Monday, February 1, 2010

Wake Turbulence: Part 3.4 - Other Heavy Jets

Reading my previous entries, one could get the impression that all the heavy jets were built by Boeing and Airbus. Even with all the mergers, take-overs, and consolidations in the aerospace industry, that isn't (yet) quite the case. Here are a few other heavy jets that have put in appearances at LAX:

The Antonov AN-124 is a Russian (and Ukrainian) -built aircraft with a greater cargo capacity (330,000 lb / 150,000 kg) than the comparable US-built airplanes. Takeoff weight 893,000 lb (405,000 kg). These behemoths have been used to transport whales and elephants, along with more mundane cargo such as jet engines (for the B777 and A380), rockets and satellites, and pieces of airliners (for Boeing and Airbus). One operational quirk is that the airplane has to sit in takeoff position on the runway for several minutes before it can begin rolling for takeoff. So far I've been unable to get a coherent explanation from anyone on why this is so.

The Lockheed C-5 Galaxy has a maximum takeoff weight of 840,000 lb (381,000 kg). Unlike the AN-124, which has civilian operators, the C-5 is only flown by the US military. Payload capacity is 270,000 lb (122,470 kg).

The C-17 Globemaster III is built at the former McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) plant in Long Beach, California; I get to see them fly over the house when they depart. With a takeoff weight of 585,000 lb (265,350 kg) and payload of 170,900 lb (77,519 kg), the C-17 is a good bit smaller than the C-5. Besides the US military, C-17s are also flown by the forces of Australia, Canada, Great Britain, NATO, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Boeing offered a commercial version for a while, but there were no buyers.

Link to previous part: Airbus Heavy Jets

Link to next part: Exceptions


  1. Those flying whales really LOOK like heavy jets. Graceful they're not! I think the delay on the runway before take-off is to complete the appropriate incantations required to get it in the air.


  2. Hail Mary, full of grace. Our Lord is with thee . . . (and just how many Hail Mary's does it take to get one of those things in the air, anyway?)

    Or maybe this one:

    Oh Lord, for these haircuts that we are about to receive, may we be truly thankful . . . (for five bonus points: name the source)


  3. - Also (in reference to the first topic) - just how many parts did/does the Rover need to have created a beaten path?

    I won't spoil it for the others, but I know the bonus question! What are my five points good for?

  4. Let me put it this way: Not only was I on autopilot, but the Jetta was on cruise control at the time.

    Bonus points can be redeemed for birthday chicks . . .