18th Jun 2012, 21:25
Just out in the garden in S Croydon about 9:35pm or so and saw what I thought must have been a Galaxy heading SW through the darkening sky, roughly Clacton/Southampton, just high enough to trail. Lovely deep thrummmm.
Haven't seen one in years - anyone confirm? Can't think it was anything else.
19th Jun 2012, 00:21
Just heard something American on London control going in to Mildenhall around 2325 call sign "Celt". Don't know if that helps narrow it down.
19th Jun 2012, 01:19
I may be out of date, but Galaxy callsigns were 'Reach' when I last worked one (about 7 years ago now I admit.)
19th Jun 2012, 07:05
It was heading towards the USA, jc, might have been out of Mildenhall but more likely the Continent I would have thought.
Ah, I recall the days when the C-5s and C-141s used their serials as call signs - MAC 40169, etc... Tho I did hear if they'd filed the paperwork and the assigned aircraft broke down, they changed to a different aircraft and flew the mission using the original call sign.
19th Jun 2012, 09:11
You are quite correct, what you saw was "Reach 817" which was C-5A 69-0014.
With thanks to FighterControl.:ok:
19th Jun 2012, 09:38
"Kelt 31" was a MC-130H 88-1803.
19th Jun 2012, 12:00
Great, thanks Big Eric!
I have to say it looked longer and slimmer than I recall Galaxies - almost reminded me of a stretched C-141. Think the last time I saw (or rather, noticed!) one in the air, it was overflying the Reno Air Races in 1999.
19th Jun 2012, 13:00
Good grief, those things are OLD - 43 years in the case of your C5A. They were still building VC10s then.
Good job they don't come under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.
19th Jun 2012, 13:18
I was five when that one was ordered... :)
Mind you, I'm still soldiering on with (most of) the same parts, whereas the C-5As have new(ish) wings I think, and doubtless other upgrades. I don't suppose they clock up hours/cycles as fast as commercial aircraft do either?
19th Jun 2012, 14:25
First one across the pond was I believe MAC 80214 transitting to Germany in mid 1970 ie 42 years ago! I saw it from the old LATCC radar unit on the north side at Heathrow; we'd watched it on radar then opened the fire door to see it. Loadsa reggie spotters worked at LATCC in those days!
It was only at 290 and not contrailing, but it looked like a big silver cigar or airship.
19th Jun 2012, 16:44
The upgraded C-5M, aka Super Galaxy, re-engined with CF6s, is likely to be gracing our skies for many years to come.