• C-5M Super Galaxy

    C-5M Super Galaxy For FS2004 And FSX By Area 51

    By Bill Stack (3 January 2010)


    Screen shots by Area 51



    The Lockheed C5 Galaxy is a huge military transport aircraft providing heavy airlift over intercontinental distances and carrying cargo that is too large for other military transports. Among the world's larger aircraft, it has been operated by the United States Air Force since 1969. The C5-M is the latest version with high-powered engines, flap-panel instrument displays, and upgraded avionics, among other improvements.

    Area 51 is a Turkish flight-simulations company operated by brothers Engin Turgut Piskin and Tolga Piskin.

    The C-5M Super Galaxy was chosen because they thought this would be a "cool entrance" to the military flightsim market.

    Real-world photos of the C-5 Galaxy are available from Airliners.Net and Wikipedia.


    PURCHASE FEATURES

    Instant download from the Pilot Shop

    YES

    Installation program

    YES

    Registration key required

    YES

    License agreement required

    NO

    Uninstall program included

    NO

    Manual included

    YES




    Major Features

    Area 51 shows these among many features of its C-5M Galaxy:

    • Different files for FS2004 and FSX.

    • Very high detail exterior and interior

    • Photoreal textures

    • Detailed doors and cargo bays

    • 2D panel

    • Flight manual

    • Paint kit





    View From the Ground


    Cruising

    Cockpit Closeup

    Exterior Views

    Screen Shots by Bill Stack




    Visual Features

    This aircraft shows considerable attention to accuracy, detail, and display inside and out.

    • The basic aircraft, its cabin, its and instrument panels are very accurate compared with real-world photographs I found on the Internet.

    • Everything outside such as engines, flaps, slats, landing gear, and windows appears as seen in real-world photos.

    • Outside control surfaces such as flaps, slats, ailerons, rudders and landing gear move realistically, and the engines rotate.

    • Everything inside such as the basic instrument panel, seats, and cargo bay appears as seen in real-world photos.

    • Controls inside the cockpit such as throttle and spoiler levers and switches move realistically.

    • The front and back cargo doors and side doors open and close as seen in real-world photos. They work by toggling certain keys on the simulator's keyboard. As the doors open and close, the ramps and ladders unfold and fold.

    • Night effects seem true inside and out. The crew cabin is dark except for the instrument panel lights. The aircraft exterior is dark at night instead of appearing like a plastic box illuminated from inside.

    • Frame rates are good. They ranged between 15 and 30 during my vigorous flight tests, and the simulator never hesitated or skipped.

    • Low resolution in some areas of the virtual 3D panel and on some of its instruments makes reading them difficult. As an example, the checklist calls for 32-degrees or 80-percent flaps on take off, but I couldn't tell which position was 32 degrees. In fact, I can't read any position above 15. Similarly, some labels on the center console are unreadable. The developer is aware of the problem and promises to issue a correcting patch.





    View From the Back

    Back Area

    View From Pilot's Seat

    C-5 Cockpit

    Screen shots by Bill Stack





    Left View

    Right View

    Left-Seat View

    2D Panel

    C-5 Instrument Panel

    Screen shots by Bill Stack




    Nice Features

    The 11-page user manual in Adobe Acrobat format presents information in pictures, charts, and complete sentences to enable flight simmers to enjoy this aircraft without being overwhelming.

    The engine auto-start feature starts each of the four engines in proper sequence.

    The landing-gear retraction is fascinating, as the multi-wheeled gear twist 90 degrees before folding up into the huge wheel wells and back out again.

    The opening and closing doors and their associated steps, ladders, and ramps are impressive, especially during operations.

    Leading-edge slats and trailing flaps move realistically and give the aircraft a powerful appearance on take-off and landing.

    Renderings of the crew cabin and cargo bay are realistic and accurately detailed compared with real-world photos I found on the Internet.

    Details inside and outside this aircraft do not bog down the simulator, which is a pleasant treat.

    Being available for FS2004 and FSX makes the product a greater value for the price. Users of both simulator versions don't need to pay twice for the same aircraft.



    Night & Dusk Effects

    Screen shots by Bill Stack




    Technical Features

    A 2D instrument panel is included. Some flight simmers and product developers say 2D cockpits are useless, while others like them. I find 2D cockpits easier to use than panning around 3D cockpits to read instruments and work controls.

    The GPS unit is available in a large popup window.

    Comprehensive checklists and reference data are in the separate manual. There are no checklists or reference data in the kneeboard where I usually find such very handy.

    There are no popups for engine controls (throttles, mixture, propeller pitch), or radio stack as is typical in most MSFS aircraft. Users must zoom in on the 3D panel and pan left and right to read instruments and control labels. I find this awkward during demanding maneuvers such as take-offs and landings.

