CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – You’ll still see them in the skies, but they won’t sound the same.
Westover Air Reserve Base’s entire C-5 Galaxy fleet is out being modernized into a fleet of C-5 M Super Galaxy models, and will return with brand new engines among other upgrades.
The engines won’t only make the aircraft more fuel-efficient, they’re also much quieter than the engines of the C-5A and C-5B models residents of the Pioneer Valley are used to hearing.
Westover’s C-5 B models left one-by-one for modernization and will return one-by-one beginning late Spring. The base’s entire fleet of eight C-5 Ms are expected to be in place by summer 2018.
Lockheed Martin does the upgrades, which Westover said was badly needed. “Those older engines have been hanging on those airplanes since 1987,1988,” Lt. Col. Jordan Murphy explained. “We are talking about a 30-year-old engine and we were starting to see some reliability issues, so we were really hopeful. These are the same basic engines that hang on the 747-400’s.”
The controls on the upgraded C-5 Ms will be slightly different, so flight crews will have to be re-trained. Westover wants to assure people the sound of the new engines will be more like a commercial jet landing at Bradley.