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Video - C-5 Galaxy, biggest cargo aircraft in the US Air Force

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Operating exclusively within the US Air Force for nearly five decades, the C-5 Galaxy is still the biggest US military cargo aircraft. When American manufacturer Lockheed built it in 1969, it was also the largest aircraft in the world. Measuring a whopping 250 feet long (76m), 223 feet across (68m), and 65ft tall (20m), this monster can easily swallow up two M1 Abrams tanks, six Apache helicopters or ten light armoured vehicles in its hold, and then transport them up to 5,000 miles (8,000 km).

A special feature of the C-5 Galaxy strategic airlifter is its ability to lower down to ground level to enable the loading and unloading of equipment via its nose, which lifts open and its access ramp to the back. Another defining feature is its four main landing gears, each consisting of six wheels, two in front and four behind, which pivot 90° on themselves to take up minimum hold space.

With a total of 131 C5s delivered in various versions until 1989, about 50 still operate today and should continue flying until 2040. For the record, although Boeing failed to win the US Air Force tender, it retained and developed its project, which went on to become the Boeing 747.

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