The wreckage of a giant 382-ton Lockheed Galaxy lies on the tarmac after being destroyed by explosions and fire at the Lockheed plant in Murietta, Georgia, on Friday (October 17).
The wreckage of a giant 382-ton Lockheed Galaxy lies on the tarmac after being destroyed by explosions and fire at the Lockheed plant in Murietta, Georgia, on Friday (October 17). The Galaxy, the biggest aircraft in the world, costs about GBP8 million Sterling (20 million dollars).
The aircraft destroyed was the first Galaxy to come off the Lockheed assembly lines and it was dedicated by President Johnson in March 1968.
The aircraft was parked near runway and its crew was on board when a series of explosions ripped off a wing and fire broke out. One of two flight mechanics working on fuel lines in the wing died in the blasts. Lockheed officials said later that the explosions may have been caused by a spark igniting fumes in a fuel tank. But neither the company nor the F.B.I. immediately ruled out the possibility of sabotage.
The huge aircraft can carry 700 fully equipped combat troops and 20 of the giants could move an infantry brigade as well as its tanks and other equipment -- a task that would require 88 normal-sized cargo aircraft. The Galaxy is fitted with a 28-wheel undercarriage to enable it to use dirt landing strips as well as normal runways.