Fred's development is a story unto itself. When it began its career I was a student at The University of Dayton. The airplane was in its flight testing phase at Wright-Pat AFB. The primary runway at WPAFB puts UD's campus directly under the flight paths of arriving or departing A/C. The C-5 looked like 28 piss-ants (the landing gear) trying to carry a loaf of bread (the fuselage). It's TOO big to fly!!! But USAF stuck with it and this A/C has become much more than it was originally meant to be. The landing gear was a design mess. The gear is designed to tilt, level, squat, and turn to track the runway while the plane was in a definite crab on final. If memory serves me it was 1972 when Fred was flying everywhere it went with his wheels down and pinned the entire trip. Eventually, the engineers and designers were able to work out the bugs and make the plane a true mission workhorse. It currently employs a glass cockpit and is a true "Million" pound lifter. In October of 1973 we were involved with saving the nation of Israel from the Arab invasion. USAF put an exercise into work that had us flying 24/8 hrs. shifts from Loges AFB, Azores into Tel Aviv and back. Most crews spent anywhere from 6-10 hrs. sitting on the ground in Tel Aviv waiting to be unloaded, and moving their A/C as the line progressed to the depot. Technically we were flying over no other country's airspace but I knew crews that were over N. Africa trying to evade thunderstorms. I also knew of crews reporting flight security provided by the Syrian AF as they wanted NO part of radicals downing one of our C-141s or C-5s. Operation "Night Reach" or "Operation Nickel-Grass" was the largest airlift operation ever flown! We liked to think we save the nation of Israel from extinction, as many world leaders claimed. Our unit, the 30th MAS at McGuire AFB, N.J. received a hand-signed letter of thanx from Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of Israel. Reportedly, every unit that participated in this operation received a similar letter. We were expected to maintain our silence about this operation but my late grandmother was the person who alerted my family of our work. She was an avid reader of National Geographic magazine. The next summer (1974) she read a very detailed story about the entire operation in Natgeo. That article had information i was unaware of.
Fred's development is a story unto itself. When i... (show quote
Thanks for the story! Always happy to see new information that doesn't appear in Wikipedia. Thanks for your service and have a great weekend.