    Checklists and the reference sheet are in the manual only. Having these data in the kneeboard is handy in my opinion because they can be easily accessed during flight. Otherwise, the manual must be kept open in a separate program or printed for use as a hard copy.

    Some performance data are unavailable. The checklist says "Make sure fuel supply is adequate for the intended flight," but I couldn't find any data to enable calculation of fuel needs such as range, cruising speed, or endurance. Similarly, the checklist says "The aircraft takes several minutes to reach cruising speed after reaching cruising altitude," but I couldn't find anything about either performance factor. There is no reference sheet, the details window in the aircraft-selection menu is blank, and my search of the manual turned up nothing. Area 51 Simulations said these data omissions will be corrected in an upcoming patch.

    Sounds are taken from the Boeing 737. It seems to me that if the developers cannot find or make sound files unique to this aircraft that they would use sound files from another heavy turbojet such as the Boeing 747. The developer told me that unique sounds were being developed.



    Lifting Off

    Low-Altitude Maneuvers

    View From the Tower


    C-5 Galaxy in Flight

    Screen shots by Bill Stack




    Flight Modeling

    I tested this aircraft as thoroughly as I could, including high power, low power, climbs, glides, and landings.

    Users who know how to fly large, heavy turbojets such as a 747 or 777 will enjoy this aircraft because it is every bit as challenging and rewarding. Like all heavy turbojets, it requires precise attention to engine readings, airspeeds, flaps, and other performance factors. All these data are provided in the separate manual in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Users without heavy-jet experience will find this aircraft very challenging at first, but it will be a good learning experience. It also exemplifies the need for a copilot and emphasizes the lack thereof in home flight simulation. But we flight simmers can pause any time to read the checklists!

    • If the take-off checklist is followed precisely, the aircraft rotates and lifts off at the recommended 135 KIAS. This would vary of course with airport elevation, aircraft weight, and wind speed and direction, as is true with any aircraft of this size and cargo capacity.

    • As one example of the usefulness of a copilot: The checklist calls for maintaining 175 KIAS while climbing out and to retract flaps when 1,000 FT (305 M) above terrain. While you're concentrating on pitch to maintain the recommended airspeed, this behemoth passes through the retract-flaps altitude before you know it!

    • Once aloft, this aircraft handles like any other huge, heavy turbojet. It responds slowly to all control input. Patience is required because this aircraft does not respond quickly to excessive control, which is typical of heavy turbojets. If you're climbing too quickly, it continues climbing too quickly while you're trying to lower its pitch. If you overcorrect, it starts descending and gaining airspeed. All this is part of flying a huge jet aircraft.

    • I was unable to test with any engines out because there are no switches for cutting off engines or fuel supplies.

    • As with any huge aircraft, this C-5M Galaxy requires very close attention to performance data while landing. Flaps, airspeed, and descent rate must be precise, or this aircraft will fall to the ground on approach or overshoot the runway. The approach/landing checklist in the manual provides specific data for this purpose. As with any huge turbojet with a wide range of variable weight, those data would differ under various weight conditions, so lots of experimentation and practice are required. A sharper flaps gauge is needed for correct flaps deflection, however.




    Front Cargo Door & Ramp Rear Cargo Door & Ramp All Doors Open Landing-Gear Operations

    C-5M Super Galaxy Details

    Screen shots by Bill Stack





    Cover Page

    Flaps Card

    Checklist

    C-5M Super Galaxy Manual

    Screen shots by Bill Stack




    Screen Shots

    My screen shots were made with FSX display settings on "default" because that's what I presume most flight simmers would be using and the developer does not recommend any special settings. I tested with the frame rate set on "30" and "unlimited" to see what rates were possible while flying this aircraft, and they were always within acceptable range, usually in the 20s and 30s.


    Summary

    This aircraft for FS2004 and FSX provides plenty of challenge and reward for flight simmers who want to simulate flight in a huge, heavy turbojet aircraft. It handles appropriately for such an aircraft, and it requires the usual attention to performance data and factors. Users should read the manual thoroughly to understand this complicated aircraft's needs and nuances. The challenges of simulating flight in this complicated and demanding aircraft will provide flight simmers with hours of challenge, reward, and enjoyment, as will the very learning of how to fly it. To enable realistic simulation, however, significant performance data are needed, and resolution of the instrument panel needs improvement. The developer acknowledges these concerns and promises a correction patch.


    Bill Stack

    Learn More Here




    Bill Stack is author of several books about flight simulation, a regular author in flight-sim magazines, and a contributor to Flight Sim Com. His website is www.topskills.com


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