By John McHale
MARIETTA, Ga.-Leaders of Lockheed Martin Aeronautical Systems of Marietta, Ga., are proposing a $35 million per-plane modernization of the C-5 Galaxy transport fleet primarily by using modular avionics technology their engineers developed for the C-130J four-engine turboprop.
The proposal consists of installing four new engines to increase engine thrust by 22 percent, state-of-the-art avionics, and other system improvements, according to a Lockheed statement.
The C-5 is "big enough to fit six greyhound buses, lined up two abreast," says Julius Alexander, a spokesman for Lockheed Martin Aeronautical.
"There are some minor adjustments to make, but technology in the new C-5s would be interchangeable with that of the C-130J," says Joe McInturff, staff engineer of Lockheed Martin.
Electronic cockpit improvements Lockheed Martin officials are proposing would eliminate all electro-mechanical instruments with multifunction liquid crystal displays (LCDs).
The LCDs for the flight crew would include a primary and navigational display for the pilot, an engine display between the pilot and copilot, a copilot`s display to mirror the pilot`s, and a flight engineer`s LCD to display engine data, McInturff says. Each display is six by eight inches.
A Global Positioning System from the Rockwell International Corp. Collins Avionics and Communications division in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Arinc of Annapolis, Md., also is being installed on the C-5s, he adds.
"With the new technology, the automatic flight control uses only two boxes instead of the previous nine," McInturff says. "The planes are moving from analog technology to digital."
The data bus for the system is a 1 Mbit/s Mil-Std 1553, says McInturff. With the upgrade, U.S. Air Force leaders can use the C-5s until at least 2030, Lockheed officials report in a study commissioned by the Air Force`s San Antonio Air Logistics Center at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas.
The new engine in the C-5 would be the General Electric CF6, which is expected to improve time-to climb to 32,000 feet from 36 minutes to 26 minutes, improve flight range from 5,300 to 5,400 miles, and reduce the giant aircraft`s takeoff roll with enhanced auxiliary power.
Lockheed Martin proposes upgrade of U.S. Airforce C-S Galaxy Transport Aircraft.