Re: C-5 to 747?

Date:         10 Dec 97 04:05:01 
From:         kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz)
Organization: Chicago Software Works, Menlo Park, California
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>Lets face it, history has shown that if Boeing would have received the
>C5 contract the Air Force and taxpayer would have been better served. The
>B747 design has always carried more payload farther, faster, with more
>reliability that the C5A or C5B.

Since as Marin explained, the 747 bears little resemblance to Boeing's
proposal for the C-5 competition, I'm not sure what you base that on.
The C-5 doesn't need to fly farther because it's optimized for maximum
cargo lift, not range (the range of a fully loaded 747-400F isn't all
that impressive, BTW), and it can refuel in the air if necessary.  As
with all military aircraft, reliability requirements aren't the same
since miltary aircraft fly far less often than commercial aircraft,
and maintenance economics can be sacrificed (to some degree) for
higher performance.

As for payload, the C-5B only slightly exceeds the maximum payload
weight of a 747-400F, but a far more important requirement is that it
handle extremely bulky and/or dense payloads, and be able to support
loading and unloading of those payloads at minimally equipped airports,
not to mention landing on unpaved runways.  An M1A1 Abrams battle tank
cannot fit in a 747, and if it could, the cargo deck floor couldn't
support it.  The C-5 can take it on with no ground support to help.

>Boeing makes big aircraft better....

Many would say that it took Boeing a decade to come close to the
technology of the L-1011 TriStar (with the 767), and about 25 years
to surpass it (with the 777).  The C-130 Hercules is another example
of Lockheed building damned good large transports.  The C-5, for
whatever reasons, seems to have been an anomaly amongst Lockheed's
transports (and other planes) in being such a turkey in its early

Karl Swartz	|Home
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