C17 Globemaster III

Who flys the C-17A Globemaster III

The C-17 gives the RAF a long range strategic heavy-lift transport aircraft that offers the ability to project and sustain an effective force close to a potential area of operations for combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide.

  1. 99 Squadron
    RAF Brize Norton

The C-17 Globemaster III is capable of rapid, strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases anywhere in the world. The design of the aircraft also allows it to carry out high-angle, steep approaches at relatively slow speeds, thus allowing it to operate into small, austere airfields onto runways as short as 3,500ft long and only 90ft wide. The C-17 can transport 45,360kg of freight more than 4,500nm whilst flying at heights in excess of 30,000ft. The C-17 gives the RAF a long range strategic heavy-lift transport aircraft that can operate close to a potential area of operations for combat, peace keeping or humanitarian missions worldwide.

Specifications

  • Engines: Four P&W F117- PW-100 turbofans
  • Thrust: 40,400lbs each
  • Max speed: 450kts
  • Length: 53m
  • Max altitude: 45,000ft
  • Span: 52m
  • Aircrew: 3

 

The C-17 Globemaster III is the latest addition to the RAF’s inventory of transport aircraft. It is capable of rapid, strategic delivery of troops and all types of cargo to main operating bases anywhere in the world, or directly to more temporary forward operating bases owing to its short field capability. The design of the aircraft allows it to carry out high-angle, steep approaches at relatively slow speeds, thus allowing it to operate into small, austere airfields onto runways as short as 3,500 feet long and only 90 feet wide. The aircraft can operate into and out of problematic sites such as those surrounded by inhospitable terrain or made difficult by adverse weather conditions. The fully-integrated, electronic flight-deck and the advanced cargo-handling systems allow a basic crew of only two pilots and one air loadmaster to operate the aircraft. On the ground, the aircraft can be turned in a very small radius and its four Pratt & Whitney engines are fully reversible, giving it the ability to manoeuvre into and out of restricted parking or freight-offload areas at undeveloped strips.

Cargo is loaded on to the C-17 through a large rear door that can accommodate military vehicles and palletised cargo. It can carry almost all of the Army’s air-transportable, outsized combat equipment, from three Warrior armoured vehicles or 13 Land Rovers, to a Chinook helicopter or three Apache-sized helicopters. It carries all its own role-equipment and can fit centre-line seating, which increases the seating capacity from 54 side-wall seats to 102 seats. The aircraft can also be configured in the aeromedical evacuation role to carry a full stretcher fit. The C-17 needs little or no ground support equipment and if none is available it can perform a combat off-load where pallets are dropped from the aircraft ramp on to the taxiway or hardstanding.

The C-17 gives the RAF a long-range strategic heavy-lift transport aircraft that offers the ability to project and sustain an effective force close to a potential area of operations for combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian missions worldwide. The aircraft is a declared part of the UK’s Joint Rapid Reaction Force and the RAF is currently the only European force which can offer ‘outsize airlift’ assets from within its own inventory. In 2004 the MoD announced the intention to buy the current fleet of aircraft at the conclusion of the current lease arrangement in 2008 and to purchase two additional aircraft.

C-17 Globemaster recognition


In common with many military transport aircraft, the C-17 features a well-rounded fuselage with shoulder mounted wings and high 'T-tail'(1). The main wings are mounted well forward on the fuselage and have upturned ends known as 'winglets' (2). Mainwheels are housed in external 'blisters' (3) to maximise space in the cargo hold and a long, swept rear fuselage has a split rear loading ramp.

Globemaster-in-flight

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