Keywords c-5a galaxy systems case study systems engineering
Standards groups

The systems engineering process was essential to the development of the C-5. The case study will describe the application of systems engineering from the initial phase of development and documentation of the system requirements, through the proposal phase, and during the design and development, testing, and production. The study will detail the success of the systems engineering process to show an appreciation of the process used then and permit comparison as a benchmark against today’s processes.

Additionally, it will analyze the failures of the C-5A program that fueled the controversy surrounding the program during its development. The role of systems engineering in the two most significant controversies – the cost overrun and the ineffective wing and pylon designs – will be presented. The reader will be exposed to the decisions made and the decisions not made, and to the unintended consequences that arose from these events.

The systems engineering process and its unique application to the C-5 program will be examined by developing four fundamental learning principles (LPs) from the program. These learning principles will be analyzed, dissected, and discussed in detail to allow the reader to appreciate the circumstances surrounding the systems engineers, the program managers, and senior leadership.

Date published
Document type
Data Item Description (DID)
Defines standard
Replaced/Superseded by document(s)
Cancelled by
Amended by
File MIME type Size (KB) Language Download
C-5A SE Case Study.pdf application/pdf   3.41 MB English DOWNLOAD!
File attachments
Cover images

In response to Air Force Secretary James G. Roche’s charge to reinvigorate the systems engineering profession, the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) undertook a broad spectrum of initiatives that included creating new and innovative instructional material. The Institute envisioned case studies on past programs as one of these new tools for teaching the principles of systems engineering.

Visit also