Testers “Shake” Modified C-5

Air Force Flight Test Center engineers at Edwards AFB, Calif., designed special plywood and metal ramps to shake—in a specific way—a C-5 airlifter, fitted with new engines and pylons. They needed to test the aircraft’s structural strength and flexibility in what they term “dynamic taxi testing,” since the new CF6 engines and their accompanying pylons are heavier than the original TF-39 engines. Using the special ramps demonstrates that the revamped C-5 can withstand combat area conditions, where the runways may be “bumpier sometimes due to repaired battle damage,” said Capt. Aaron Tucker, 418th Flight Test Squadron C-5 experimental pilot. Jessica Wojtanowski, a 418th FTS flight test engineer, noted that this taxi testing is “only a fraction” of the full Reliability Enhancement and Re-Engining Program testing in store for the mammoth C-5.