From the flight deck, it looks like your average plane, but from the belly of a C-5 Galaxy, you quickly realize it's anything but ordinary. Once the largest plane in the whole world, the C-5 Galaxy is still the largest bird in the US Air Force fleet and can hold supplies equivalent to the weight of 20 school buses.
It's longer and taller than a Boeing 747, and it's what brought Fox News's Casey Stegall to Afghanistan from halfway around the world.
He visited a forward operating base in western Afghanistan. Just to get there he had to fly on a number of planes, in with the with cargo. Speaking of cargo, when it comes to bringing in some of the heaviest and bulkiest equipment into a war zone, that's where the C-5 comes in.
Every single piece of oversized equipment used on the front lines is flown into Iraq and Afghanistan on these massive planes capable of holding 270 thousand pounds worth of cargo, it puts an awful lot of responsibility on the shoulders of the airmen in the cockpit.
Captain Billy Shaver told us, "the people up here flying with us today don't get a lot of recognition normally, but this is one of the ways we get cargo on the ground."
Aside from its sheer size, the manner in which this monstrous plane can be unpacked is unusual—and one of it's biggest advantages. The nose fully opens, allowing it to be unloaded from the front and back simultaneously, greatly speeding up the whole process. In this manner, the aircraft can sit on the ground for only a short period of time, a clear advantage in hostile areas.
Casey also got an up-close view of the A10 Warthog, one of the most technologically advanced planes in the whole world. Casey strapped on a survival vest (which contains a radio and maps)—handy should a pilot need to eject from the plane—and covered it with the harness pilots use to strap themselves into the plane. It's what actually links him to the ejection seat.
The plane goes 420 miles per hour, so Casey wasn't allowed to fly it—which is probably for the best. "You try putting on 70 pounds worth of gear, and then sitting in this cockpit and flying for 8, 9, hour missions. That's just part of the job for the men and women of the US Air Force."