Air Transportation: Sturdier, More Reliable C-5M Enters Service


May 28, 2006: The U.S. Air Force has received the first of 111 C-5M aircraft. The M version is an upgrade of existing C-5 transports. The refurb replaces any worn structural components, replaces existing engines with more powerful and fuel efficient ones, and installs new electronics. This includes digital controls, a much nicer looking cockpit, all-weather capability and better communications. The C-5M is easier to handle than the older models, and costs a third less to fly as well. The upgrade will cost about $120 million per aircraft, and keep the C-5s flying until 2040. While the M model can carry more weight over longer distances, that was not the main goal of the upgrade. The primary objective was to create an aircraft that was cheaper to fly and operate, and was more reliable and easier to maintain.


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