Morning Symphony: The Scream Of The C-5 Galaxy At Full Song

Morning Symphony: The Scream Of The C-5 Galaxy At Full Song

When I explain to people what I did before Brian and Chad decided that I’d work out fine here, I often get strange looks…”wait a minute. You were working on planes and helicopters…now you write about cars?” Yep. It’s funny how life works out sometimes and I can honestly say that there are some days where I really miss being on the airfield. Every time I’m near an airport and I can smell the jet fuel and hear the turbines running, there is a part of me that happily screams, “I’m HOME!” like a little kid running for the door. Working on an airport’s flightline might not be glamorous, but working on military airfields…ok, it wasn’t glamorous either, but I wasn’t hucking twenty tons of vacation luggage into a Boeing, either.

My first airfield was Robert Gray Army Airfield on West Ford Hood. The sun was hot, the helicopters were plentiful and I was all of nineteen years old, entrusted with wrenching on Kiowa Warriors. Let that thought settle in your head for a moment. The cool thing about working on RGAAF was that it doubles as a joint-use and commercial airport as well, so from my hangar, I’d get to see all sorts of large craft come flying in and out. The biggest, by far, were the Galaxys. The C-5 airframe is a monster, able to pack in six Apache gunships in it’s gut with no issue whatsoever. Watching the thing fly into the airfield was like watching a cloud crossing the sky…in fact, if you were leaving West Fort Hood and a C-5 was inbound, the visual effect made it appear that the plane was stuck in the sky. All neat points for one of the world’s largest aircraft, but the pinnacle was the noise that the huge Lockheed’s TF-49 made when spooled up to full-kill. Unlike other jets, like the C-17 or the commercial aircraft that simply made a loud woosh noise, the Galaxy has a scream, a very distinctive one at that, that you could almost feel within the depths of the hangar, let alone out on the line watching the F.R.E.D. (f**king ridiculous economic disaster) as it took to the skies!

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3 thoughts on “Morning Symphony: The Scream Of The C-5 Galaxy At Full Song

  1. Blu67RS

    Yeah, they are cool to watch ’em fly as I get to do whenever they’re in the air. Awesome sounds too….unless you live close enough to the Air Guard base to be under their flight path

  2. Mark Walter

    I spent my entire career on the C-5, most of it flying as a flight engineer. We always referred to the sound of the TF-39 as the ‘sound of freedom’ It’s much quieter now with the new GE-CF6 engines. Now I can it the quiet warrior… 🙂

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