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Why isn't the C-141, C-5 or C-17 being sold in a civilian version?

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posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 10:47 AM
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I look around and see civilian versions of the C-130 and AN-24, among other former military aircraft. Why not the C-141, C-5 or C-17? Is it because of a contract that they remain military only?

Lots of Starlifters being chopped up at Davis-Montham AFB, but still quite a few sitting out there. They probably would not make a good firefighting aircraft, but it seems to me that a logistics company could use them. Same goes for Galaxies.




posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 11:49 AM
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a reply to: TDawgRex

In the case of the C5 Galaxy transport aircraft, the reason is probably because it is just gynormously huge.

Only the military needs to ship that much cargo.

Image



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 11:51 AM
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a reply to: TDawgRex

There isn't much interest on the civilian market. Starlifters and Galaxies sitting out at AMARC are past due on fatigue for civilian operators. You aren't going to invest in infrastructure (and try to develop a supply line) for C-141's when neither the aircraft nor the parts are being made anymore -- especially when you're going to have to deal with fatigue issues in a few years. Galaxies provide a semi-unique ability, but at a prohibitive cost per hour. All those planes are over-engineered for the civilian market. Boeing pitched civil C-17's, but the market wasn't there to justify production. Lockheed pitched civil versions of both the Starlifterand Galaxy, but couldn't find enough buyers when they were new. Lifting power of a C-5 isn't much more than a 747 freighter. C-17 and C-141 can haul less than the 747 freighter. The 747 is also in widespread service and finding parts and qualified crew (in the air and ground) are not an issue. If you need roll-on, roll-off capability or oversize cargo cability, it is cheaper to lease an AN-124 than it is to operate a C-17 or C-5.

I'd love to see a Starlifter in the air again, but it isn't going to happen. Maybe Boeing rehabs a few C-17's in the distant future after they get retired, but I assume Boeing will have another civil product capable of handling freight by that time for far cheaper.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 11:55 AM
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a reply to: TDawgRex

About the only people that would need something that size are the cargo companies, and they can move everything on 747 and 777 sized aircraft. It would be cool as hell to see a FedEx C-17 but the market just isn't there.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 11:56 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

A B747-400F carries about the same tonnage. It isn't quite as easy to load, but it is a hell of a lot cheaper than operating a C-5. Companies are a lot more concerned with things like fuel costs, maintenance costs, and availability than the military is. The C-5 provided a necessary niche for the military. It can do things the 747 can't do (like carry MBTs). But at a high cost. Air cargo companies don't have much call for carrying tanks. And if they did, they can lease a AN-124 flight.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 11:59 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

Actually large aircraft like that would come in handy sometimes. The engines used on the 777 are too big to be shipped easily by air. They either have to pull the fan section and ship it in two pieces, or lease a Condor to carry it.

There just isn't enough demand for the rest of the time to justify it.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 12:10 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58


There just isn't enough demand for the rest of the time to justify it.

No one but the military needs big things to get there that fast, either.

There are ships for heavy loads.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 12:14 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

There are times when the airlines do, which would have been the primary reason for something that size.

But cargo does sometimes need to go fast in large amounts, just not large enough to justify anything bigger than a 747.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 02:19 PM
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It isn't feasible to have those planes if you have other, cheaper models that can already fill the requirement in civilian life.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 02:24 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

Or because cargo 747's are ubiquitous with a mature maintenance chain at commercial freight depots.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 04:52 PM
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a reply to: TDawgRex

If you hIt's cheaper to rent an Antonov 225 from Air Charter Service, Ltd., than to buy something.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 06:46 PM
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a reply to: mbkennel

I think they will begin to show in the private sector once they reach term limits of their useful service life.

Like the C 130s that are being used or were being used to put out fires?



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 06:52 PM
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a reply to: intrptr

And they'll have the same problem. They'll have to buy older aircraft, just like with the fire fighting aircraft. That means either a major repair/upgrade to replace the parts that fail earliest, or a limited flight regime.



posted on Oct, 2 2014 @ 10:02 PM
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To use them on regular commercial services requires them to obtain civilian certification - and since they were never built to civilian standards that is likely impossible, or at least horrendously expensive.

the L-100 civilian Hercules was developed alongside the original military versions back in the late 50's early 60's, and Lockheed Martin were thinking of developing a civilian type-certified version of the 130J in the 1990's, but put it on hold, and recentlyre-announced the LM-100J.

the An-124's "get away" with being Russian certified and operated by states that accept Russian certification standards - which are generally lower than "Western" ones.

civil ex-military C-130's used for forest fire fighting and agricultural applications in the USA are ex-military, and like most ex-military aircraft have a restricted airworthiness certificate that does not let them engage in freight or passenger transport operations.
edit on 2-10-2014 by Aloysius the Gaul because: Add noet about C-130's in USA



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