The C-5 Galaxy Had a Catastrophic Design Flaw



100 Responses

  1. gospel and trinity

    March 4, 2020 7:25 am

    That airplane also delivers tons of food and supplies to disaster areas. It is a sight to behold as they appear to be nearly hanging in the air and barely moving. I think they enen launched an icbm, maybe a trident, out the back on a parachute.

  2. Gene Ziemba

    March 4, 2020 9:06 am

    Unfortunately there are too many technical and historical flaws in this video to list. Short version: the C-5 as built was a revolutionary design but had a structural weakness in the wing. Re-winging the fleet solved the problem, and allowed the aircraft to serve the nation for more than 40 years.

  3. A Chaps

    March 4, 2020 12:52 pm

    What would’ve been cool is if they made a assault version of the C-5 galaxy. It would’ve been like a scaled up version of the C-130 Hercules, think about it, it could’ve had like 20 howitzer guns, and five M-61 Vulcan 20 mike-mikes along the fuselage

  4. Jim Allen

    March 4, 2020 7:14 pm

    Funny An-124, IL-76, wings are the same design, and they don't have issues. There's other aircraft the same design.
    An-225 is another. Boeing owns the plane now.
    An-124 is the biggest military transport plane in the world. Bigger than C-5. Il-76 must be close

  5. Bob Smith

    March 4, 2020 8:02 pm

    Little bit of footage of the C-141 line in that video. Oh, well. 4 engines, and a T-Tail, it must be a C-5, right?

  6. Paul Marchlewski

    March 4, 2020 9:55 pm

    My dad flew Halifaxes on special duties ops from Brindisi in WW 2, couple of times they had to use extra long range B 24 liberators. He said watching the long Davis wing flexing up and down in turbulence they nearly s..t themselves. Maybe Conso should have added dihedral !

  7. Scott Haskin

    March 4, 2020 10:33 pm

    So many errors, the C5 was a bigger 141 which had anhedral too as do several high wing aircraft and all heavy jet wings are designed to flex! Lockheed wasn't the best at building wings, the L1011 had to have her wings rebuilt too!

  8. Farmer Ted

    March 5, 2020 1:50 am

    747 wings flex upwards of 17’ from start of takeoff roll to takeoff, so 747 wing flex is greater. Your whole video is irrelevant!

  9. Mika Morgan

    March 5, 2020 5:54 am

    It’s funny because this is the first time after a decade of knowing the c-5 that someone said it looked like a 747, I thought I was the only one!

  10. jason moran

    March 5, 2020 10:01 am

    60 years later and still flying with the M model. While the M is very quite, I miss the B whine.

  11. Daniel Waltimire

    March 5, 2020 10:10 am

    The wings cracked in 1974 and Reagan paid to fix the planes? Reagan did not take office until January 1981. So they just flew around with cracked wings for over six years?

  12. Cristian Fiedler

    March 5, 2020 12:49 pm

    Don't forget that the Russians use similar wing design for their monsters AN 225 and AN 124. They still fly even though they are extremely old…

  13. Khắc cảnh lê

    March 5, 2020 1:18 pm

    Doesn't anhedral have to do with stability and not wing flex? All wings flex. This is not a very informative video.

  14. Dennis McCulloch

    March 5, 2020 3:04 pm

    Not a single C-5A ever crashed as a result of the wing cracks. The C-5 has been in service for 50-years, with nothing in sight to replace it. Ronald Reagan was right! It was the right plane at the right time to address the military needs of the nation and the "Free World"!! It is amazing how narrow minded critics creep out of the woodwork years latter. The 747 was originally designed to compete for the role of the C-5…. The 747 went on to be an amazing success in an alternative life, and as a cargo plane hauls massive amounts of time critical cargo to every location on the planet. The two planes spawned by the same requirement have served the world flawlessly.

  15. s0nnyburnett

    March 5, 2020 7:35 pm

    Over exaggerated clickbait. Every new plane runs into some kind of problem, and the cost to fix is practically a bargain to what gets spent today.

