strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases or directly to forward bases in the deployment area. The aircraft can perform tactical airlift and airdrop missions and can also transport litters and ambulatory patients during aeromedical evacuations when required.
The C-17 measures 174 feet long (53 meters) with a wingspan of 169 feet, 10 inches (51.75 meters). The aircraft is powered by four, fully reversible, Federal Aviation Administration-certified F117-PW-100 engines (the military designation for the commercial Pratt & Whitney PW2040), currently used on the Boeing 757. Each engine is rated at 40,440 pounds of thrust. The thrust reversers direct the flow of air upward and forward to avoid ingestion of dust and debris. Maximum use has been made of off-the-shelf and commercial equipment, including Air Force-standardized avionics.
The aircraft is operated by a crew of three (pilot, copilot and loadmaster), reducing manpower requirements, risk exposure and long-term operating costs. Cargo is loaded onto the C-17 through a large aft door that accommodates military vehicles and palletized cargo. The C-17 can carry virtually all of the Army's air-transportable equipment.
Maximum payload capacity of the C-17 is 170,900 pounds (77,519 kilograms), and its maximum gross takeoff weight is 585,000 pounds (265,352 kilograms). With a payload of 169,000 pounds (76,657 kilograms) and an initial cruise altitude of 28,000 feet (8,534 meters), the C-17 has an unrefueled range of approximately 2,400 nautical miles. Its cruise speed is approximately 450 knots (.76 Mach). The C-17 is designed to airdrop 102 paratroopers and equipment.
The design of the aircraft allows it to operate through small, austere airfields. The C-17 can take off and land on runways as short as 3,500 feet (1,064 meters) and only 90 feet wide (27.4 meters). Even on such narrow runways, the C-17 can turn around using a three-point star turn and its backing capability.
The C-17 made its maiden flight on Sept. 15, 1991, and the first production model was delivered to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., June 14, 1993. The first squadron of C-17s, the 17th Airlift Squadron, was declared operationally ready Jan. 17, 1995.
The gigantic C-5 Galaxy, with its tremendous payload capability, provides the Air Mobility Command airlift in support of United States national defense. The C-5 can carry fully equipped combat-ready military units to any point in the world on short notice and then provide field support required to help sustain the fighting force.
The C-5 is one of the largest aircraft in the world and the largest airlifter in the Air Force inventory. The C-5 can carry more than any other airlifter. It has the ability to carry 36 standard pallets and up to 81 troops simultaneously.
The C-5 has the distinctive high T-tail, 25-degree wing sweep, and four TF39 turbofan engines mounted on pylons beneath the wings. These engines are rated at 43,000 pounds of thrust each, and weigh 7,900 pounds (3,555 kilograms) each. They have an air intake diameter of more than 8.5 feet (2.6 meters). Each engine pod is nearly 27 feet long (8.2 meters).
The Galaxy has 12 internal wing tanks with a total capacity of 51,150 gallons (194,370 liters) of fuel -- enough to fill 6 1/2 regular size railroad tank cars. A full fuel load weighs 332,500 pounds (150,820 kilograms). A C-5 with a cargo load of 270,000 pounds (122,472 kilograms) can fly 2,150 nautical miles, offload, and fly to a second base 500 nautical miles away from the original destination -- all without aerial refueling. With aerial refueling, the aircraft's range is limited only by crew endurance.
Lockheed-Georgia Co. delivered the first operational Galaxy to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., in June l970. C-5s are operated by active-duty, Reserve, and Air National Guard crews. They are currently stationed at Dover AFB, Del.; Travis AFB, Calif.; Lackland AFB, Texas; Stewart Air National Guard Base, N.Y.; Martinsburg ANGB, W.V.; Memphis ANGB, Tenn.; Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio and Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.
In March 1989, the last of 50 C-5B aircraft was added to the 76 C-5As in the Air Force's airlift force structure.
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-5. The C-5 Avionics Modernization Program began in 1998 and includes upgrading avionics to communications, navigation, surveillance/air traffic management compliance, improving navigation, communication, and safety equipment, and installing a new autopilot system.
Another part of the modernization plan is a comprehensive Re-engining and Reliability Program. The centerpiece of this program is the General Electric CF6-80C2 commercial engine. This engine delivers a 22 percent increase in thrust to the C-5M, a 30 percent shorter take-off roll, has a 58 percent faster climb rate and will allow significantly more cargo to be carried over longer distances. With its new engine and upgrades, the C-5 becomes the C-5M Super Galaxy.
The 105th Airlift Wing recently completed the interior of the first C-5M and will do the interior for the second aircraft as well.