I saw an unusual looking plane take off from my local airport the other day.

Huge. Four jet engines and a high tail wing, so I guess it was a C5. At first I thought it was a 737, but not with a high tail wing. Could have been a C-141. No record of a c5 or any other four engine jet taking off or landing during that time when I look at the history.

In fact, according to Flight Aware, there is never any C5’s flying. So I assume the records for C5’s are blocked?


FA does not track most military.

I believe that the C-141 is out of service with the U.S. Air Force. It has reached the end of its service life and has been replaced with the C-17.

Just to be nosey, what is your local airport?

Oh! Welcome to Flight Aware.


…or with four engines.
…or with wings over the fuselage.
…or with that distinct whine.
…or the fact that nearly every 737 is a passenger jet, whereas the C-5 is (and looks like) a large transport.
…or that this plane’s turds are bigger than a 737.

Other than that, they’re practically identical. :wink:


You are correct about the C-141’s. The last flight was last year when the “Hanoi Taxi” made the very short flight from Wright Patterson Air Force Base to the USAF Museum at the base.


NASA had a C-141. Is it still active?


According to our friends at Wikipedia, it is in storage at Edwards AFB.


"The KAO was de-commissioned to make way for the 747 version IR observatory which should have been airborne in 1998. It has been in construction since 1997. It may fly in 2006. NASA may7 get to restart IR observatory flights in 2007. "




Thanks. I knew it was still listed in my copy of JP Airlines Fleets 2006/07 but I didn’t recall if it said it was still active.


A C-5 has a very distinct whine to the engines. Once you’ve heard you’ll be able to recognize the whine when you see a t-tail aircraft. The C-141’s are all gone as others have said. The C-17 is the other option and you can tell the C-17 by the turned up wingtips (I forget the real name for those). The C-17 is about as long as the C-141 was, but the C-17 is almost as fat as the C-5. The C-5 would look like a monster sitting next to a C-17 if you saw them together.


The C-17 has blended winglets, and the C-5 may soon sound like many other widebodies if they re-engine it with the CF6-80C2.


Just saw this amazing photo of a C-17 yesterday. Amazing.


It’s been awhile, but I think I remember hearing that the C-17 was designed to land and take off of unpaved surfaces, which might explain the dust cloud.

Anyone else heard this, or am I smoking crack?


While it doesn’t offer any proof either way as to whether or not you’re a crackhead, yes the C-17 was designed to operate from “unimproved” or improvised airstrips.


Yes, the C-17 was designed to make the military more “mobile” by enabling it to get troops and equipment on the ground at just about any small airstrip (paved or unpaved) around the world. The design phase of it actually started during the cold war. I remember hearing about this a/c on the local news as a kid, as I believe that much of the R&D was done at Rockwell Automation in Columbus, OH.


You’re right, as the others have said, about it being capable of operating at unimproved strips, but KRAL is a paved airport. Engines 1 and 4 were hanging out in the ‘rough’, causing the dust.
What I found most amazing about the picture is not the dust cloud, but the deck angle and early bank of such a gigantic airplane. Must have been practicing a combat extraction takeoff.


I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get this started.

I saw a really big 4 engine plane with an elevated tailwing and wondered why I couldn’t “see” it in the records of the airport. That’s all I wanted ask.

I mistyped 737 when I meant 747. I couldn’t hear any “whine” because it was too far away to hear anything. I caught a glimpse of it for all of 3 seconds, so please excuse me for not IDing it properly right away.

We usually only see those when the President (or his minions) is coming and they are dropping off some heavy limos. The newspapers have not reported any Washington big shots arriving any time soon.

They cost us big bucks every time they come here since the local sheriff has to provide security for them. In other words, Bush costs me tax money when he comes here to raise political “funds” a/k/a bribes.

I am 11 miles NNW of KMCO.


Like every other politician. At least he hasn’t kept his plane on the ground for 2 hours, holding up traffic, while getting a haircut like billy jeff did.


–At least he hasn’t kept his plane on the ground for 2 hours, holding up traffic, while getting a haircut like billy jeff did.–

How do you know that? Last I heard info like that was “classified.”


LAX a few years back.


LAX? You must have an inside track.

So tell me why a C5 lands in Mouse Town last week.
C’mon, you are a smart guy.


It was on the news.
C5 landing in MCO? Any number of reasons. Picking up/dropping off military gear and/or personnel, flight instruction, emergency…