  16. Craig Minns

    March 5, 2020 8:17 pm

    The primary reason for anhedral on high wing heavy lift aircraft is to counteract the low CG relative to the centre of lift. With a high wing design, the mass of the plane is well below the wing and with anhedral on the wing, the lift on the outboard wing increases as the plane is rolled to horizontal, assisting the initial roll. The structural consideration is secondary. Similarly, with low wing designs, a flat or slightly dihedral wing helps to counteract the inherent instability of having a CG well above the centre of the roll moment. This is a silly video.

  17. Alex Pendragon

    March 5, 2020 9:02 pm

    They also failed to mention the C-5 crash full of vietnam refugees which grounded the whole fleet and prohibited passengers onboard. In the 70's

  18. AugmentedGravity

    March 5, 2020 9:50 pm

    The early problems with the C-5 are something not contributed to what i would call "design flaw" but the lack of understanding and material science back in those days.

  19. pyro4002

    March 5, 2020 10:05 pm

    All large planes’ wings flex and that is the stupidest explanation I’ve ever heard for the C-5’s wings incorporating some anhedral. Didn’t even manage to find someone who could tell you that was what it’s called. Way to go, Smithsonian YouTube channel!

  20. Martin Smith

    March 5, 2020 10:35 pm

    That’s every wing in every plane ever. They all flex, and generally high wing aircraft have anhedral

  21. Martin Smith

    March 5, 2020 10:36 pm

    That’s every wing in every plane ever. They all flex, and generally high wing aircraft have anhedral

  22. Thomas Chrombly

    March 5, 2020 10:53 pm

    For anyone who has ever bent a paperclip back and forth til it snapped it should be obvious why it was flawed. Aluminum will only flex back and forth so many times til it breaks. I would intuitively think that designing a wing to flex alot purposely would drastically shorten its lifespan.

  23. screddot

    March 5, 2020 11:06 pm

    Did you ever see a B-52 loaded with fuel and bombs. The wings have runners to keep them off the ground. When the B-52 returns, the wing tips are about 12 feet in the air.

  24. TB from KS

    March 6, 2020 12:58 am

    The C-141 and many other aircraft have a high-wing design. It wasn't that innovative, but the size of the C-5 made the flex more problematic. I flew the C-5 from 1973 to 1978, I never felt I was flying a "death trap." The wings had to be strengthened to extend the lifespan of the airframe and it was done long before President Reagan. The unique success of the C-5 airlift to Israel in the Yom Kippur War in 1973 proved the necessity of extending its longevity.

  25. Jeep Cherokee

    March 6, 2020 1:32 am

    The C-5 is capable of flying long distances because of the huge tanks in the wings without refueling. The high wings also have a plus in that the engines are so far off the ground they are less prone to FOD. Most new aircraft are giant vacuum cleaners because the engines are so low to the ground. I have seen heavy tanks loaded, but was really impressed when they load a Semi with a trailer on one.

  26. Retaile23

    March 6, 2020 2:41 am

    In the beginning, the wings were the least of their problems. A rear pressure door blew out and grounded the fleet. MAC was forced to discontinue loading from the rear of the aircraft until a suitable replacement could be implemented. This aircraft had a reputation for being parked at airfields all around the MAC system. Eventually they got their act together at the expense of the C-141 Starlifter.

  27. Poof

    March 6, 2020 2:50 am

    In the end they were convinced by bribes payoffs lobbyists Sniffing Coke off of hookers derrières and pressures by their own political parties, oops did I say something out of place?

  28. Dean Pesci

    March 6, 2020 3:20 am

    Catastrophic?? Did any of the planes go down due to these cracks? Uh NO….I hate bogus video headlines and yours qualifies…..checking you off my list, dude….

  29. Real Engineering

    March 6, 2020 4:33 am

    People are smart. Ye are both over explaining and under explaining. You are describing flutter. It has nothing to do with dihedral angle.

  30. Beena Plumber

    March 6, 2020 4:36 am

    Seriously, what is the point of this video? Once upon a time, a plane had a design problem, and they fixed it, but it was expensive, and they lived happily ever after.

