My grandfather worked for Lockheed back in the 60’s and 70’s on the C-130 as well as the C5. One of his favorite stories (Or maybe one of my favorite) was the day the C5 was introduced at the Paris Air show.
There was a crowd of people on an airfield and a Lockheed exec was speaking over a microphone. As he talked, people noticed a dot in the sky that was getting bigger. They watched as the dot got bigger and bigger until people realized it was a plane… but when they realized just how big that plane was, some of the crowd started to move away from the airfield, almost in a panic. When the C5 finally landed they couldn’t believe it.
Many of them couldn’t believe they had just watched it fly. Getty images has a nice pic of the crowd inspecting the plane at the Paris Air Show in 1971. I remember my own encounter with one of these mammoths at the and of the airstrip at Dobbins Air Force Base in Marietta. The AFB shared a runway and facilities with Lockheed, so we saw plenty of these airplanes all the time.
The main runway started right by the intersection of Atlanta road and Pat Mell Rd. One day, my parents, my brother and I were all in the car, sitting at that traffic light, when we suddenly heard the loudest screaming sound we had ever heard and the sky went almost completely black for several seconds as the C5 suddenly appeared over the tops of the buildings then over the car.
My brother and I were about 6 and 8 years old, respectively, and we were a bit freaked out but not so bad that we cried. We were just in AWE!