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Unique C-5 completes major inspection

A C-5M Space Cargo Modified (SCM) Super Galaxy,  sits on the flight line July 21, 2016, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. This C-5 has just completed a Major Isochronal Inspection and is ready to return to its home station, Travis AFB, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

A C-5M Space Cargo Modified Super Galaxy sits on the flightline at Dover Air Force Base, Del., July 21, 2016. This C-5 completed a major isochronal Inspection and returned to its home station at Travis AFB, Calif. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

A C-5M Space Cargo Modified (SCM) Super Galaxy’s cargo compartment on the flight line July 21, 2016, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. This C-5 is one of only two that has this configuration. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

The inside of a C-5M Space Cargo Modified Super Galaxy’s cargo compartment at Dover Air Force Base, Del., July 21, 2016. This C-5 is only one of two that has the SCM configuration. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Zachary Cacicia)

DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. (AFNS) -- Dover Air Force Base is home to a fleet of 18 C-5M Super Galaxy intercontinental-range strategic airlifters, the Air Force’s largest transport aircraft. It’s also home to the service’s only facility capable of conducting major isochronal inspections on them.

During the past two months, a C-5M Space Cargo Modified (SCM) Super Galaxy underwent a major ISO inspection inside the 436th Maintenance Squadron’s ISO dock here.

This C-5M SCM, originally a C-5A model assigned to Travis AFB, California, was modified into a C-5C model, one of only two such models ever made. It was modified to carry large cargo, such as satellites. The main difference between the C-5C and others is its lack of a troop compartment and it has different aft doors. It also has two places to plug in external power, for both the aircraft and a payload canister.

The aircraft arrived May 16 to undergo the inspection. This is just one reoccurring phase of an eight-year maintenance schedule that all C-5s undergo.

During an ISO inspection, aircraft maintainers strip down the C-5 looking for any deficiencies, faults, cracks or any other problem in every system of the aircraft. For the Airmen in the ISO dock, this C-5 created a few unique challenges while undergoing maintenance and inspection.

“A bridge had to be built to allow access into the hayloft of the aircraft due to the lack of having the normal troop compartment,” said John Greim, a 436th MXS production controller. “ISO personnel brainstormed how to build a bridge and with the use of a B-2 stand prepositioned into the cargo bay we gained access to the hayloft. This had to go through wing safety approval, quality assurance approval, engineering assist and finally maintenance group approval to allow use of the bridge to complete our inspections and repairs.”

Coordination with Travis AFB was also required.

“The aircraft has different aft doors than any other C-5,” Greim said. “We had to pre-coordinate with Travis to ensure they sent us a qualified maintainer that could operate the aft doors for reconfiguring of the aircraft for our process.”

The inspection and maintenance is now complete and this C-5 is ready to return to its home station and continue its mission.

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