  31. Caleb Davis

    March 6, 2020 4:39 am

    Last year i went to an undisclosed airforce base and saw a couple C-5s, my rotc flight got some cool pictures in front of them that could land me jail time if i ever got caught with them😳

  32. Cajun Engineer

    March 6, 2020 7:13 am

    Lockheed has a long history of not being able to design wing structures. The commercial Electra, the Navy P-3, the C-141, and C-5 all had major problems.

  33. Andrew Craner

    March 6, 2020 7:38 am

    0:55 Do you even airplane? The downward wing (anhedral) is to reduce positive stability about the longitudinal axis, thus preventing Dutch rolls and increasing maneuverability.

  34. Mariachee Bandidos

    March 6, 2020 9:30 am

    when a manufacturer/designer gets the customer to pay to fix a design flaw.
    can you imagine our architect asking you to pay to fix his/her design flaw?

  35. David Lloyd-Jones

    March 6, 2020 12:09 pm

    1.) How does "designing" wings to flex add $20 million to the cost of every plane? Wings flex. That's a fact, not a design choice.
    2.) How does keeping the wings from falling off constitute an "upgrade"? "Yes, sir, you can have the regular Chevrolet, or we can give you the luxury version, with wheels" sort of idea?

  36. LTVoyager

    March 6, 2020 1:16 pm

    All airplanes wings are designed to flex. This was hardly a C-5 innovation. Who makes up this stuff?

  37. Derek Hendricks

    March 6, 2020 3:41 pm

    Most ironic …
    They started with the concept that stiff-wings were too vulnerable to cracking . Then , their flexible – wings started cracking , so they had to stiffen them ! My own experience with metals has shown that ANY repetitive deformation causes metal-fatigue . This means that aircraft wings should be made as strong+stiff as possible . The problem is turbulence , inducing sudden high loads onto the wings . This could make for a bumpy ride!

  38. GUY HALL

    March 6, 2020 3:53 pm

    So what is this "Catastrophic Design Flaw" – you failed to say what it is and even if there is one?

  39. Peter WRight

    March 6, 2020 6:04 pm

    If you copy the antonov which from the historical first flight dates is easy to probe it's easy the problem did not appear by the antonov

  40. Scott Gibson

    March 7, 2020 3:22 am

    Another example of why the US has outspent its nearest adversary by 600 trillion dollars, yes trillion. All of my friends who work for defense contractors will tell you they are over paid and under worked. I will admit its a beautiful transport, my cousin used to pilot them.

  41. cutlass19700

    March 7, 2020 5:59 am

    I am very familiar with the C5 but I must say, @ 3:20, it's the first time I had the Thunderbird 2 from Thunderbirds are go pop into my head !
    Probably that green paint combined with the shape of the nose is what did it.

  42. IRON60 BITCH

    March 7, 2020 6:57 am

    The wings are higher because you need much bigger engines underneath that’s why the Boeing company try to pull a fast one with their new plane upgrade

  43. scasey1960

    March 7, 2020 2:03 pm

    Why didn’t shareholders absorb the cost of fixing the design errors? Because the US privatizes profits while socializes losses. It’s socialism for corporations and rugged capitalism for individuals. Call it what it is.

  44. Julio Gonzo

    March 7, 2020 2:48 pm

    Watched 2 c5s land at cfb Trenton when I was a kid. So big they look almost like they're hovering on approach

  45. gmcjetpilot

    March 7, 2020 2:54 pm

    I'm 35 years structural engineer and this video is awful. Complete sensationalism death trap) and ignorance. No C5 wing ever failed. All wings flex. Loads being higher than calculated caused fatigue. Cracks don't mean failure. They beefed wing up. Success.

  46. mayo

    March 7, 2020 5:38 pm

    The explanation of the wing angle as the design flaw makes no sense. All wings flex. The anhedral angle for the high wing destabilizes the aircraft to increase turning performance, in addition to the low aircraft floor for cargo. A high wing dihedral would be too stable to turn due to the coupled yaw and rolling forces. The flaw is the wings were just not strong enough


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