SAN ANTONIO - They are the soundtrack of life in southwest San Antonio.
C-5M Galaxy airplanes are constantly overhead, as the 433rd Airlift Wing operates out of Joint Base San Antonio – Lackland.
This amazing machine is the biggest thing the U.S. Air Force flies.
Reservist Peter Stipetech sums it up nicely.
"It’s an amazing machine," the second generation pilot exclaimed from the cockpit.
The C-5 M Galaxy is a very big girl with marvelous measurements.
From nose to tail, she is 247 feet and they say her cargo bay is longer than the Wright brothers entire first flight.
Her wings stretch 222 feet and to climb aboard is to ascend almost sixty feet.
Engineers have packed this plane with features that make for fast and furious transfers of life-saving cargo.
Empty, she weighs in at a dainty 400-thousand pounds and can carry 51-thousand gallons of fuel.
Stipetech said when people learn he flies these giant machines, the most popular question he gets is about the wonder of how these aircraft work.
The Loadmasters who pack the plane for flight say
it is a matter of weight and balance.
Kevin Foerster is a Citizen Airman with years of experience as a Loadmaster.
Foerster said there is a formula for success.
"Making sure it’s securely tied down and then the weight and balance, which is a teeter effect, which is putting the heaviest piece of equipment toward the center of the airplane and then balancing out lighter equipment to the front or the back.
While balance is crucial, so is raw power.
Stipetech said when the fleet received upgrades recently, the airplanes were made quieter and engine modifications made the planes stronger than ever.
“It’s a hot rod!" Stipetich said.
Hot rods that will fly the friendly skies of San Antonio for years to come, with help from Citizen Airmen who faithfully serve in the Air Force Reserves.
Stipetech said, "We’re doing everything we can to get the mission down the road, but do it safely."
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