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Cam Ranh Bay Pictures

C-5A - West Ramp Cam Ranh Bay
One of the very first C-5 missions to Vietnam, this C-5 was photographed on the West Ramp at Cam Ranh Bay. The purpose of these missions was to prove the ability of the equipment and crews to offload this huge aircraft quickly in a "forward" area. The C-5 had a unique landing gear system with 24 main gear wheels and four nose gear wheels to reduce its "footprint" pressure. It could also "kneel" while parked on the ramp to lower the height of the cargo bay floor to the height of a standard Army 6x6 truck bed. In the picture above, the aircraft is still at normal height. In addition, a whole array of specialized cargo handling equipment had been developed to speed the unloading process. This machine carried 36 standard 10' by 10' aluminum cargo palettes in two rows of 18 each and the goal was to get it all off the aircraft in 10 to 20 minutes. That is not much time to move 100,000 pounds+ of cargo. This capability later proved very valuable during the Gulf War when the C-5's delivered enormous quantities of materiel very quickly to Saudi Arabia directly from bases in the U.S.

Revised: 24 March 1999