U.S. Air Force C-5 departs from a wet runway after “almost biblical rainfall”.
This video was filmed on Feb. 28, 2020, literally a few hours ago, at Prestwick airport, 32 miles from the city centre of Glasgow, in west Scotland, UK, by Rob Brown. It shows a U.S. Air Force C-5M Super Galaxy (84-0060) that had arrived on the previous day and night stopped at the airport, depart to return stateside as “RCH101”.
As you can see, the aircraft departed during heavy rainfall and the wet runway made the take off of the giant cargo aircraft more spectacular than usual.
Once again, it’s worth noticing that despite its size and weight the C-5 has some scarcely known STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) capabilities as explained in this past article about a Galaxy departing from Ilopango airport, located on the eastern part of the city of San Salvador, El Salvador, in 2011.
Here’s what we wrote commenting that video:
Needless to say, technically speaking, the Galaxy is not STOL: according to Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (JP 1-02) to be considered STOL the aircraft has to be able “to clear a 50-foot (15 meters) obstacle within 1,500 feet (450 meters) of commencing takeoff or in landing, to stop within 1,500 feet (450 meters) after passing over a 50-foot (15 meters) obstacle.”
Still, the C-5 has what can be considered excellent field performance for its size and weight. Indeed, according to its aircrews, Galaxy jets can operate out of a 5,000 foot long runway as well as from unimproved surface with substantial fuel and cargo load to support a special operation, even though such missions are nowadays preferably undertaken by C-17 Globemasters.