Saturday, September 9, 2017

United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy 87-0032 Departs Rockhampton Airport for RAAF Base Richmond as "Reach 340"

After arriving into Rockhampton Airport late on Tuesday 5 September and literally sitting on Gate 6 on the Southern end of the parking apron, unable to be loaded, the visiting United States Air Force (USAF) Lockheed C-5M Super Galaxy (L-500) 87-0032 departed to RAAF Base Richmond on Saturday 9 September again as "Reach 340".

Due to the wingspan of the Super Galaxy and the lack of visibility from the flight-deck back to the wings, it was interesting to see one of the crew members pop out of the top of the aircraft to monitor clearances etc.  It was certainly a tight squeeze for the massive aircraft to get out of Gate 6 at Rockhampton Airport - along with the relatively tight turns to get back onto Taxiway Kilo, Juliette and then Bravo before back-tracking on Runway 15.


Sadly, the mighty aircraft reportedly had maintenance issues once at Rocky that centred around its front landing gear which it seemed was unable to be raised to allow the Galaxy to be loaded.  It was reported that after departure from Rocky, the Galaxy would fly South with its landing gear down - however the last few long distance photos suggest that while the main landing gear was down for some time, it eventually looked to be raised as "Reach 340" established on its Southbound track.  The position of the front landing gear can't be seen.

As mentioned below, the Galaxy reportedly came to Rockhampton Airport to transport one of two Combatant Craft Medium (CCM) Mk 1 Stealth Boats which are operated by the United States Navy SEAL's.

It has been reported that once repairs are complete at Richmond, 87-0032 will return to Rockhampton Airport during the latter part of next week to transport one, or even both, of the Navy SEAL's Shadowy Multi-Mission Stealth Speedboats.

Of interest, the Galaxy 87-0032 is flown by the USAF's 22nd Airlift Squadron (22nd AS) "Mulies" which is part of the 60th Air Mobility Wing based at Travis Air Force Base in California.

It is the 26th USAF C-5 to be converted to a C-5M 'Super Galaxy' which features new General Electric F138-GE-100 (CF6-80C2) engines, pylons and auxiliary power units, upgrades to aircraft skin and frame, landing gear, pressurisation systems and modernised avionics designed to extend its service life beyond 2040.

Be sure to stay tuned to the CQ Plane Spotting Blog for all the latest news and updates on the movements of the mighty USAF C-5M Super Galaxy - along with other rumoured movements into Rockhampton Airport this coming week - via our Facebook page:

Sincere thanks to local plane spotters Travis W and Daniel B for taking the time to capture and send through these great photos of the Galaxy departing Rockhampton Airport!

Photos taken by Travis Whiting and Daniel Bishop  ©

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