Generally speaking, photos of aircraft in action show these machines from underneath. The simple explanation for this is that most of the time the one taking the photo is on the ground, while the aircraft in its natural element. But, from time to time, we do get to see what hides on top, and in some cases the view is just as impressive as the one from below.
Photo: U.S. Air National Guard/Airman 1st Class Tiffany A Emery
What you’re looking at in the main pic of this piece (click photo to enlarge) is a C-5 Galaxy flying out of the same place these winged beast usually call home, the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. An Airman 1st Class flying in an undisclosed plane nearby, at a slightly higher altitude, managed to snap a photo of it, showing to the world the up side of the plane, a look just as impressive as all others when it comes to this particular beast.
The Galaxy was flying to a date with a KC-135 Stratotanker with the 121st Air Refueling Wing, flying out of Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base in Ohio as part of an exercise that eventually saw the C-5 connect with two of these flying gas stations.
The C-5 is one of the oldest military transport airplanes in operation. It was born all the way back in the 1970s, but it is presently at the center of a massive modernization effort conducted by Lockheed Martin. Coming out the other end of this process as the C-5M Super Galaxy, the airplane is likely to be kept into service for at least three more decades.
The thing will get new engines and avionics, but the overall capabilities in terms of cargo will remain about the same. The Galaxy can take off weighing as much as 920,000 lbs (417,305 kg), with the plane itself tipping the scale when empty at 380,000 lbs (172,365 kg).
Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies. Full profile
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